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Anyone who has chosen to even casually follow the cryptocurrency marketplace is well aware that 2023 has already represented a red-letter year in many ways.

From the stagnation associated with some major tokens to rumors that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might finally recognize cryptos as tradable assets, we are all curious to know what the future may have in store. The only issue is that it can be nearly impossible to summarize the latest events so that they’re easily palatable for the average reader.

Crypto Lists has therefore taken the time to compile an in-depth analysis of the present situation (in particularly, the third quarter of 2023). Whether you’re a casual trader, you’re an experienced crypto veteran or you’re considering a first-time investment, the information outlined below will help to point you in the right direction. Let’s therefore begin without any further ado.

The Fundamentals

Before we move on to discuss the finer points, it’s wise to take a look at market fundamentals. Here are some crucial metrics and observations:

  • The global cryptocurrency market capitalization: €1.1 trillion.
  • Estimated number of cryptocurrency-related firms: over 10,000.
  • Number of employees directly related to crypto trading: approximately 190,000.
  • Valuation: €167 billion.

We can now see that the cryptocurrency sector as a whole is quite massive in size and market cap. However, this is only a single portion of a much larger and more complex picture. We’ll now move on to discuss different facets of the marketplace as well as their Q3 status.

Employment Within the Crypto Marketplace

In addition to the more than 190,000 positions mentioned in the previous section that are directly related to crypto assets, it is estimated that an additional 40,000 individuals are involved with projects that are somehow linked to the blockchain or the creation of relevant technologies. Furthermore, experts believe that 25,000 employees are located within sectors that have less tangible (but still important) tethers to the cryptocurrency marketplace.

Another interesting contemporary observation involves the growing prevalence of remote employment opportunities as well as hybrid workplaces. These factors have caused a bit of shift in terms of how cryptocurrency companies choose to operate.

Although this industry is still based out of the United States to a large extent, only 30 percent of the global workplace resides within its borders. This could also be due to issues such as regulations, cost of living and jurisdictional concerns.

For instance, nearly 66,000 workers are located within the Asia-Pacific region while Europe is home to just over 44,000 employees. While Africa and South America are lagging behind in Q3 2023, most analysts expect these regions to attract more workers in the not-so-distant future.

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A Closer Look at Crypto Companies and How They Choose to Operate

Most of us are already at least vaguely familiar with common firms related to the cryptocurrency marketplace such as online exchanges and e-wallets. However, Q3 2023 has also been defined by a number of niche enterprises. These can be broken down into a handful of categories including:

  • Market makers
  • Asset and wealth management
  • Crypto mining
  • Blockchain development
  • NFT and DeFi research
  • Research and Analytics (such as the team at Crypto Lists)
  • News and media outlets

It’s now becoming clear to appreciate why this sector currently employs well over 190,000 individuals. Let’s take a moment to examine each of these industries in slightly more detail.

Market Makers

Cryptocurrency market makers are individuals or companies that help to ensure a liquid marketplace. This primarily involves generating buy and sell orders as well as determining the buy and sell price of a specific asset. The main goals are to improve market efficiency, to reduce volatility and to manage risk.

Asset and Wealth Management

These companies are involved with handling the assts of other clients (both individuals and companies). They provide advice, actively monitor portfolios and are often involved with the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies themselves. Wealth managers are also useful thanks to the sheer amount of in-depth research that they are capable of performing. Common examples include Multicoin Capital, Pantera and Grayscale.

Crypto Mining

What goes on behind the scenes within the often confusing world of cryptocurrency mining? This niche sector involves validating active transactions and placing them within the blockchain. While somewhat technical in nature, a typical crypto mining platform will require a fair amount of computational power in order to solve crypto-related algorithms. Miners will then earn rewards in the form of a percentage of a newly minted token.

Blockchain Development

Blockchains can be thought of as the “workhorses” of the entire crypto ecosystem. Without this protocol, it would be all but impossible to buy and sell tokens. So, it only stands to reason that some “gurus” are involved with the maintenance and development of new and existing blockchains. These experts will analyze variables such as scalability, privacy, security, efficiency, mechanisms of consensus, and smart contracts.

DeFi and NFT Research

The main goal of DeFi (decentralized finance) systems involves creating a network that is able to embrace many traditional financial functions within a decentralized framework. Monitoring exchanges, creating decentralized applications (dApps) and overseeing NFT (non-fungible token) projects are some typical responsibilities.

Market Analytics

It pays to remain one step ahead of the ever-evolving crypto curve. This is when the power of research and analytics will come into play. As the majority of investors do not have the time to perform such tasks, teams of trained professionals can help to summarize important events. Examples include (but certainly aren’t limited to) price predictions, the release of a new altcoin, late-breaking news, examining specific cryptocurrency exchange platforms, and providing general advice. As you might have already guessed, Crypto Lists falls within this category.

