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Recruiters: Hong Kong’s Crypto License Craze Hasn’t Translated into Job Opportunities

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Image Source: Pixabay

Despite the excitement surrounding Hong Kong‘s new crypto licensing regime, the city-state has yet to see a surge in new job opportunities. 

Recruitment executives in Hong Kong have reported a lack of employment needs within the crypto industry despite 150 companies vying for a local crypto license as of last month, with some reportedly spending up to $25 million to secure one.

Sue Wei, managing director of major recruitment firm Hayssaid in a recent interview that while exchanges have shown interest in establishing a presence in Hong Kong, the demand for recruitment within the sector is currently low. 

“Many Web3 companies are still in the early stages of development, but we anticipate an increase in openings as they continue to scale up and mature.”

Since the dip in the crypto market, Hays has witnessed a significant decrease in requests for recruiting technical talent. 

The layoffs that occurred amidst the market downturn have made potential candidates hesitant to work for crypto companies, given the perceived instability of the business, which heavily relies on crypto prices, Wei said.

Neil Dundon, founder of crypto recruitment firm Cryptorecruit, echoed similar sentiments, stating that there hasn’t been much activity in Hong Kong despite the changes in regulations. 

“Even though rules have changed, venture activity is extremely low right now,” he said. 

“Although it feels like we have bottomed, and I expect this to start trending upward from here.”

Looking ahead, Kevin Gibson, founder of Web3 recruitment firm Proof of Search, said he anticipates a surge in crypto talent in the region once companies receive their license approvals. 

However, he highlighted the challenge of a thin local talent pool, which could result in an intense competition for talent in Hong Kong. 

Gibson predicted a continued talent squeeze until 2024 and suggested that Web3 companies may consider relocating their headquarters to pro-crypto jurisdictions if things go as planned.

Interest in Crypto Jobs Decline As AI Gold Rush Begins

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has outshined the once dominant crypto narrative, a new study shows.

The study revealed that search interest in ‘AI jobs’ peaked at four times higher than ‘crypto jobs.’

This surge in interest can be attributed to significant events such as the announcement of OpenAI‘s ChatGPT on November 30, 2022, and subsequent AI launches like Google Bard and Microsoft‘s investment in OpenAI. 

The search interest for ‘AI jobs’ reached its peak score of 124 on April 30, 2022, just five months after the release of ChatGPT. 

Interest in ‘crypto jobs’ started to climb in January 2021, coinciding with major companies and thought leaders entering the crypto space. However, as the crypto market sentiment turned bearish, search interest for ‘crypto jobs’ started to decline. 

This decline was especially notable with a low score of 9 by December 25, 2022, marking a significant drop of -288% from its peak. 

Nevertheless, despite the recent drop, current search interest in ‘crypto jobs’ remains slightly higher than pre-2020-2021 bull market levels, suggesting that there is still some interest in the sector despite the challenges it has faced.