Wall Street leaders turned up their noses when Bitcoin exploded onto the scene more than a decade ago. Now they’re paying sweet premiums to crypto recruits, amassing an army of enthusiasts within the traditionally staid realm.
Some of the biggest banks and financial firms have added about 1,000 crypto-related roles since 2018, according to Revelio Labs, which collected the data by scraping LinkedIn. Among those hiring the most are JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which shored up their ranks as demand for the fast-developing virtual currencies ballooned.
The expansion of Wall Street’s legions traces an uncomfortable and at times testy relationship with the cryptocurrency. Banks had largely stayed away as Bitcoin prices rocketed to new heights and endured frequent crashes. JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon called it “worthless” in October after deeming it a fraud in 2017. But behind the scenes, growing global acceptance and client interest have eroded their resistance, leading firms to add research teams and trading desks — and, according to recruiters, offering compensation bumps of as much as 50% for comparable roles to lure talent.
The staff hunt appears to be gaining momentum at both banks and crypto companies.
“Even within the past week or two, we have been bombarded with headhunters who are looking for people to come and be crypto traders in everything from hedge funds all the way to larger banks,” Justin Schmidt, head of strategy at crypto-trading engineering startup Talos, who joined from Goldman Sachs, said last month.