News and Social Media

Similar to analytics, other firms specialize in presenting the latest crypto-related news to their audience base. These tend to be less technical in nature when compared to the information provided by dedicated market analysts and yet, the details are just as important. Such firms can also offer additional services such as guides for new traders, professional advice and educational content.

2023 and The Hybrid Approach to Cryptocurrency Workplaces

Similar to many other industries, the 2023 cryptocurrency marketplace has been partially defined by the increased prevalence of hybrid employment opportunities. This isn’t really a surprise when we consider the practicality of such a move. Companies can be headquartered in regions associated with crypto-friendly policies while still attracting talent from around the world. One prime example of this trend can be seen in crypto magnate Binance. Here’s a breakdown of where their workers are currently located:

  • Nigeria: 14 percent
  • United States: 11 percent
  • Singapore: 10 percent
  • India: 10 percent
  • Pakistan: 9 percent
  • The United Kingdom: 7 percent
  • Indonesia: 6 percent
  • Other regions: the remaining 54 percent

When considering the fact that Binance is physically located on the island of Malta, their ability to adopt a hybrid mindset becomes immediately clear. Not only is this convenient for the employees, but it’s also necessary when we remember that firms need to be able to provide 24/7 assistance to a global marketplace. Other firms are likewise following suit and learning to adopt remote work policies.

Global Cryptocurrency Market Statistics

It only stands to reason that the very same decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies had enabled these assets to enjoy a truly global presence (as mentioned previously). Having said this, there are still some important takeaway points to keep in mind as well as trends to appreciate.

At the time that this report was written, 55 percent of all cryptocurrency employees live within Europe and the United States. Asia likewise employs a sizable number of professionals. As cryptocurrencies first emerged within the United States, it is also perfectly logical to note that more than one-quarter (29 percent) of all crypto workers are based out of this country.

Still, this leaves an additional 71 percent that can be distributed throughout the world and within major economic hubs such as Europe and Asia. Let’s break these observations down into individual regions.

Asia and India

Asia has also experienced a significant amount of crypto-related growth in 2023 and some feel that this region could emerge as the next “powerhouse”; particularly if the United States Securities and Exchange Commission decides to adopt a rather dim stance on crypto trading or further tightens its regulations. Here’s a quick summary of Asian crypto employment distribution by country (in terms of percentages within the entire region):

  • India: 20 percent
  • China: 15 percent
  • Singapore: 10 percent
  • Hong Kong: 10 percent
  • South Korea: 5 percent
  • Indonesia: 5 percent

It’s interesting to note here that India has actually overtaken China in terms of crypto employment opportunities. This is partially due to a crypto-friendly domestic ecosystem as well as purely economic issues such as lower salary requirements.

When we take into account a growing population that’s already become technically oriented, it’s logical to assume that India will continue to represent a dominate force within the industry. This is also why well-known firms including CoinDCX and Polygon now call India their home. So, what’s happening to China?

China was always considered a strong environment for crypto-friendly projects due to a truly massive marketplace, a large derivatives sector and advanced fiscal architecture. This is why China was associated with firms such as Huobi and OKX in the not-so-distant past. Let’s also remember that China gobbled up no less than 53 percent of the global Bitcoin hash rate in 2020 alone.

Still, its government has taken a rather harsh stance in terms of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. This is one of the reasons why many domestic companies have chosen to look elsewhere for “greener pastures”; often choosing to relocate to other APAC regions. Examples such as Singapore and Hong Kong illustrate what the emerging cryptocurrency landscape might involve in the near future.

The United Kingdom and the European Union

While the Asia-Pacific region is a powerful cryptocurrency hub alongside the United States, we should not underestimate the role that the United Kingdom continues to play. in Q3 2023, the United Kingdom accounts for approximately 24 percent of global crypto employment (at just over 44,000 positions). The UK is an attractive location for investors and employees alike for several reasons including:

  • London is already a well-known financial hub.
  • The UK is attractive for institutional traders.
  • A post-Brexit environment has placed the UK in a position to create a regulatory framework independent of the European Union.
  • UK licensing is stringent; providing an attractive opportunity for firms wishing to offer their clients superior levels of transparency.

Outside of the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy and France comprise approximately 23 percent of total EU cryptocurrency employment. An additional reason why this region has seen significant growth in recent times involves the 2023 passage of the MiCA framework.

This essentially allows the European Economic Area to create a dedicated cross-country regulatory system. As MiCA protocols continue to be implemented, some analysts feel that firms from relatively restrictive regions such as the United States may relocate to the EU in order to ensure smooth ongoing operations. We’ll have to wait and see if this comes to pass.

North America

Of course, the United States and Canada continue to enjoy the lion’s share of cryptocurrency transactions within North America. Nearly 61,000 individuals between these two countries are employed within the crypto sector. Major firms include Coinbase, Kraken and Gemini.

