Bloomberg has reported that in the U.K., skilled cybercrime officers are leaving the police force to work for crypto companies, mostly exchanges, where they can earn double or even triple the salary.
Crypto firms are poaching U.K. cybercrime cops with offers of double or triple pay https://t.co/7guHEh8md0— Bloomberg Crypto (@crypto) April 29, 2022
Cybercrime experts in high demand
According to the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), a body that represents all law enforcement departments in the country, experienced cybercrime officers are leaving a lot faster than members of the regular police force, and they are heading to cryptocurrency companies that are headhunting cybercrime experts.
The rate at which the police is losing them is 3-4 times higher than that of regular officer turnover.
So far, slightly over a dozen experts from the police (or with a background in law enforcement) are working for crypto companies, per NPCC. Over the coming 12-18 months, this figure is expected to see a substantial rise.
The chief of the NPCC cybercrime unit, Andrew Gould, told Bloomberg that this is creating a big problem as people's skills in cybersecurity are highly demanded at the moment. The private sector can offer them a triple salary compared to the law enforcement sector.
Coinbase, Binance lure them from the police force
Since 2018, around 250 experts in cybersecurity have been trained using government funding, taught how to investigate crimes related to cryptocurrencies, like hacks. Now, large crypto exchanges have begun to lure them with astronomical salaries. Among them are Coinbase, Binance and blockchain sleuth Chainalysis.
Since 2017-2018, exchanges have been feeling rising threats from hackers, and they are seeking to adjust to the new type of crypto regulation that is expected to arrive in the near future. They are, thus, in need of highly qualified experts in digital security.
Last week, Binance hired a former official from the U.K.'s FCA regulator (Finance Conduct Authority), appointing this person as Director of Regulatory Policy.
The NPCC's cybercrime chief Gould stated that while they do not prevent digital security experts from leaving for bigger salaries, they actually cannot afford to lose them after years of training.