If you think working a six-day week in an investment bank is excruciating, you may feel that you don't want to work in the crypto space. Unlike traditional markets, crypto exchanges never close: crypto market makers are open seven days a week.
Individual market makers approach the resulting problem of weekend work differently. At GSR, the market making firm hiring 100 people every six months, there's a specific team of quant traders who work Thursdays to Sundays in London's Mayfair, including some who only work the weekend itself.
"We have a global team that includes the coverage of weekends," says Michael Bressler, the LA-based global head of sales at GSR who joined from JPMorgan last year. "In crypto, the weekend can pose a challenge for firms given that crypto markets are open 24/7," adds Bressler. "Having appropriate staffing for all seven days of the week can be difficult, so one way to approach the problem is by having a team of people always available on the weekend, and only on the weekend. This in turn allows for weekday trading teams to have the necessary, deserved time off while still ensuring clients are met with the same quality of service they receive during the work week."
If you want a weekend job in crypto, therefore, GSR is possibly for you. Rival crypto market makers take a different approach. "We have permanent people who work throughout the week and then flex," says Simon Heinrich, CIO and group head of technology at market maker B2C2. "Some of our people will work less during the week and then work weekends, or start late and then finish late." Heinrich says the firm keeps an eye on how many hours its people are working overall.
Weekend work in crypto doesn't just apply to traders. Around 50% of B2C2's staff are in technology, and they will sometimes cover weekends too. "We offer everyone time off in lieu," says Heinrich.
Although crypto markets are open 24/7 365 days a year, Heinrich says the hours at B2C2 are no more or less than at an investment bank or hedge fund. Carson Boneck, chief data officer at hedge fund Balyasny said last week that people at the fund 'bust their butts' and that the founders are always working. 24/7 crypto market makers could be less demanding by comparison: "People don't work excessively. When the market is crazy, people do longer hours, but they're happy with that," says Heinrich, adding that different B2C2 offices cover different time zones.
Having an employer that trades non-stop is actually an advantage, Heinrich argues: "You can make money all the time, instead of 80% of the time."
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