It all began in January of 2009 with a mysterious figure by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. It was at this point in time that the famous cryptocurrency Bitcoin came to fruition. This marked the start of a new era of currency; digital, decentralized currency to be exact.
Unlike the traditional form of currency, Bitcoin allows users to instantly transfer funds to one another across a huge network. Whether they are a few cities apart or in different countries, they are able to trade funds from anywhere in the world. The information behind transactions undergoes secure storage on thousands of different computers. This basically means that users are able to see every transaction that has ever been conducted.
Furthermore, it means that it is impossible to hide information on servers at the offices of major companies. Such companies include giants like Google and Facebook. Because of this, Bitcoin is incredibly difficult to hack and the information is therefore hard to steal.
We have blockchain technology to thank for this system.
In the most basic terms, blockchain is simply a chain consisting of numerous blocks. The “blocks” are chunks of digital information and the “chain” is the public database it resides on. To put simply, blockchains are a reliable method of storage and important information transfer.
Bitcoin’s overall function is easy to grasp: send funds from one user to another. With that in mind, the potential of this technology is boundless. Now the number of people that have Bitcoin jobs is skyrocketing.
Since the emergence of Bitcoin, there would be the launch of hundreds of other cryptocurrencies. What’s more, there would later be the formation of thousands of companies that provide their users with blockchain services. Digital money was the first use of blockchain tech that was successful. Nowadays, however, there are many others; in fact, there are too many to count.
With every new blog, exchange, or cryptocurrency, there comes the creation of brand new blockchain jobs. Moreover, with every new technical advancement, there are new sets of skills to teach and learn about.
There are a great number of places to create blockchain jobs that go beyond platforms like Ethereum, Coinbase, and BlockGeeks. As of this writing, it has been one decade following the invention of Bitcoin. After all these years, there aren’t that many industries that do not explore or develop new uses for blockchain.
Those who are hiring
To date, there are up to four major players within the crypto job market. They are startups, legacies, tech companies, and governments. So, how did the involvement of each of these players happen? On top of that, what are each of them doing with it?
1 – Startups
Startups are the independent businesses and products whose respective creations date back to the early days of Bitcoin. Since its invention to be exact. A notable platform, in this case, is AngelList, which holds records of over 1,500 crypto startups. In addition, these startups have raised over 3.7 billion in US dollars from ICOs in America alone.
For contextual purposes, ICO stands for ‘Initial Coin Offering’. They are the cryptocurrency space’s equivalent to an IPO (‘Initial Public Offering’) in the mainstream investment world. In essence, ICOs act as fundraisers, where new crypto businesses can try to raise funds without using more formal types of investment. Such types include stocks and bonds.
To learn more about ICOs, read “What is an ICO?”
Blockchain businessmen and crypto aficionados are the ones responsible for running startups. They took note of the importance of blockchain technology and were quick to involve themselves. They are actively creating platforms such as EOS, Monero, and Qtum. Not only that, but they also are creating exchanges like Bittrex, Kraken, and Binance.
Startups can be a variety of other things. They can also be news sites, wallet providers, blogs, and educational tools whose design supports blockchain projects. For a period of time, a majority of the jobs that startups were creating did not pay at all. However, that is changing they are now starting to pay exceptionally well.
2 – Legacies
Legacies are big companies whose existence has been ongoing for many years. Some notable examples of these companies are institutions like banks, law offices, and accountancy firms. They generally take a considerably long time to react to any technological developments pertaining to Bitcoin. They were witnesses to its continuous growth over the years and because of that, they are anxious. Should they fail to work out ways to utilize blockchain technology, then they could be put out of business.
Legacy companies are in possession of an abundance of money and power. Their reputations across the globe allow them to hire pretty much anyone they want. A good chunk of them are hiring entire teams of blockchain experts in order to help them remain on top with the technology. They know how lucrative blockchain can be and they want to cash in on it.
3 – Tech companies
Without a doubt, tech companies are the ones that have the most to lose from blockchain technology becoming widespread. These particular types of companies include Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Facebook. A large part of their success and power relies heavily on the centralized services that they provide. What is the likely outcome should the popularity of decentralized platforms continue to grow? It’s simple: users will no longer feel the need to use centralized networks. Because of this, tech firms have no choice but to adapt as quickly as possible.
