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Revolut bulks up its crypto business with hiring push

Revolut Ltd. plans to increase its crypto headcount by 20% across Europe, the U.K. and U.S. over the next six months, a bright spot in the current digital-assets industry downturn and a rare sign of growth against the backdrop of a wider slowdown in hiring by tech firms.

The London-based fintech firm is currently advertising for 13 crypto-focused roles, including in compliance and financial crime prevention, as well as software engineers and professionals with crypto experience working in legal fields. The startup has already hired 43 crypto staff this year, tripling the team’s total headcount since July 2021. The company has more than 230 open positions across all its teams.

Nikolay Storonsky, chief executive of Revolut Ltd.

Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

“We see crypto as a long-term play and remain bullish on the crypto industry”, Emil Urmanshin, Revolut’s crypto general manager said, adding that the business currently accounts for about 5% to 10% of Revolut’s revenue globally.

Revolut’s push comes during a sustained slump in cryptocurrency prices, which has led to bankruptcies and layoffs across the sector. Coinbase Global slashed 1,100 jobs or about 18% of the workforce in June as the “crypto winter” set in. The job eliminations follow similar reductions across the sector, including at Bitpanda, Crypto.com, Gemini Trust and BlockFi. There have also been hiring slowdowns in big tech, including at Apple, Google and Twitter.

Crypto expansion

The hiring will help Revolut, one of Europe’s most well-known fintech startups, continue to expand its cryptocurrency offerings. The financial “superapp” company announced on Wednesday that it was adding 22 new tokens to its platform, bringing the total number of virtual currencies available to more than 80. The metaverse coin APE and two decentralized-finance tokens are among digital assets now available.

Launched in 2015, Revolut became popular with consumers in Europe for its easy-to-use app and connected debit card that allows users to spend different currencies at the interbank exchange rate with little or no fees. It has since expanded its range of products to include business checking accounts, stock trading, pet insurance and travel.

While Revolut’s flagship foreign exchange service took a hit during the COVID-19 outbreak, due to travel restrictions and lower spending, the company’s stock and crypto trading have boomed.

The number of U.K. customers buying cryptocurrencies increased by more than 290% between July 2020 and July 2021, while the number of transactions they made increased by over 800%, according to Revolut. Since lockdowns have lifted, the number of U.K. customers buying cryptocurrencies grew at a slower pace, increasing 30% between July 2021 and July 2022. The number of transactions during that period increased by over 50%, the firm said.

“Although there has been turmoil, interest in crypto assets has increased and we still have more customers trading crypto than during July 2021,” Urmanshin said.

Revolut, which has attracted more than 20 million customers since its launch, is the only crypto-asset firm left on the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority temporary register. The other 11 that were offered extensions have either been approved, rejected or have withdrawn from the list. Revolut is also still waiting for the FCA to give the final green light to its full banking license, a process that has already taken more than a year and a half.

— With assistance from Emily Nicolle and William Shaw.

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