The Impact of Regulation and Its Effect on Crypto Employment

  • Posted: 18.08.23

Current state of crypto hiring

It’s hot, then it’s cold – the crypto market seems stuck in a perpetual motion machine. Every brief pause in the market is followed immediately by dramatic swings. Altcoins come, altcoins go, and only Bitcoin and Ethereum stay strong.

Even if the crypto market isn’t actually quite that volatile, it can certainly feel that way for workers in the sector. So what can you expect with the current state of crypto hiring? How is the ever-evolving world of crypto regulation impacting the crypto job market, and where will things go from here?

Here at Plexus, we obviously care deeply about what (and how) the crypto market is doing. Here’s our take on what the current regulatory framework means for the future of the sector, and for its employees.

Regulatory Framework

“Evolving” is the best way to sum up what’s happening with regulation for crypto assets.

The biggest ongoing flashpoint in crypto regulation is between the SEC and one of the industry’s biggest players, Binance. The Binance vs SEC lawsuit in the US (more properly the SEC vs. Binance, since the SEC started this whole mess) might eventually clarify what, exactly, a security is or isn’t – and just how much power the Securities and Exchanges Commission has to regulate things that look like securities.

But in the meantime, the lawsuit continues to keep everyone guessing. And it’s only one part of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s ongoing quest to bring the crypto sector to heel in the name of consumer protections. Gensler has also initiated lawsuits against Coinbase, and investigations continue against defunct exchanges like FTX.

The SEC crackdown put a damper on investor attitudes for a while. But while nervousness continues over how the fight will play out, other factors have played an arguably larger role in shaping the broader market. Everything from optimism surrounding the new world of AI-powered tools (and Sam Altman’s Worldcoin) to continued uncertainty over inflation seems to have influenced the larger market performance.

“At the market lows in early 2023 crypto was still an $800bn industry, and today sits comfortably back above $1tr again. Whilst market sentiment has flipped tentatively positive again, hiring sentiment is playing catch up.” – Shaun, Founder of Plexus

While the US is the largest crypto market, it isn’t the only one – and around the world, other crypto jurisdictions are arguably further down the road of defining and regulating digital currencies and other digital assets.

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Stablecoin regulation

Singapore set out a comparatively clear framework for stablecoins issued in the city-state, attempting to beat the SEC at its own game of bringing crypto “out of the shadows.” 

Unlike the SEC, the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) uses an incentive model. Only crypto assets that meet the framework will be able to claim to be MAS-regulated, and severe penalties will be issued to crypto firms that claim MAS approval without meeting the framework.

Regulation also hasn’t seemed to stop new players from pouring into the stablecoin space – witness Paypal’s recent splash with PayPal USD.

Regulation around the globe

In the UK, there’s at least one crypto-related sector that’s hiring. The National Crime Agency (NCA) is expanding its Complex Financial Crimes team – code for the crypto-focused side of its investigations.

In the meantime, Europe has developed into a fairly crypto-friendly theatre, albeit one with significant differences between, say, Estonia and Portugal. 

Market Sentiment and Hiring

Broader market sentiment

How has the broader market impacted crypto hiring?

Financial markets remain unsettled, but both crypto and traditional finance have avoided major meltdowns in recent months. While regulation appeared to kill some projects, others continue to gain momentum, and some have even staged surprising comebacks after legal victories (yes, we’re talking about Ripple and XRP).

What we’re seeing with crypto hiring is the sector’s maturation into a smaller but arguably more robust market. Legal developments grind slowly to a degree of clarity in most jurisdictions, with the EU and UK having recently passed landmark crypto regulation. And even the recent spate of lawsuits in the US promises to provide an answer to many of the lingering questions, whatever those answers may be.

The NFT world mirrors the broader crypto economy; smaller, but remarkably resilient. A handful of blue-chip projects and creators (hello, Yuga Labs and Frank DeGods!) are clear market leaders, while smaller projects come and go without much of a splash.

Crypto hiring trends

On the project side, the Wild West days are gone.

Graph of crypto jobs

Engineers dominate, demonstrating that the actual underlying blockchain technology is going nowhere. Developers remain in high demand. Education is a growing focus, reflected in a demand for product developers and people with market savvy to explain a raft of increasingly technical financial products, including emerging Bitcoin ETFs like the ones on offer from Valkyrie and Proshares. Researchers are also increasingly important, to stay on top of important projects and delve deep into on-chain data.

The boom in regulation has also led to a corresponding increase in regulation and compliance officers on crypto projects.

It’s true that the market downturn last year led to more jobseekers on the market, but we’re seeing an increasing number of talented workers with the experience and skills to help the market rebound and grow.

According to our team, there is now a focus on usability and the customer experience. Creating products that are user centric is key for wider adoption, with this, we’ve seen a need for more product focused roles. 

The Plexus Takeaway

Crypto is in a buyer’s market. There’s a growing pool of crypto users, but protocols and projects can’t assume that crowds of users will flock to their platforms. Users have to be earned – so employees who can help their companies demonstrate credibility and a superior product will be in the driver’s seat.

Need help with hiring the best talent onto your team? Check out our services and how we can help you grow!

