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Crypto job boom in Hong Kong? Recruiters disagree

TL;DR

  • Despite crypto firms rushing to establish bases in Hong Kong, local recruitment in the sector is low.
  • The volatility of crypto businesses and their dependency on fluctuating cryptocurrency prices have deterred potential recruits.
  • The exodus of specialized talent from Hong Kong has led to a competitive talent market.

In the buzzing digital landscape of Hong Kong, there’s a curious anomaly. Despite a high-octane rush from numerous crypto firms vying to establish their base in the city, the anticipated explosion in crypto-related employment has not materialized.

This is not speculation, but the reality as observed by some of the most well-established recruitment firms in the city.

The crypto mirage

The crypto allure of Hong Kong, it appears, is predominantly theoretical at this stage. June 1 witnessed a dash for the local crypto license, allowing the operation of domestic crypto trading platforms.

Close to 150 firms were in this race, some reportedly shelling out a staggering $25 million. However, this fervor hasn’t extended into a surge in on-ground recruitment.

Sue Wei, who steers the helm at a leading recruitment firm, asserts that despite these companies’ rush to plant their roots in Hong Kong, the employment needs in the industry are still negligible.

Many of these Web3 enterprises are in their infancy, with recruitment expected to spike as they mature. Yet, since the recent dip in the crypto market, there’s been a downturn in demand for technical talents within these firms.

The challenges of crypto recruitment in Hong Kong

Several factors have contributed to this recruitment inertia. The unstable nature of crypto businesses, primarily relying on the fluctuating prices of cryptocurrency, has resulted in mass layoffs. This volatility has understandably deterred potential recruits, further stifling the hiring process.

Neil Dundon, founder of Cryptorecruit, concurs with this observation, claiming that there’s been little noticeable activity within Hong Kong’s crypto job market. Despite regulatory changes, venture activities remain in a trough. However, Dundon predicts an upswing in the near future.

Olga Yung of Michael Page Hong Kong hasn’t seen a significant rise in job seekers interested in the Web3 sector either, despite the government’s endorsement. However, there’s been a marginal increase in legal and compliance hires by Web3 firms towards the end of Q2 2023.

Kevin Gibson, founder of Proof of Search, a Web3 recruitment firm, believes it may take half a year for a crypto talent influx, as businesses await license approvals. He highlights the exodus of specialized talent from Hong Kong in recent years, leading to a thin local talent pool.

The ensuing intense competition for talent among crypto firms is likely to continue till 2024. Establishing a crypto business in Hong Kong demands that key roles be occupied full-time.

The latest data shows a negative population growth rate in the city since 2020, and a significant 38% rise in job vacancies in Q1 2023 compared to the previous year. Yung suggests the primary obstacle is intriguing potential recruits to take a risk in the current market sentiment.

However, not all is gloom and doom. Neil Tan, chair of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong, reports encounters with individuals transitioning from traditional finance to crypto. Some are headhunted by crypto firms, while others actively seek opportunities on platforms like LinkedIn.

He insists that the supposed stability of traditional finance isn’t as appealing anymore and that many are eager to explore the promising landscape of crypto and Web3 space in Hong Kong.

For now, the question remains: Will the crypto gold rush yield an employment boom, or will it remain a mirage in the buzzing cityscape of Hong Kong?

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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