The crypto realm has been navigating through tumultuous waters, facing setbacks like the downfall of FTX, accusations of deceit, and the decline of other prominent entities.
Such challenges have amplified the demand for legal and compliance specialists in the cryptocurrency domain. This surge in demand arises mainly from intensified regulatory oversight coupled with the industry’s diminishing public perception.
Recruiting adept compliance professionals has proven to be a challenge for crypto companies, given the reputation and financial hits the sector has sustained recently.
Yet, the insights and skills these experts offer have the potential to be instrumental in mending the industry’s tarnished image.
Jorge Pesok, in charge of recruiting legal personnel at the nonprofit HBAR Foundation, commented to The Wall Street Journal, “The industry currently bears a significant stigma.”
He added, “Potential candidates exhibit increased hesitation, mulling over their long-term career trajectories and evaluating the prudence of such a move, especially given that some individuals have suffered setbacks.”
Historically, cryptocurrency companies have managed to lure legal and compliance professionals with lucrative salary packages, enticing benefits like equity stakes, and the chance to craft and steer compliance initiatives from the ground up.
But, the recent downturn in the crypto market has noticeably weakened the industry’s allure for top-tier talent.
Legal Professionals Hesitant to Enter Crypto
Many experts, initially enticed by the prospects within the crypto sector, are now reconsidering their options or are gravitating back towards stable roles in consulting or conventional finance sectors.
Recent developments, like the staff reductions at Coinbase and the insolvencies of prominent crypto entities such as BlockFi and Celsius Network, have cooled the once-rising enthusiasm for the crypto realm.
This backdrop makes hiring for compliance roles all the more daunting. Candidates frequently lean towards openings in established financial entities, wary of the turbulent reputation associated with the crypto sphere.
Carolina Ceballos, the Chief Compliance Officer at the blockchain infrastructure firm Paxos Trust, conceded the hurdles in attracting compliance talent, even with a broader talent pool resulting from job cuts in peer organizations.
Speaking to the WSJ, Ceballos mentioned that Paxos emphasizes a regulatory-centric model for compliance and relies on its dedication to superior standards to lure potential hires.
On a similar note, Cathy Yoon, seasoned in various legal capacities within the crypto domain since 2017, observed that there remains an interest in joining or staying in the industry in spite of recent workforce reductions.
Yet, in light of last year’s financial collapses and controversies, candidates are placing a heightened emphasis on enduring stability when considering opportunities. They’ve become more judicious, prioritizing their long-term security.
Consequently, to circumvent potential pitfalls, job seekers are now investing more time and effort in vetting companies before formally committing to positions.
They’re inquiring deeply into our internal approval systems, financial supervision, and the company’s overall solidity.
Traditional fintech companies have been actively recruiting, trying to fill open positions and attract talent from the crypto industry. However, it’s anticipated that the rate of hiring for crypto compliance roles will surge in the upcoming months.
“Over the past nine months, regulatory challenges have persisted. As a result, compliance has become increasingly crucial for many projects, leading to more recruitment in this area,” Brown commented.
He further mentioned that recent regulatory measures against crypto enterprises, like Ripple Labs and Coinbase, “reinforce the idea that continuous hiring in these areas is essential.”