Top 4 priorities for candidates joining a new team

  • Posted: 14.08.23

Attracting the best talent can be a difficult task especially in the current market. It’s not quite as simple as offering a normal base salary anymore, candidates are looking for more from their prospective employers.

Using insights from our global talent community, we’ve complied the top 4 priorities that candidates look for when joining a new company.

  • Career progression
  • Company culture
  • Equity in the business
  • Continued innovation

Let’s dive in and unpick these 4 priorities.

Career progression

Providing candidates with a clear path for career development and progression is key to attracting top talent.

Many candidates want to know what growth is available at a company, how this growth is facilitated e.g. learning & development programmes and how long it may take for them to reach their goals. By providing the opportunity for candidates to progress, you’ll not only create a better culture but also be able to retain your staff for longer.

In order to clearly communicate what progression is available for candidates, you’ll need to understand what jobs you’re hiring for, how those roles can progress within their own hierarchy and how long it could take to get from a junior to senior level.

Spend time putting together a clear plan, with key targets your candidate/employees need to hit so candidates understand what they need to do to progress.

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Company culture

We spend the majority of our time at work, so creating an enjoyable environment is important. And this doesn’t just mean having an active social life down the pub. It’s about creating more ways for the team to be included and feel valued.

Frist start by having a clear company value and mission statement, this way candidates know what you stand for as a business and if this aligns with their own values/thoughts.

Be transparent about what type of culture and benefits you’re offering, this could be anything from:

  • Working remotely or ability to work anywhere in the world
  • Learning and development opportunities
  • Share/equity options

Equity in the business

As Web3 continues to develop, candidates are becoming more interested in receiving equity and shares in the company they join. They want to be part of something they know will reward them for their longevity.

It creates ownership amongst employees as they now have a vested interest in the company.

Offering equity alongside the base salary will help you to secure the best candidate for the role you’re looking to hire for.

Continued innovation

Candidates don’t want to join a company that will remain stagnant, they want to be able to continually innovate and grow a product offering. Having a clear business and product roadmap for the next 3+ years will show perspective employees that you’re serious about the continue growth of the company.

If your company is continuing to innovate and grow, candidates will also be reassured that there is career progression for them as well.

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Final Thoughts

If you want to secure the best team to help your business grow, you need to be listening to what candidates are looking for. Be open about what opportunities from a personal and professional perspective that you can offer them.

Provide an environment that has flexibility, trust and innovation.


Need help with hiring the best talent onto your team? Check out our services and how we can help you grow!

The Evolution of Design in Crypto

  • Posted: 03.08.23

It’s no secret that the crypto world has been notoriously complicated to navigate in the past. Unless you’ve been apart of the space from its infancy, it can be a minefield to understand and use. As crypto, web3 and blockchain become more mainstream, people are slowly starting to realise its potential and want to be part of the action.

As the market is maturing there has been an evolution of design in crypto, which is helping to shape the visual identity of some of the top companies and lead the way for the development of the technology.

This evolution has seen an influx of companies putting the user experience at the forefront of design, making it easier for people to access and get involved.

Crypto’s design in the early days

Back in its infancy, when crypto technology wasn’t quite as developed as it is now, crypto’s interfaces were seen as complex and uninviting.

Think clunky wallets and awkward trading interfaces that made the whole user experience overly complicated.

This is to be expected in the early days of any new product or technology, as we’ve seen with Web2 over the years. But now that the crypto community has expanded, so has the importance of design – highlighting the need for UX, UI and product designers.

There is a large recognition that the crypto space needs to create more user-friendly experiences in order to expand the user base and create a place where it’s easy to understand and partake in crypto.

How has design changed the user experience

Web3 and crypto is here to transform the internet and financial infrastructure but without a good user experience, this is unlikely to happen. As new users enter the market, the interface needs to be sleek, clean, and easy to navigate.


Designers were faced with presenting complex financial mechanisms in a digestible manner. The idea is to ensure there are not many blockers for new users, so they are able to navigate the product easily, without confusion.

The easier the experience, the more users you’ll gain and keep.

To achieve this, designers have created clear visualisations, interactive dashboards and user-friendly tutorials, meaning that users can use the interface with confidence.

Companies like Aave and Loopring are great examples of how design as completely transformed their product and business.

Mobile Apps

The development of crypto apps has meant that products have become more accessible and convenient for users by giving them easy access at their fingertips.

Designers took complex concepts, such as private keys, blockchain technology and simplified them through clean layouts, streamlined processes and visual cues.

In general, designers tend to lean towards darker backgrounds with bold colours and graphics – a visual staple in the crypto/web3 space.

What is next for design in crypto?

As the crypto and web3 space continues to evolve, the future of design in crypto has great promise and will be at the forefront of innovation for more advanced businesses.

Designers will continue to make crypto more accessible, engaging and inclusive for everyday users by ensuring the user experience is always at the centre of product development, ensuring that UX and UI is taken seriously.

Over a short period of time, we have seen constant iterations and improvements in design for the crypto space, redefining how we interact with digital assets and financial systems. As the crypto space continues to develop, so will the role of design where blockchain will seamlessly integrate into our daily lives.

My predictions for the future?

Although still early on, I predict that AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) will continue to carve a space for immersive and interactive experiences in web3 – bridging the gap between physical and digital worlds.

By Jay Stiles, Consultant.

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