Wroclaw, Poland - MAY 20, 2020: Revolut debit card with padlock, security concept. Revolut Ltd is a UK financial technology company that offers banking services. — Photo

UK fintech unicorn Revolut on hiring spree for digital assets division

At a time when massive layoffs have hit the tech industry as startup funding slows down, the U.K.’s largest unicorn is bucking the trend and going on a hiring spree. Revolut is increasing its headcount by 20%, including in its digital assets division which has continued to grow despite the overall market slump.

Revolut, which started as a currency exchange and payments company before expanding into other financial services, will be hiring in Europe and the U.S. over the next six months, Bloomberg reports. The hiring comes at a time when many of the world’s largest startups have laid off thousands of employees or announced hiring freezes. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), TikTok, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Twitter (NASDAQ: TWTR), Shopify, and more have all announced layoffs. Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN), BlockFi, Gemini, Crypto.com, Bitpanda, 
Robinhood (NASDAQ: HOOD), and more have axed thousands of workers in the digital assets industry.

Revolut is the outlier. So far this year, it has hired 43 people in its digital assets division, tripling its headcount from last year. And it’s not about to stop, with Bloomberg reporting that it’s currently advertising blockchain-related roles in compliance and financial crime prevention, software engineering, and the legal sector.

Emil Urmanshin, the fintech’s digital asset general manager says that the company will keep up its hiring, telling the outlet that they “see crypto as a long-term play and remain bullish on the crypto industry.”

He further revealed that digital assets account for 5%-10% of the company’s revenue. According to figures it released a year ago, the company generated $361 million in revenue in 2020, with $54 million being from its digital asset division. At the time, it was holding digital assets on its balance sheet but has since liquidated them.

And while its other financial services took a hit during the pandemic, its digital assets business surged. Urmanshin revealed that the number of U.K. customers trading these assets surged by 290% between July 2020 and July 2021. Their trading volume increased by over 800%. 

Once the lockdowns were eased, the business slowed down, but even then, Revolut still recorded a 30% rise between July 2021 and July 2022.

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

While its digital assets business continues to grow, Revolut has yet to get a license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Currently, it’s on the FCA’s temporary register, the only firm still on this list from the 11 that had applied for a VASP license. The other 10 have either been granted a license or denied one. 

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