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Soaring pay in DeFi comes with a catch — workers have to go back to the office

Soaring pay in DeFi comes with a catch — workers have to go back to the office

London recruitment firm Durlston Partners found DeFi pay is surging, but bosses are making workers come in the office. CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Shutterstock

  • A survey from recruitment firm Durlston Partners found compensation among DeFi engineers is rising.
  • A managing partner at the firm said in a surprise shift, more firms are making DeFi workers come into the office.
  • The trend, common among traditional finance and crypto firms, is now “creeping into DeFi.”

Crypto businesses are paying their engineers more than ever. But some of those hefty salaries come with a catch: workers must go to the office.

“A couple of years ago, there was a lot of expectation that everything would be remote,” Meraj Bahram, managing partner at recruiting firm Durlston Partners, told DL News. “What we’re seeing at smaller firms is that they’re more likely to want to have their employees in the office full time.”

‘We’re seeing some firms that say, “Come and prove yourself first, then we’ll afford you flexibility.”'

—  Meraj Bahram, Durlston Partners

Bahram’s comments come as his London-based company released a study that found compensation for top-flight talent is soaring.

Durlston surveyed crypto companies and investors, analysed job openings, and interviewed industry experts to determine how compensation and other aspects of life as a crypto engineer have changed during the bear market.

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After a two-year period in which annual salaries hovered between £100,000 and £125,000, compensation for crypto engineers jumped to more than £140,000 at the end of 2022, Durlston found.

Although a series of multibillion-dollar scandals rocked the industry last year, the companies that remain have found those engineers “indispensable to the continuity of business,” according to Durlston. And those engineers are hard to find.

“The scarcity of DeFi talent, attributable to the highly specialised skillset required for the job, has resulted in a fiercely competitive landscape where employers are offering enticing compensation packages to attract and retain top talent,” Durlston said in a statement.

‘They want to make sure that they’re making money.’

But that compensation package is less likely to include the freedom to work from home — a fact that surprised Bahram.

“We’re seeing traders, front-office, technologists ― in the office four days a week, minimum,” he said. “Whereas the middle office and support staff are usually three days, minimum. We’re seeing some firms that say, ‘Come and prove yourself first, then we’ll afford you flexibility.’”

Although titans of traditional finance have quietly built up their crypto teams in recent months, they are not behind the industry’s increasing number of engineers working from the office.

NOW READ: Deutsche Bank, Citadel Securities signal the crypto land grab is accelerating

The trend started with crypto trading firms, according to Bahram, and is now “creeping into DeFi.”

“They want to make sure that they’re making money, and the best way that they can collaborate together is by being together.”

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