Why the American Dream still holds true for crypto, blockchain jobs
- More than 60% of employees were working in trading and investment-related services.
- The U.S. housed a whopping 30% of the global crypto workforce.
The emergence of blockchain technologies and the historic crypto bull market of 2020-21 captured the imagination of general public and tech enthusiasts, marking a paradigm shift from centralized to decentralized systems. Over time, the craze has spread and it would be hard to pinpoint any location on the global map which has been left untouched.
K33 Research, a digital assets market analysis firm, recently published an employment report providing insights on the spread and concentration of cryptocurrency-related jobs across the world.
Key growth sectors
According to the firm, a total of 10,000 companies employing roughly 200,000 people were scattered across the sector. The total market valuation of these companies was found to be $180 billion. Interestingly, this figure was higher than the nominal GDP of many gulf nations.
On the expected lines, trading and investment-related jobs were the most popular. More than 60% of employees work in exchanges, brokerages, and other crypto financial services. It was no surprise that Binance and Coinbase, the two biggest crypto trading platforms, were consistently ranked as the top blockchain companies in the world as well.
Asset trading remained the dominant use case for cryptos. But, of late the demand for projects involving core blockchain technology has shot up. Nearly 40,000 employees were working on projects such as blockchain protocols, analytics and mining, according to the report.
Another business vertical worth mentioning was the non-fungible token (NFT) industry. The sector, which gained mainstream consciousness in 2021-22 on the back of celebrity endorsements, continues to be a crowd-puller. About 12,000 people were employed in NFT and NFT gaming projects.
U.S. still the epicenter
Despite regulatory obstacles and a lack of clarity regarding local laws, the United States has remained the center for crypto-related enterprises. The economic behemoth housed a whopping 30% of the global crypto workforce.
Critical sectors of the industry now have bulk of their operations in the country. According to Statista, the U.S. is a major center for global Bitcoin [BTC] mining, a position it gained following China’s blanket ban on cryptocurrency trade and mining.
Two of the world’s three largest crypto trading platforms as per spot volumes, Coinbase and Kraken, were headquartered in the U.S.
Because of the concentration of major corporations, the ebbs and flows of the United States have a substantial impact on the larger market. Whether it’s the clampdown by U.S. regulators, the implosion of U.S.-based crypto exchanges or the interest shown by U.S. TradFi companies in digital assets, the global market has almost always reacted strongly to these developments.
With a solid technological base and no dearth of capital funding, the country was poised to retain its dominance in the near future.
Outside the U.S., Europe remained a popular destination for crypto-related jobs with a market share of 23%. Asia was another region which showed promise. India and other countries from the South East were witnessing impressive growth in crypto workforce.
‘Work from Home’ is the mantra
The report also shed light on the industry’s widespread adoption of remote working. It should be recalled that the crypto market’s golden phase of 2020-21 coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic. This resulted in a large-scale shift towards remote work.
As a result, businesses found it simple to tap into the global talent pool without much infrastructure costs. Furthermore, as remote work doesn’t impose much expense on the employees, it has proven to be a win-win situation.
Crypto has a new competitor
The crypto narrative has certainly had a significant influence and continues to attract new users. However, the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) may just dilute its effectiveness. As per recent research by crypto market tracker CoinGecko, search interest in ‘AI jobs’ jumped 4 times higher than ‘crypto jobs.’
Analyzing Google Trends data, the report highlighted that search interest in ‘crypto jobs’ has followed the bull and bear market phases of the crypto market. The interest peaked in the latter half of 2021 when global market cap hit its peak. However, with the onset of bearish sentiments fueled by regulatory hostilities and exchange implosions, the interest started to wane.
On the other hand, ‘AI jobs’ have seen tremendous traction since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November 2022.