The crypto industry has seen a wave of heavy layoffs to start the new year, with more than 1,600 job cuts reported in the first two weeks of January. The market volatility and uncertainty has led to many crypto businesses downsizing their staff. However, not all departments have been susceptible to this trend..
Critical Versus Non-Critical Roles
Founder and CEO of crypto recruitment firm Proof of Talent, Rob Paone, offers some insight. Even in bear markets, technical and engineering roles are in high demand. The Chief Executive Officer stated that his firm is still seeing “strong requirements” for these positions and that salaries are still “very competitive” despite current market conditions.
Johncy Agregado, director of crypto recruitment firm CapMan Consulting, echoed this sentiment, stating that mid-level roles tend to be cut during a bear market, but senior functions tend to “double or triple” during this time. Roles such as chief technology officer and chief information security officer are also considered safe, as they are essential for maintaining the fluidity of an organization.
Paone highlighted that crypto firms tend to cut jobs in in-house recruiting, customer service, compliance, and anything “non-revenue or product generating” first.
Investor and podcaster Anthony Pompliano also founded the crypto recruitment firm Inflection Points. He has stated that non-mission critical jobs are usually the most affected by layoffs during bear markets.
Keeping Jobs Can Come With Costs
However, Pompliano also mentioned that he has heard “numerous reports” of salary reductions in smaller companies. Other such organizations have put a freeze on raises and annual bonuses. Paone added that in some cases, even those in technical roles might not be able to avoid job cuts entirely. Firms forced to make “deeper cuts” have had to reduce even their engineering and product teams.
Recent months have seen a number of crypto firms, particularly exchanges, cutting staff amid the market downturn. Crypto.com and Coinbase both announced cuts to their global workforce last week. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek tweeted that the exchange had made the “difficult decision” to reduce its global workforce by “about 20%” because of the tough market conditions and recent industry events. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong also announced that the exchange would cut 950 jobs as part of a plan to reduce operating costs by around 25% amid the ongoing crypto winter.
However, not all crypto firms have been downsizing their staff. Crypto exchange Binance has hinted at plans for a “hiring spree” in 2023. This suggests that while crypto layoffs have been front and center, it hasn’t prompted crypto professionals to pivot away from the industry. Despite the current market conditions, many experts believe that technical and engineering roles will continue to see “strong demand” for their skills, and that the crypto industry will bounce back in the future.