US Still ‘Center of Gravity’ for Crypto Industry, Says K33 Research

USA flag as the center of universe with crypto coins as planets.

K33 Research, a division of the crypto brokerage firm by the same name, found that 30% of all crypto workers reside in the U.S., according to a new jobs report. And Andrews Helseth, vice president of K33 Research, said he expects it to stay that way.

The report starts by sketching out the industry, which K33 says is comprised of 10,000 companies, employing 190,000 people, and has a valuation of $190 billion. Unsurprisingly, exchanges and brokerages employ the majority of those workers—approximately 60%, or 62,400 people.

The next largest segment is financial services, with 48,500 jobs. The third place spot goes to blockchain analytics and mining firms registering nearly 40,000 employees. And last but not least are NFTs and gaming with 12,000 jobs. An “other” category is assigned 24,800 jobs, landing in fourth place.

“There’s such a large number of firms who have between 5 and 15 employees,” Anders Helseth, vice president at K33 Research, told Decrypt. He said the number of people who work at those smaller crypto companies is striking.

The report found that the Asia and Australia regions account for roughly 35% of the global crypto workforce. Leading the charge is, surprisingly, India. It has a 20% stronghold on the job market, overtaking China. Most likely due to the country’s low salary requirements and strong competence, says K33.

Despite recent regulatory turmoil, the research firm found that 30% of the industry’s workers are based in the U.S.—the highest headcount for any single country.

“My best guess is that the crypto industry will continue to be U.S. centric,” says Helseth. He thinks the regulatory whirlwinds will provide “some pain in the short term,” but due to the tech knowledge and funding access, the country will continue to be “a center of gravity for the crypto industry.”

The K33 vice president was also surprised at the heavy traditional players like BlackRock entering the space so decisively at a moment of sluggish market activity.

Crypto-friendly jurisdictions–Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE, and Switzerland–benefit from their clear rules and regulations, and command double digit employee numbers in their respective regions. A caveat, says Anders, is that companies are more likely to locate in these nations, but not necessarily their employees.

Roughly 4% of the industry’s workforce lives in Africa, with Nigeria and South Africa as its major hubs. Helseth is bullish on Africa–he told Decrypt that “it is very promising with high economic growth and young populations.”

Europe has taken decisive steps to become an important crypto player. The continent approved its landmark MiCA framework, and according to K33 accounts for 24% of crypto jobs globally. Interestingly, however, is that the United Kingdom—which is no longer a member of the EU—is the number one job market, with 13,000 positions.

Last but not least, is Latin America. Known for Argentina and Venezuela with ravaging hyperinflation, the region has a 4% market share. Which translates into 8,400 jobs–with Brazil leading the list. K33 reports that its crypto industry correlates with its economy size.

Where is the industry heading? Helseth concluded: “It will go where demand goes.”