DeFi engineers' earnings are on the rise despite crypto winter

The lucrative compensation packages in the sector are a direct consequence of a shortage of specialized talent.

DeFi engineers' earnings are on the rise despite crypto winter
Design by Ifeoluwa Awowoye for Mariblock

The crypto space has witnessed a tumultuous time over the past year marked by significant ups and downs. Market volatility, regulatory challenges, venture capital flight, and high-profile incidents, such as the collapse of major exchanges and the scrutiny on stablecoins, have tested the industry’s resilience.

Amidst these challenges, decentralized finance (DeFi) professionals have not only navigated the turbulent times but have also been rewarded handsomely for their efforts.

Quick facts

  • According to data released by London-based Durlston Partners, the scarcity of talents due to the specialized skill set required for the job has driven employers to offer increasingly enticing compensation packages to retain top talents.
  • Durlston Partners is a talent advisory firm specializing in the technology sector, including the blockchain industry.
  • The data showed that throughout 2021 and 2022, salaries in the DeFi sector stayed consistently between £100,000 ($126,695) to £125,000 ($158,369) on average each quarter.
  • Despite the bearish crypto markets in the last part of 2022, the average salaries jumped to as much as £142,500 ($180,541) in the same period.

Key quote

“The scarcity of DeFi talent, attributable to the highly specialized skillset required for the job, has resulted in a fiercely competitive landscape where employers are offering enticing compensation packages to attract and retain top talent,” Durlston said in a statement — reported by DLNews.

Be smart

  • The 2023 mid-year edition of Electric Capital’s “Developer Report” shows that nearly 50% fewer developers entered the blockchain space over the past year.
  • According to the 2022 full-year version of the report, the United States and Europe make up nearly 60% of all blockchain developers globally, while African developers account for only 3%.
  • Another study of software developers showed there are 26 million developers worldwide but only 700,000 in Africa.

Evolving work culture in DeFI

  • However, in moving away from the remote-first system prevalent in the crypto industry, some DeFi establishments insist that workers must work on-site.
“A couple of years ago, there was a lot of expectation that everything would be remote,” Meraj Bahram, managing partner at recruiting firm Durlston Partners, told DL News. “What we’re seeing at smaller firms is that they’re more likely to want to have their employees in the office full time.”
  • Bahram expects the rest of the year to continue to show salary growth, building on the momentum from the last quarter of 2022.

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