Crypto headcount has more than doubled since 2019 despite implosions.

Crypto headcount has more than doubled since 2019 despite implosions.

The Growing Workforce in the Blockchain Industry

Despite the occasional turbulence and high-profile cryptocurrency implosions, the blockchain industry has experienced a significant surge in the number of professionals working within it over the past four years. A recent report by K33, a crypto research startup, has revealed that the number of crypto-related employees has increased by almost 160% since 2019. In 2023, it is estimated that the total headcount of people working in the crypto industry reached approximately 190,000, compared to just 73,000 in 2019.

This growth in the crypto workforce aligns with the dynamics of Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency. As Bitcoin’s price soared to an all-time high of $68,000 in November 2021, the industry experienced a peak in terms of total staff numbers, with over 211,000 professionals. However, since 2021, there has been a slight reduction of around 11% in crypto-focused employees. Nevertheless, the number of professionals within the crypto industry still remains significantly higher than it was four years ago.

The correlation between Bitcoin’s price and the growth of the crypto workforce can be attributed to the increasing demand for blockchain expertise. As the price of Bitcoin surged by more than 300% from its average annual price of around $7,200 in 2019, companies in the crypto industry sought to secure the right talent to scale their operations. This demand for skilled professionals reflects the disruptive nature of blockchain technology, which has the potential to transform traditional finance.

Major industry players, such as Kraken, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, have witnessed substantial growth in their global headcount. Kraken has reported a rise of over 150% in staff numbers since 2019. Pranesh Anthapur, the chief people officer at Kraken, emphasizes the importance of talent acquisition during bear markets and highlights the need to disrupt the foundations of traditional finance. According to Anthapur, Kraken’s approach to staff retention remains consistent regardless of market cycles.

Similarly, Trezor, a leading hardware wallet firm, has experienced a 120% increase in its headcount since 2019. CEO Matej Zak emphasizes the company’s focus on building and retaining talent for the long term. Zak highlights their commitment to hiring even during bear markets, rather than succumbing to short-term market frenzies. Trezor’s strategy demonstrates their understanding of the challenges posed by bear markets and their ability to plan accordingly.

While the crypto industry has seen remarkable growth in terms of employment, it has also witnessed multiple rounds of layoffs in the past year. Companies such as Coinbase, Binance,, Dapper Labs, and Kraken have all undergone staff reductions. Binance, in particular, reportedly laid off more than 1,000 employees in recent headcount cuts.

Interestingly, some crypto giants have managed to operate with relatively small teams. Tether, the issuer of the world’s largest stablecoin, USDT, only employs around 60 people. The cautious approach to hiring taken by Tether reflects their prioritization of employee well-being and future prospects. Despite previous downturns in the crypto market, Tether has maintained a consistent staff size without downsizing.

The growth of the blockchain industry workforce underscores the increasing adoption and recognition of blockchain technology. As companies across various sectors realize the potential benefits of blockchain, the demand for skilled professionals will continue to rise. The blockchain industry offers diverse opportunities for individuals interested in shaping the future of finance, technology, and beyond.

Cryptocurrency employment by years Source: K33

Key Takeaways: – The number of crypto-related employees has surged nearly 160% since 2019. – The crypto industry peaked in terms of total staff numbers in 2021 at over 211,000 professionals. – The growth of the crypto workforce aligns with the dynamics of Bitcoin’s price. – Companies like Kraken and Trezor have experienced substantial growth in their global headcount. – Some crypto giants, like Tether, maintain a cautious approach to hiring and prioritize employee well-being. – The blockchain industry offers diverse opportunities for professionals interested in shaping the future of finance and technology.

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