There’s a Shortage of Tech (And Female) Crypto Talent: Report

A shift in demand from financial-focused to technology-related people is occurring as the space matures, LinkedIn data shows


blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • The fastest growing blockchain roles are quality assurance analysts, cryptologic technicians and compliance specialists
  • CEO of The Crypto Recruiters said developers are constantly in high demand, though many have “gone incognito”

The supply of engineering and information technology talent within the blockchain industry is not meeting demand.

Maturing digital asset markets have shifted company needs to technical roles — especially when it comes to security — according to a new study by crypto exchange OKX and LinkedIn.

Finance talent accounts for 19% of blockchain-oriented employees, the report found. Engineers, meanwhile, make up 16%. And business development, information technology and sales staffers make up about 6% each.

The analysis includes research data samples from LinkedIn covering 180 countries from January 2019 to January 2022.  

The most sought-after jobs are crypto traders, software engineers, analysts, support analysts and account managers — which tend to come with relatively higher compensation.  

But the finance category ranked sixth in terms of hiring demand, as of June, according to LinkedIn job postings. Instead, people in the engineering and informational technology fields are most coveted as companies are building out blockchain capabilities, followed by professionals in product management, marketing and human resources.  

The study examined both crypto-native companies and traditional entities vying to establish a foothold in digital assets.

The fastest-growing title was for a “quality assurance analyst,” which had a growth rate of 713% from June 2021 to June 2022. Cryptologic technician and compliance specialists ranked second and third, growing by 350% and 253%, respectively, over that span.

“The blockchain industry is transitioning from being highly financial to being highly technical in nature,” the report said. “It will fully utilize the combination of technical and financial attributes of blockchain to gradually develop into an important part of the digital economy.”

Emily Landon, ​​CEO of The Crypto Recruiters, told Blockworks her firm is seeing a lot of requests for marketing, investor relations and developer roles — including front-end developers, as well as those well-versed in programming languages Rust and Solidity.

But finding technical talent has become increasingly difficult as candidates aren’t always marketing themselves well on LinkedIn, she added. Others have deleted their LinkedIn accounts due to spam from recruiters, Landon said, flocking to Twitter and Discord instead.  

“It makes it challenging to find them on those platforms,” Landon said. “Basically, these developers have gone incognito.”

Other numbers at a glance

LinkedIn data show the total number of the platform’s members working in the blockchain industry grew by 76% year over year through June. The US has the most people working in the space, followed by India and China. 

In terms of job postings, blockchain-related talent demand is most concentrated in the United States, China, France, India and Germany.

The average tenure of global blockchain talent is 1.2 years, according to the report. Aside from the influx of people from financial and technology companies into the space, the industry’s flow of talent is primarily from within the segment.

Despite the year-over-year growth, overall, female talent remains scarce. The segment has about four times more men than women, according to the report.

“[We’ve had] an incredibly hard time especially finding women in the space,” Landon said. “We want to help more women get into technical roles.”

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