The rise in crypto hacks in 2022 has resulted in a surge in sales for blockchain security specialists, with some auditors earning up to $430,000 per year.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, blockchain recruitment firm CryptoRecruit founder Neil Dundon stated that while security audit services have long been in demand. The growth of decentralized-finance protocols has finally opened possibilities for auditors to review highly vulnerable smart contracts.
"There has always been a demand for security auditors [...] But since DeFi apps have been available, there has been a significant increase in demand for security audits across the space. A minor flaw in the protocol can potentially result in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars."
According to a Chainalysis report released earlier this month, hackers stole more than $2 billion from cross-chain bridge protocols this year alone.
In a Bloomberg report from August 22, CEO of decentralized lending service Morpho Labs Paul Frambot stated that crypto security audits have progressed from a "nice to have" business expense to a "must have."
"Security, in my viewpoint, is not taken seriously enough in DeFi," he said.
The rapid growth of crypto security auditors has resulted in a flood of "for hire" ads throughout the industry.
The job postings on Cryptocurrency Jobs blockchain audit firms primarily seek experienced programmers with blockchains, cybersecurity, and cryptography knowledge.
Although most security audit salaries range between $100,000 and $250,000, several companies are ready to pay up to $430,000 per year, according to Web3.careers job board.
Plexus Resource Solutions' Zeth Couceiro told Bloomberg that blockchain security auditors could earn up to $400,000 annually in some cases.
Couceiro said that these auditors typically earn 20% more than Solidity-focused developers, the most widely used programming language used to deploy smart contracts on Ethereum and other Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) suitable blockchains.
Timestamp dependency, reentrancy attacks, random number vulnerability, and spelling errors are among the top vulnerabilities that security auditors look for in smart contracts.
According to CB Insights, venture capital firms have already invested $257 million in crypto security audit companies this year, which is up 38.9% from all of 2021.