Decrypt’s Art, Fashion, and Entertainment Hub.
The world of distributed ledgers runs on a distributed workforce—but their likely obsession with crypto doesn't extend to how they're paid.
Crypto fund Pantera Capital released a sweeping report on compensation in the Web3 ecosystem today, revealing some striking findings. Nearly 9 out of every ten digital asset workers are remote, for example, and that a meager 3% accept their salaries in cryptocurrency.
Surveying 1,600 respondents from 77 countries and across half a dozen sectors, Pantera’s investigative effort aims to bring transparency for workers in the crypto space–“making the transition easier for those interested,” said Nick Zurick, head of portfolio talent for Pantera.
For Zurick, the survey surfaced a lot of fascinating results. He said the number that stuck out the most was that 88% of the workforce are remote.
“It is common knowledge that the crypto space is very remote friendly,” he told Decrypt, but said that the team still found the magnitude of the figure “compelling.”
Workers, according to the survey, are distributed across the globe, although respondents were primarily based in the United States (35%), with Latin America (29.7%) coming in second, and Europe, the Middle East and Asia arriving tied for third (23.5%). APAC comes in last place, with 11.6%.
Another standout figure was the proportion of workers that are paid in crypto—although Zurick added that there is nuance to the story. One in every five respondents accepted payment in crypto via an initial token package, particularly in the executive realm of the industry, according to today’s report.
With this in mind, Zurick told Decrypt that the Pantera team wasn’t particularly surprised to find that only 3% of workers are paid their regular salaries in crypto–especially because early-stage career salaries are going to “routine expenses that can only be paid in fiat.”
When it comes to getting paid, the region in which companies are located has an overwhelming impact.
In North America, engineers are pocketing a median salary of $176,479, which showcases a “stark difference” compared to the rest of the world, Zurick pointed out.
The head of portfolio talent said that they “had anticipated a delta in the survey,” but that there is a $65,000 pay gap globally is impressive. The Latin American region, for example, offers an average $104,771 yearly income—although Zurick did predict that “due to the distributed nature of the ecosystem, these differences will begin to narrow.”
Blockchain engineers are also feeling the travails of the current bear market, according to Pantera’s report. Companies are focusing on gray hairs when making hires, which is supported by the numbers that indicate mid-level salaries are beginning to fall from last year.
That said, Pantera’s head of portfolio talent had some optimism to spare.
“The industry is seeing stronger and stronger talent entering the crypto workforce everyday,” he said, alluding to the roughly 21,300 developer jobs in the industry.
Zurick also has a positive outlook when asked about the current regulatory environment and how it is affecting crypto. He highlighted the industry’s recent wins, referring to Ripple’s favorable ruling that XRP is not a security and Grayscale’s favorable court sentence with regards to its spot Bitcoin ETF.
“These decisions can be seen as positive developments for the industry, and we are optimistic on how this could support growth in the industry,” he concluded, hoping for “more jobs and higher salaries.”