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Hiring Spree - Battle for Blockchain Talent

Posted on August 2021 By Selby Jennings

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Crypto in Asia

The growth happening within the cryptocurrency and blockchain space has been impossible to miss since late 2020. Massive amounts of capital have been poured into blockchain and crypto companies from venture capital and direct investments in recent months.

In July of 2021, the Hong Kong-based crypto derivatives exchange FTX made history with a US$900 million series B fundraise, the largest for a crypto exchange to date, landing it its US$ 18 billion valuations.

Leaders in the space such as Gemini and Coinbase are already growing their roots within Asia and Oceania. With plans to set up satellite offices in Australia and Hong Kong, and building out new tech hubs in India respectively.

With Asia proving itself as one of the key regions in this growing industry, companies that are now flush with capital are expanding their operations aggressively. And as they scale, a battle for talent is surfacing.

The thirst for tech talent

“The appetite for crypto talent globally has been insatiable, and has been our biggest growth client demographic … But nowhere has this been truer than Asia,” said Bethan Howell, Vice President of Quantitative Research and Trading at Selby Jennings.

Howell states that they are witnessing this digital asset expansion across the region of Asia. Not only in the key financial hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore, but also in Taiwan, South Korea and Shanghai. “Across the board, we have seen a huge demand for talent – from sales to technologists”.

She adds that everyone is attempting to automate and digitalise their processes at this moment, so they are all searching for the same type of talent. “The good candidates commonly have at least five offers on hand to pick from,” displaying extremely high competition in the market.

As crypto is still in its nascent stage, there is a lack of adequate talent with the relevant experience that companies desire, making it no surprise that a candidate with strong crypto knowledge is hard to come by.

This talent gap can also be seen in companies such as the China founded; Binance and Hong Kong-based; These household name crypto businesses have over 200 openings currently listed on LinkedIn, with over half of them based in Asia.

 Looking forward – Where will talent grow?

As this industry continues to flourish, industry groups are stepping up efforts to support the grander ecosystem. With organisations such as Blockchain Association Singapore and the Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Enterprises and Start-ups Singapore (ACCESS) taking initiatives to help bridge the talent gap.

To meet the rising needs, Hong Kong University launched the region’s first multidisciplinary FinTech undergraduate programme in 2020. With the goal of nurturing financial technologists and entrepreneurs with vital knowledge in both the finance and technology space. Covered subjects span across distributed ledger and blockchain technology, big data and data mining, e-payment, cryptocurrency elements and more.

From an international perspective, it is important to note that over 70% of available blockchain roles are remote roles, effectively increasing opportunities for jobseekers abroad. This not only brings foreign available talent into Asia’s blockchain organisations but also gives Asian talent a chance to reach outwards into other markets.

Looking ahead, it is within institutions, organisations, and governments’ best interests to promote the adoption of blockchain into broader industries beyond just finance. Ultimately, levelling up the industry’s manpower and know-how.

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Find the original Forkast article here: "Battle for blockchain talent is heating up. What and where are the crypto jobs?"

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