The cryptocurrency industry in India is ramping up hiring on the back of increased interest from venture capitalists and growing funding. Hiring consultancy with Specialist staffing company Xpheno estimates that the crypto and blockchain industry has over 10,000 active job openings in India, amounting to nearly 5% of all active tech white-collar jobs in India, in its August 2021 report.
Mumbai, Gurugram, and Bengaluru are the hotspots for these jobs, with nearly 60% of active openings coming from these locations. These domains include information technology products, banking and financial services, payment and gateway, digital wallets, the big four, global consulting firms, among other software services.
“The increased adoption of digital platforms for payment, ecommerce and logistics has created a queue of IT Products, Fintech, BFSI, eCommerce and Wallet solution employers seeking specialist crypto skillsets in the market,” Xpheno said in its Crypto Skills report.
Further, cryptocurrency exchanges in India are planning to hire at least 500 new employees in the near term. Executives from top exchanges, inluding Unocoin, WazirX, ZebPay, CoinDCX, ZebPay, and CoinSwitch Kuber all said that they have aggressive hiring plans this year, as they chart their growth in both user acquisition and product development terms.
While Mumbai-based WazirX’s job portal currently displays eight opening only, the startup hired over 40 fulltime employees over July and August, founder and CEO, Nischal Shetty, told, TechCircle. The company is now nearing an employee base of 200, more than doubling the number of employees the company had last year.
“It's looking like there is a huge influx of new people into this industry who are now taking the bet and have put their first foot forward, which was not so till even end of last year,” said Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO of Unocoin, one of the oldest crypto firms in India. “Now that it is all about the growth for the industry, we will obviously start seeing lot of people hiring the growth hackers, analysts, customer experience designers, people who could engage their customers and prospective customers through social media and influencers, all of that,” he added.
Unocoin is looking to expand too. The company wants to hire marketing leads, growth hackers, user acquisition channel experts, business analysts, apart from various technology focused roles, it aims to expand from 45 to 65 employees by November.
Further, Vishawanath said the company is always for blockchain developers, and front-end developers skilled in a programming language called React. In the next six months or so, Unocoin also aims to up its brand recognition and recall game by opening up newer roles. Over 25% of the company’s monthly burn will come from new hires.
Vishwanath noted that while it is tough to get crypto talent as it is still a growing industry with not enough talent on ground, for most of roles, tech and growth teams from other fintech companies works fine with a small learning curve. “The skill sets depend on the tech stacks being used by the company. It would be like Node, or Ruby, or Laravel.”
According to an engineer who requested anonymity, many blockchain firms are struggling to hire in India, because they require engineers specialized in programming languages like Rust, which aren’t very popular in the country yet.
Another exchange, ZebPay, is looking to hire 100 more engineers and currently houses a total of 200 employees. The Singapore headquartered company has nearly tripled its headcount over the last 12 months and is now looking at this number doubling up in the next six to nine months, also across business functions such as marketing, customer operations and trade.
“There are some specialised skill sets specific to crypto mainly in blockchain development like smart contract development, understanding of cryptography etc where skilled talent is in shortage. More than anything it's because of the fact that blockchain has been around for only more than a decade and it's still not mainstream specialization in engineering schools,” Geetika Mehta, chief human resource (HR) officer at ZebPay, told TechCircle.
Specific languages used to build Decentralized Apps (DApps), like Solidity , Haskell or custom languages designed specifically for creating applications on a given blockchain, and knowledge of cryptographic protocols, public key cryptography, elliptic curve signatures, cryptographic hashing and Merkle proofs, are also required skill sets as per Mehta.
“There are sizable openings for developers in smart contracts, cybersecurity, cryptography, data analysis, financial compliances, and web development, along with many other sectors that form the fulcrum of cryptocurrency exchanges. As an exchange, we are always in search of talent from other skilled fields such as data analytics, cybersecurity, and UI interface development,” said Mudita Chauhan, Head of HR at CoinDCX.
Three-year-old CoinDCX, which became India’s first crypto unicorn with a $90 million fundraise last month, plans to hire 100 employees by December. It now employs 200 individuals, one-fourth of whom are in the product and design team.
Lastly, another of the top four exchanges in India, CoinSwitch Kuber, had said in July that it expected to double its headcount to over 300 by January. Co-founder and CEO Ashish Singhal told TechCircle that the company has already doubled its team since June this year and will double again in the next 6 months. It currently has 290 employees.