The chief cryptographer at blockchain startup Ripple, David Schwartz, told the Wall Street Journal that one of the developers on his team got offered two USD 1 million signing bonus offers, one from a cryptocurrency startup, the other from a large technology company with a blockchain initiative. In his opinion, pay packages for cryptocurrency talent “have gotten insane.”
According to a social network LinkedIn, this year through mid-May, some 4,500 job openings with the terms “blockchain,” “bitcoin” or “cryptocurrency” in the title were posted on the platform — 151% the amount of the entirety of 2017. For reference, only 645 such jobs were posted throughout 2016.
“There’s an overeagerness,” on the part of recruiters, Elliot Lee, a senior software engineer at Ripple, told the WSJ. According to Alex Ferrara, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, which invests in crypto funds, this overeagerness is hurting product development: “I do think it’s impacting the pace of development. A lot of these projects are way behind on their launch schedules.”
Blockchain developers with three to five years of hands-on experience are making half a million dollars, according to Katheryn Griffith Hill, lead recruiter at recruiting firm Blockchain Developers, while those who are only starting out are salaried at well above USD 120,000.
Ripple’s Schwarz blames initial coin offerings (ICOs): “ICOs dumped a bunch of money on the industry,” in a way that “devalued money” in a labor marketplace so flooded with cash.
The money may be devalued within the industry, but for everyday purposes, it is the same as ever — and the fact is, blockchain experts are living the dream right now.