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Web3 Workers Outside the U.S. Prefer Payment In Crypto, Study Shows

Median Pay For a U.S. Crypto Engineer Is $150,000

Web3 Workers Outside the U.S. Prefer Payment In Crypto, Study Shows

Most crypto employees outside the United States are paid in stablecoins, according to a recent survey of one major venture capital firm’s portfolio companies. 

Framework Ventures manages $1.4B in assets and conducts a bi-annual survey of compensation at its 18 portfolio companies. While the sample size is small, the survey gives an insight into the labor market for Web3 talent.

Among companies with headquarters in the US, four out of five offer USD as the “primary payment option,” according to Framework, “often due to the convenience of using best-in-class payroll and employee benefits providers that are less likely to support stablecoins.”

Elsewhere, however, 56% of the companies surveyed offer stablecoins as the primary payment option, with nearly all offering payment in the dollar-pegged USD Coin (USDC). 

US employees command a premium, the study found. 

The median pay for a crypto engineer based in the US is $150,000, according to the study, Elsewhere, that figure is $125,000. 

The gap narrows for the best engineers, however. In the US and abroad, those in the top 25th percentile earn between $150,000 and $300,000. 

Crypto Engineers’ Compensation. Source: Framework Ventures

“Despite a massive influx of new engineers learning solidity, rust, or other languages, there is still a dearth of technical talent in crypto,” according to the study. 

Founders at Framework-funded companies pay themselves about as much as they do their engineers. Founders’ salaries at early-stage companies – a term the report did not define – are typically between $130,000 and $160,000; at later-stage companies, most took home between $175,000 and $225,000. 

The study shows that founders also hold a greater stake in their companies, however, “typically ~80% in the early days of a company and diluted to 30–50% in later rounds.”

Some teams have also created tokens as a form of equity payment, though teams based in the US were far less likely to have done so. More than a quarter of international companies, meanwhile, offer tokens to their employees. 

None of the companies surveyed required all employees to report to an office. 58% of companies were fully remote, with the remainder featuring some hybrid of in-office and remote work. 

The surveyed companies varied in size, with the smallest employing two people and the largest employing 80. The data was collected in March and June this year. 

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