JUL 11, 2023
Hong Kong Crypto Licensing Yet to Result in Job Surge
While Hong Kong has seen a rush for crypto licenses, scrambling for licensing has not yet resulted in a corresponding surge in job opportunities, according to recruiters in the industry.
Approximately 150 companies applied for a local crypto license on June 1, allowing them to operate crypto trading platforms, but recruiters have not witnessed a high demand for talent in the field. That’s according to reports received by Cointelegraph from a number of recruiters active in the crypto space in the Chinese autonomous territory.
Bear market hangover
Sue Wei, the Managing Director of major recruitment firm Hays, revealed that her firm has experienced a significant decrease in requests for recruiting technical talent since the recent dip in the crypto market. This decline was particularly notable when many talents were laid off en masse, which led to hesitancy among individuals to work for crypto companies due to the volatile nature of the business, heavily reliant on cryptocurrency prices.
Neil Dundon, the Founder of crypto recruiter Cryptorecruit, also noted a lack of significant activity in the Hong Kong market. Despite the regulatory changes, venture activity remains low. However, Dundon expressed optimism that the market has reached its bottom and expects an upward trend to emerge soon.
Olga Yung, the Managing Director of Michael Page Hong Kong, echoed the sentiment, stating that there hasn’t been a substantial increase in individuals seeking jobs in the Web3 sector, despite the government’s recent efforts to promote it. However, Yung did mention a slight increase in Web3 firms seeking legal and compliance hires in the latter half of Q2 2023.
At the time of publication, 85 crypto-related jobs were being advertised on LinkedIn. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Cyberport, the city’s flagship technology hub, has attracted more than 150 companies operating within the Web3 space over the course of the past 12 months. Authorities in Hong Kong are also trying to entice Web3 companies based in mainland China to establish bases within Hong Kong.
Increased job openings anticipated
Although these firms have displayed enthusiasm in entering the Hong Kong market, the recruitment needs of the crypto industry remain relatively light at present, as many Web3 companies are still in their early stages of development. However, recruiters anticipate a rise in job openings as these companies continue to grow and mature.
Kevin Gibson, Founder of Proof of Search, a Web3 recruitment specialist, said that it may take six months before current crypto licensing activity in Hong Kong translates into a surge in demand for staff. Gibson maintains that specialist talent in Hong Kong is in short supply due to many such professionals having left the city in recent years.
While Hong Kong has witnessed a rush for crypto licenses, the recruitment landscape in the industry has yet to experience a corresponding surge. However, recruiters remain optimistic about future job opportunities as Web3 companies progress and regulatory conditions stabilize.
With Singapore-based Matrixport and international banking firm Standard Chartered both predicting a Bitcoin unit price in the region of $120,000 by the end of 2024, the market is expected to trend upward in the coming months. That could potentially lead to increased hiring activity in the crypto sector.