February 27, 2023 - A recent article by Bloomberg stated that the “Crypto Retrenchment Persists With Over 2,000 Jobs Lost in 2023” - suggesting that the commonly named ‘Crypto Winter’ is having a real impact on businesses and hiring within the sector.
The article expanded by listing a number of well-known companies, including Coinbase Global, who were in the process of laying off up 20% of their workforce as the difficult market conditions persist.
Whilst these headlines look worrying - do they reflect the real picture?
As the global economy approaches a combination of high interest rates combined with higher inflation, it appears that the financial services sector in general is focusing more on improving efficiency and reducing costs. These terms are often a byword for streamlining processes, consolidating functions - or more simply redundancies. As a highly regulated sector, these changes can sometimes be slower to filter through.
Looking at the cryptocurrency sector more specifically, it certainly is the case that it is relatively new and less well regulated when compared to ‘traditional’ finance. It has also seen periods of rapid evolution and expansion - and has been an engine for job creation in development, trading and the marketing of these services over recent years. The increased market volatility of recent months appears to have initiated a number of changes, including a move towards increased (self) regulation.
However, at LiquidityFinder, we think that the crypto jobs headlines do not reflect the true market situation.
To see why, take a look at the relatively healthy Crypto related jobs. As of today, there are over 900 crypto related jobs posted on jobs.liquidityfinder.com .
So, whilst lay-offs are happening across the finance and tech sectors, this is not, in our view, exclusive to the crypto industry. To see where the redundancies are focused, we found the Layoffs.fyi website created by start-up founder Roger Lee. This tracks tech sector layoffs since COVID-19 by company and for 2023 alone stands at over 120,000.
By filtering the data by company, it becomes clear that the big beasts of tech are leading the charge to reduce staff numbers with Google, Meta, Amazon and Microsoft all laying off over 10,000 staff. Filter by Crypto Industry though and the numbers, whilst significant, are smaller.
Another interesting tool is Air Table Lay-offs tracker compiled by Airtable Software Engineer Steven Zhang and ex-Airtable engineer Chris Talley. Toggling this chart reveals that much of Google’s layoffs of software engineers affected are mid-level staff.
Interestingly, that’s the experience level crypto often hires for - as pointed out by Decrypt’s article on Crypto Labor Market Trends. In this article, Kate Irwin, points out that mid-level hires are more popular “because junior talent takes too long to train, and senior talent are rarely on the market.”
The article goes on to say that whilst Crypto is more volatile, there are still many opportunities within the sector and that interest for hiring is still strong from hedge funds and sales roles. At LiquidityFinder, we agree that there is strong evidence of continued hiring as the industry continues to invest for the future.