Hong Kong’s Crypto License Frenzy Fails to Create Jobs

Despite the anticipation surrounding the entry of crypto businesses in Hong Kong, job opportunities in the sector remain limited.
Hong Kong's Crypto License Frenzy Fails to Create Jobs

Crypto firms’ entrance into Hong Kong has been highly anticipated, but it seems that it hasn’t translated into significant job opportunities yet, according to recruitment executives. Despite the interest from 150 companies lining up for a local crypto license on June 1, the industry’s recruitment needs remain minimal. 

Remarkably, Hong Kong’s Web3 Firms reportedly spent up to $25 million to secure one of these Millions for Crypto License.

Exchanges expressing interest in Hong Kong are not generating substantial job opportunities, as stated by Sue Wei, Managing Director of recruitment firm Hays. The crypto market downturn, along with its volatility and widespread layoffs, has made professionals hesitant to join crypto companies due to the perceived instability of the industry.

Neil Dundon, founder of crypto recruiting agency Cryptorecruit, also commented on the current state of the industry. He noted that although regulatory rules have evolved, venture activity remains exceptionally low.

Dundon expressed optimism, expecting the market to recover soon and job opportunities to increase accordingly.

Kevin Gibson, founder of Proof of Search, expects a surge of crypto talent in Hong Kong within the next six months, as companies await license approvals. However, due to the departure of specialists and a predicted “talent squeeze,” Web3 businesses might consider relocating their headquarters to crypto-friendly jurisdictions if circumstances align.

Hong Kong’s recent demographic data shows a negative population growth rate since 2020. Employment statistics for the first quarter of 2023 indicate a 38% growth in job openings compared to the same period last year. 

However, the main challenge lies in attracting candidates with a genuine interest in the crypto and fintech sectors, as many professionals remain risk-averse due to the prevailing market sentiment.

On the other hand, Neil Tan, Chair of the Hong Kong FinTech Association, shared his encounters with individuals who have recently transitioned from traditional finance (TradFi) to the crypto industry. 

However, experts predict a gradual increase in opportunities as regulatory clarity improves and market conditions stabilize, potentially leading to a surge in crypto talent by 2024.

Also Read: Cyberport Attracts 150 Web3 Firms in Hong Kong

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