Legacy financial institutions are going on a massive hiring spree for crypto talent, despite unflattering statements made in the press recently regarding cryptocurrency.
According to a Bloomberg report, some of the Wall Street banking titans have added 1,000 crypto job positions to their organizations since 2018. With crypto and blockchain related job postings in the U.S. climbing 615% in August this year alone. Goldman Sachs has recruited 82 crypto professionals, Wells Fargo 74, and JPMorgan Chase hired 63. A 20-30% increase in salary over more traditional roles in marketing, sales, and software development is being offered to incentivize the best talent. Senior roles could see a 50% advantage over similar traditional roles. According to the Financial Times, who interviewed a recruiter based in London, even cryptocurrency hobbyists could get a job in the industry, and $137K to $273K a year is the norm for non-programmer jobs, while blockchain programmers can get paid up to $337K per year.
JPMorgan CEO called bitcoin “worthless” in October, and fraud in 2017. Later, he said he’d follow his clients, despite his own opinion.
The irony of banks trying to attract the “bankless”
There is an irony in banks trying to attract the best crypto talent. They operate within a stringent regulatory framework that crypto-enthusiasts typically would want to avoid, as one of the core tenets of cryptocurrency is decentralization, where power is not vested with a single intermediary, and where control is retained over one’s own money. According to Elsie Brown-Russell of Grayscale Investments, crypto also gives one a chance to own a stake in something.
By flipping the equation around, banks are looking to incorporate crypto offerings into a framework that already exists, in order not to lose clients. No doubt, global acceptance and rising client interest have slowly chipped away at the resistance that banks initially offered.
According to Alkesh Shah, who runs Bank of America’s crypto research team, they are looking for new researchers. JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs have started offering crypto-futures trading, and Mastercard and Visa are partnering with crypto firms to offer vendor-insensitive crypto rewards for purchases.
Government cooperation will be crucial for banks
Government cooperation is key in getting banks on board the crypto train. For example, in China’s recent crackdown, banks were the first victims of a ban on transactions, before the ban stretched to all crypto transactions. It has become clear that the USA does not intend to ban cryptocurrency outright, but regulate it. According to SEC chair Gary Gensler, regulation will bring stability to the cryptocurrency industry.
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