The Digital Asset Human Capital Trends Report was recently commissioned by the Blockchain Association, an organization of active industry participants who promote efforts related to innovation and the collaboration needed to support US leadership of the crypto-assets sector.
The companies included in the research sample were reportedly independent of the Blockchain Association’s existing membership base.
The cryptocurrency and blockchain sector expanded from a relatively small group of companies in 2016 to a fast-paced, high-growth, professional industry with more than 20,000 workers last year. Researchers found that the growth has been quite concentrated, with approximately 85% of blockchain industry professionals working for digital currency exchanges, application development companies, and crypto mining facility operators.
At present, there are 48 companies with 100 or more workers. The largest crypto and blockchain-focused employer is Huobi Global, a leading Asian exchange followed closely by two other digital asset trading platforms, Coinbase and OKEx. Around 46% of distributed ledger tech (DLT) industry firms with over 100 employees are exchanges.
Around 67% of the largest employers are based outside of the US. Meanwhile, two of the five largest employers are headquartered in the US. Coinbase is notably the largest firm in terms of the number of employees. Brooklyn, New York-based ConsenSys, a leading Ethereum development studio, is also a major blockchain industry employer.
Last year, Singapore managed to establish itself among the leading jurisdictions for firms with utility tokens. Approximately 40% of all projects that conducted a crypto token sale last year were headquartered in Singapore. This may be attributed to Singapore having adopted progressive business practices, and an innovation-friendly government. The 37 firms that released digital tokens last year reportedly secured over $160 million in capital from investors, most of which many were retail clients.
Many crypto firms have confirmed that regulatory uncertainty and pressure in the US has limited their ability to offer services to American consumers. Singapore is now well-positioned to gain market share and become a leading destination for hiring blockchain talent, attracting investment, and generating substantial revenue from the emerging sector if this trend continues.