Variant and USV Survey shows Crypto Hires’ receiving Equity 

A new survey shows that in 2023, new hires were thrice more likely to acquire equity compared to tokens. Engineers get better pay compared to their in-house co-workers and professional peers not working in crypto.

A new survey by venture capital companies Variant and Union Square Ventures shows that new crypto hires are highly likely to acquire equity compared to tokens.

To better comprehend the patterns that might have cropped up this year, which has been considerably affected by a market dip, the companies surveyed firms owned by their investment portfolios.

Based on input acquired by talking to 32 web3 startup workers, the findings revealed a pattern of job-associated takeaways. They included most respondents claiming the bear market failed to affect employment plans, firms’ employees are becoming more diversified geographically, and engineers lead headcount and have better compensation compared to others.

Despite the two firms’ survey illustrating a reasonably positive picture, a majority of crypto companies dismissed several employees this year.

Equity Compensation Acquires Acceptance

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Major blockchain firms, such as Dapper Labs, Coinbase, Chainalysis, and OpenSea, dismissed employees. However, the companies’ report shows that this year’s hiring and compensation front was not all bad.

The survey’s co-authors Calder Zwerling, Tom Dils, and Matt Cynamon noted that according to the data, crypto firms did not spend the year lamenting about the bear market.

Instead, they have utilized market restrictions to decentralize their activities, test new compensation structures, and improve their engineers’ ranks.

Variant and USV’s survey shows that different from the past, when crypto firms preferred compensating workers using tokens rather than equity, the opposite is true.

Additionally, the report noted that this year, new hires were thrice more likely to acquire equity compared to tokens. Between 2013 and 2018, workers got token compensation, while equity compensation was absent.

Despite the venture capital firms failing to explain the new compensation strategy as a trend, the survey highlighted the change as considerable. The report said that despite it being too soon to consider this a trend, the information indicates that startups are testing new intensive methods that might not fully depend on tokens compared to earlier crypto market cycles.

Competition and Pay

According to the survey, nearly half of the respondents claimed they compete almost completely with the rest of the crypto startups for new hires. Besides, 25 revealed they compete mainly with web2 firms. This indicates that during a bear market, recruitment within web3 is easier compared to attracting first-timers to be part of the crypto space.

Not astonishingly, amid crypto’s quick development and integration, engineers lead the headcount at the surveyed startups, comprising half the staff. In addition, engineers tend to have better pay compared to their in-house counterparts and professional peers not working in crypto.

The survey showed that senior-level web3 engineers get a 23% premium, while early-career ones get 27% more compared to their general market counterparts. The venture capital firms also established that in comparison to engineering staff, startups have lesser sales and marketing experts.

The relative absence of sales-concentrated roles indicates that web3 remains in its early building stage.

Startup Seek Remote Workforce

The report noted that despite 70% of the surveyed startups’ headquarters being in the United States, more than 50% of the workers are outside the nation.

Firms keeping workforce outside of the United States is typical in crypto. However, the survey established that the scope of geographic disbursement has risen in the past few years. 56% of ‘workers hired in 2020 or before are in the United States. However, for those hired between 2021 and 2023, the number reduced to 46%.

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