Survey: Market Downturn Hasn't Chilled Optimism About Crypto Jobs

A CoinDesk survey finds the majority of employees in the industry feel secure in their positions. This post is part of CoinDesk's Future of Work Week.

AccessTimeIconJun 28, 2022 at 1:18 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 19, 2023 at 4:04 p.m. UTC
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As the debate continues about whether we are in a new crypto winter, workers remain optimistic, as long as they don’t have to go to the office. That is one takeaway from the CoinDesk Crypto Work Survey.

This article is part of CoinDesk's Future of Work Week.

The Crypto Work Survey arrived during a particularly volatile moment. When it started on June 9, the first signs of weakness in the crypto job market were just becoming public with the announcement that Coinbase would freeze hiring and rescind new job offers. Later, the crypto exchange said it was laying off 1,100 workers, or 18% of its workforce.

Given the cascade of dreadful industry and market news during the following three weeks until the survey ended on Monday, the questions regarding job security, organizational growth and job features provided some interesting insights into workers' outlook. Overall, respondents reported their companies were holding steady or growing, and most felt secure in their jobs.

The 170 survey respondents represented a broad cross section of workers. The majority, or 60%, were between the ages of 22 and 40, with just three under 21 and only 11 who were 61 or older. About one-third worked in organizations with fewer than 50 employees, and another third for organizations between 50 to 999 employees. Three-quarters, or 76%, worked for private rather than public organizations.

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Fifty-seven percent said their organizations were actively hiring, and 31% said that their organizations were holding steady. Only 6% reported that their organizations were actively reducing headcount. Overall, 26% strongly agreed, and 38% agreed with the statement: I am satisfied with my overall job security. In contrast, just 9% disagreed, and another 9% strongly disagreed with the statement.

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Against the backdrop of the price of bitcoin dropping from $30,249 on June 9 to $20,722 by Monday afternoon, the responses about how workers were paid may indicate that crypto workers can tolerate price volatility, even in their pay. Nearly a quarter of respondents, or 23%, had the choice of being paid at least partly in crypto, and 67% were paid in fiat only, such as U.S. dollars.

When asked whether they were satisfied with their pay options, the ones who have a choice were nearly unanimously satisfied. Only 10 respondents are paid in crypto only, and just two of those people were dissatisfied.

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We attempted to discover what job features or values are most important, besides salary. The single least appreciated factor among the 10 choices we listed is the ability to be paid at least partly in crypto. More than 42% of respondents ranked it dead last of 10 job features. By far and away the most valuable feature of a job is the ability to work remotely, with 52% of respondents ranking it in their top three priorities for a job. And job security? Only 32% of respondents ranked it among their top three most important factors in a job.

Getting to the heart of the matter, 42% of survey respondents reported that love for the work or the organization’s mission is among their top priorities.

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CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Jeanhee Kim

Jeanhee Kim was CoinDesk's senior editor for lists, rankings and special projects.


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