2022, Year of Hiring and Firing in Crypto

Are you looking for a job? You might want to look into the crypto industry for a bit. According to a study by a blockchain research center, 82,000 people were working in the crypto industry in 2022. This number is up 351% from 2019, which reported only 18,200 jobs. The report also notes a sharp rise in the number of layoffs this year in the crypto sector as in the entire tech industry. A look back at this report on employment in one of the world’s fastest growing sectors.

Crypto, a sector that provides jobs

Despite the prolonged bear market and unfortunate events like the FTX collapse, the crypto sector continues to be one of the world’s leading job providers. That’s the conclusion of a report by research center The Block Research released in December.

After analyzing data from crypto companies, the research center noted that nearly 82,542 people work in 424 major crypto companies. This number is up from the 2019 data. In fact, three years ago, there were only 18,200 employees working at 158 companies.

In 2019, we observed 158 companies with an estimated total employment of 18,200. Based on our recent study, 424 companies employ 82,542 people in the digital assets sector.

The Block Research

It should be noted that The Block Research‘s study only considers companies with a valuation of more than $300 million or one that has raised at least $20 million in funding. If smaller crypto companies are taken into account, the numbers of crypto employees are likely to be larger.

The report also indicates that different sectors of the crypto industry are hiring at different rates. The crypto trading and brokerage sector alone employs 50% of crypto workers, for example.

Distribution of jobs
Distribution of jobs

Binance at the forefront of crypto companies providing employment

According to data from The Block Research, formal companies employ 5% of workers in the crypto industry. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has the largest team in the enterprise category. In fact, of the 33 crypto companies with more than 500 employees, Binance leads the way with 7,300 employees. The CZ-based exchange is followed by its competitors Coinbase, Crypto.com, OKY and Kraken with staffs consisting of 5,000, 4,540, 3,800 and 2,300 workers respectively.

With 2,000 employees, the crypto company Bitmain is the largest non-trading job provider.

Biggest companiesc
Biggest companies

Binance is also one of the few companies to have strengthened its teams in 2022. In fact, the exchange doubled its staff in 2022 to 7,300 employees. On the other hand, Polygon has hired more than 50 people for its management positions. For its part, Fireblocks has increased its staff from 200 to 500 after raising $550 million earlier this year.

Binance, Polygon and Fireblocks are exceptions. Overall, the crypto industry has been characterized by massive layoffs in 2022 due to economic difficulties.

2022, the year of redundancy in the crypto sector

The year 2022 was also characterized by a significant rate of layoffs, notes The Block Research. Indeed, the slowdown of the crypto market in 2022 after a crazy bullrun last year put several companies in a bind. Moreover, unfortunate events like the collapse of FTX, Celsius, Luna, etc. have only worsened an already difficult economic situation. As a result, crypto companies have had no choice but to reduce their staff. In total, 9,564 layoffs were recorded in the crypto sector in 2022 informs The Block Research.

The layoff drama has affected different sectors of the crypto industry in different proportions. With 7037 closed positions, the crypto trading sector accounts for nearly 74% of layoffs in the industry in 2022.

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Layoff rates by crypto industry sector in 2022

Unsurprisingly, exchanges are among the companies that laid off the most people in 2022. Crypto.com made the largest industry layoff of the year with a team reduction of 2,260 people in June and October 2022. It is followed by Coinbase with 1,160 layoffs in 2022. Next in line are exchanges Bybit or Kraken, which recently reduced their staff by 30%.

Distribution of layoffs by company
Distribution of layoffs by company

This wave of layoffs isn’t just affecting the crypto industry. It’s the entire tech sector that is affected if we are to believe the data from layoffs.fyi. In fact, more than 151,600 job cuts have taken place in the tech industries.

With its 9,654 closed positions, the crypto sector comes in eighth place in terms of annual layoffs. This is far behind the consumer, retail or transportation sectors, which laid off 19,691, 19,511 and 14,791 people respectively in 2022.

secteur des licenciements - Coinpri
Redundancy sector

Due to the market slowdown and repeated unfortunate events, 2022 was a tough year for the crypto industry. This has logically led to massive layoffs in several companies. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. The industry has also grown as a job provider. If this performance could be achieved in an economically challenging year like 2022, the next bullrun could be historic.