Seven out of the 20 largest cryptocurrency firms are headquartered out of the United States and even workers who eventually choose to work in foreign jurisdictions tend to be initially based out of the United States.

While Canada doesn’t represent nearly as large of a market share, it’s still the eight-largest nation in terms of crypto employment. One of the reasons for this involves the fact that Canada is well ahead of the United States in terms of approving spot-based crypto ETF trading; an issue that has already bogged down many US-based firms such as Binance in recent times.

Let’s also remember that relatively relaxed cross-border employment policies signify that migrating from the United States to Canada for work-related purposes is quite straightforward.

South America

South America has come to represent a relatively attractive region for cryptocurrency firms due to its relative financial stability when compared to some other regions of the world. Brazil is leading the way in terms of large-scale cryptocurrency adoption thanks to its strong financial infrastructure as well as a willingness to recognize crypto-backed ETFs as well as a handful of stablecoins.

Argentina is yet another emerging marketplace within South America and yet, for entirely different reasons. This country has been gripped by internal financial instability and frustratingly high levels of inflation. Therefore, many of its citizens have begun looking towards cryptocurrencies as viable alternatives.

The only issue is that public mistrust extends to banks as well as domestic crypto exchanges. So, it’s not a surprise to learn that Argentine-based crypto enthusiasts will often look abroad for employment opportunities.

While the South American crypto sector is still developing, we should note that many firms are primarily associated with actions such as payment processing. Analysts feel that their concern involves facilitating cross-border transactions as well as enhancing trading efficiency.

Africa

Similar to South America, Africa is another emerging region that has already begun to attract skilled crypto employees. Nigeria is by far the most prolific employer; representing 77 percent of all workers throughout the continent (approximately 6,400 employees). South Africa is currently ranked in second place; boasting just over 1,000 crypto employees thanks to firms such as Luna.

Africa is also seen as a promising “breeding ground” for future cryptocurrency project due to the fact that its economic climate is similar to South America. In other words, factors such as relatively weak financial infrastructure, high inflation rates within some regions and a younger population that has begun to look abroad for employment are all attractive qualities for major firms.

These are the reasons why companies such as Binance look towards Africa when seeking out talented individuals (partially through the use of publicity campaigns such as sponsoring the African Cup of Nations).

Continued Regulatory Ambiguity in 2023

Now that we’ve taken an in-depth look at the state of crypto affairs from an employment standpoint, what other observations are relevant for Q3 2023 and the remainder of the year? Perhaps the most pertinent observation involves a relatively high level of uncertainty.

The global cryptocurrency marketplace is hardly a fan of uncertain conditions and if anything, 2023 has undoubtedly proved this point. Let’s also forget that the major fallout associated with the collapse of FTX and the Sam Bankman-Fried scenario still weighs heavily upon the minds of many investors.

We’ll then mention the fact that future regulatory actions are far from clear; especially in relation to the SEC and whether or not large-scale ETF spot trades are finally recognized.

As a result, many institutional traders are still hesitant to become involved with the blockchain until a greater sense of clarity emerges. This is particularly relevant when discussing major tokens such as BTC and ETH. The only real question is if and when this will take place.

Year-end BTC rally?

We should also point out that other global macroeconomic variables will inevitably come into play. It can be argued that the most important event of Q2 2023 was leaving interest rates unchanged in June.

This provided the short-term crypto markets with a slight boost; seen clearly when BTC values rallied from $25,000 to $30,000 dollars in less than a single week as a result. The main point here is that unchanged interest rates signalled that it wouldn’t cost more to borrow money; a clearly bullish scenario within any marketplace.

On a final note, global energy prices have fallen throughout Q3 2023. This is good news for tokens such as Bitcoin which rely upon proof-of-work blockchains. When electricity prices dip, crypto miners will not be forced to pay as much when delivering their services. This will help to boost crypto asset values while encouraging increased market liquidity.

An Industry Set for Continued Worldwide Prominence

So, what can we take away from all of the information outlined above? The first point involves the fact that while still relatively young, the cryptocurrency marketplace continues to represent one of the largest fiscal sectors on the planet.

We also need to highlight that emerging regions such as Africa, Asia and South America should continue to gain prominence within the crypto sector. This will open up additional employment opportunities and provide proactive companies with the ability to expand their ongoing services.

Let’s also remember that 2023 has been notable for the sheer number of new altcoins that have entered into the space, particularly meme coins. This clearly illustrates that investors are still embracing a bullish stance in relation to where the industry is headed from a long-term perspective.

However, the team at Crypto Lists always wants to provide a fair and balanced summary. While these Q3 2023 observations are impressive, other factors could still stymie forward momentum. The most relevant involves ongoing regulatory concerns and whether these will continue to spook institutional traders.

Note that this was only a brief overview of some of the most important cryptocurrency takeaway points for Q3 2023 and the near future. Please don’t hesitate to perform your own additional research and to keep up to date with Crypto Lists. We will always aim to point you in the right direction.

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