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A war of wages is on for experts in crypto tech in India

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New Delhi: A war of wages is on for experts in cryptocurrency technologies such as blockchain, fuelled by demand from IT services companies serving global clients, consulting firms and fintech startups.

The demand for crypto-tech talent has soared over the last 8- 10 months in India, with the number of active job openings this month at more than 12,000—a 50% increase from a year earlier, according to a latest report by specialist staffing services firm Xpheno.

As crypto tech itself is just over a decade old, the number of experts in this domain is limited. This crunch in crypto talent is pushing the salaries to up to Rs 80 lakh per annum for those with 8-10 years of experience.

“Despite the 12-year life of the crypto domain, its mainstream visibility and talent-related attention is under a decade,” Xpheno cofounder Kamal Karanth said.

According to a report by IT industry body Nasscom and cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, there are 50,000 professionals working in the crypto-tech industry in India. “The way the domain is growing in India, we expect 30% more jobs to be created in coming months,” Nasscom senior vice president Sangeeta Gupta told ET.

Mostly, IT services companies serving global clients, consulting firms and startups are hiring crypto talent. The top skills they are looking for include blockchain, machine learning, security solutions, RippleX solutions, front-end (including ReactJs, VueJS and Typescript) and back-end (such as NodeJs, Python and Golang) skills, data analysis, and UX/UI.

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With more jobs chasing a small niche pool of accessible crypto-tech talent, the number of offers per candidate is on the rise. “Candidates negotiating with 4-5 offers in hand have become a common occurrence for the top tech skills,” said Karanth.

This is translating to a 30-60% shortage of talent supply in high demand skill sets. For certain niche skills in crypto, cybersecurity, data science, AR/VR and AI/ML, the gap has widened to as much as 50-70%, according to the Xpheno report.

While fresh talent awaits to be trained to increase supply, “the competition for current talent and the resultant war of wages will continue for the next two years”, said Karanth.

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The active job count of 12,000 currently recorded in the crypto domain includes jobs published, refreshed and accepting applications over the last 30 days. The total count of openings, which include jobs that are active beyond the 30-day cut-off, is nearly two-and-a-half times the active count, according to the Xpheno report.

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