In recent years, blockchain development has become a top priority for many. Many are starting to invest in projects which will eventually utilize blockchain technology to benefit their own businesses. Probably one of the biggest projects of this specific kind is Hyperledger. Hyperledger’s primary objective is to provide businesses with the tools they will need for the implementation of blockchain technology.
4 – Governments
There is so much potential with blockchain technology when it comes to cost-cutting. As a matter of fact, it is so huge that many national governments are now bringing crypto experts onboard to act as advisors. In Britain, a suggestion made by Sir Mark Walport claims that a blockchain could help handle student loan payments. In Estonia, blockchain technology is a tool that assists in making government agencies both fairer and much more efficient. There are some projects like e-Residency that are helping to make it the world’s first “digital nation.” Venezuela is a country that has gone the extra mile by creating its own cryptocurrency, Petro.
Those who are getting the jobs
We now know of the institutions that are responsible for the creation of new jobs. At this point, we will start getting into what exactly the jobs are and who is getting those positions. So, who are the people that these jobs are hiring?
To answer this, we must take the technology’s development into consideration. Even though it has been around for years, blockchain technology is still technically a new science. Moreover, it is constantly – not to mention quickly – changing. There is a wide variety of people that are being employed to do the jobs that this industry offers. A singular blockchain employee can come from pretty much any professional background. However, it is quite common – and easy – to separate them into two groups: the techies and the non-techies.
It doesn’t really matter which group you are part of. Regardless of where you find yourself fitting into, the blockchain is a new field that provides exciting opportunities.
These people are tech professionals and they include the likes of software developers and engineers. They have received training in the field of programming language. Such examples of these languages are Java, Python, and C++.
While some may have experience with crypto technology, it’s not out of the ordinary for most of them to not. For all the skills that techies have, cryptocurrency jobs are still a challenge for them. It would be smart for developers and engineers to become familiar with new coding languages. This is especially true if they want to acquire the best blockchain careers. Some examples of these new languages include Ethereum’s Solidity and the Ripple protocol
The jobs of blockchain developers are comparatively different. They typically require the engineers and developers to carry out tasks that they would not normally do. Blockchain projects will sometimes require them to research, design, and ultimately build a new platform. Furthermore, they will have to offer ideas for business and also plans for the future.
For all this technical talk and how much is said about techies’ importance, blockchains actually need more than technical support. Much like any business, blockchain projects need an array of different figures. Some of these include lawyers, accountants, public relations (PR), and marketers, among many others. Crypto Jobs List, a blockchain jobs site, advertises noticeable vacancies in various fields like marketing, community, and design.
Areas of growth
Blockchains are becoming a notable threat when it comes to the way a lot of industries work. For all the praise it receives, there are still some who are against it. If for no other reason than it is bringing many changes to the industry. While it would be easy to dismiss their criticisms as being fearful of inevitable change, their claims are not without some justification. The fear of the unknown is not uncommon, especially in this specific industry. There are so many risks pertaining to it already, so what’s to say that these changes won’t bring in more risks?
You cannot predict what will happen. However, the best thing you can do is adapt and hope.
Regardless of the changes blockchain technology inflicts upon the industry, job offers are still prevalent. Along with the requirement for adapting to blockchain technology, they are actively providing new roles for people with experience in those fields.
Below are a handful of the skill sets that will likely go on to become requirements in crypto. From this, you will see that the average blockchain employee is actually not all that average. At least, not in the way one may think when they hear the term “the average/standard/conventional blockchain employee.”
1 – Media
In order to achieve widespread adoption and popularity, the blockchain industry has to reach a wider audience. It makes sense to predict the rise of blockchain advertising agencies, PR firms, and media outlets in the years to come. There are some vloggers on the Youtube platform that are becoming a brand new breed of crypto journalists.
2 – Development of DApps
DApp stands for ‘decentralized application’. It is a relatively new concept that concerns the control of our online data. The key component in DApp’s explosive growth is the intent to build a system that is without a leader. This kind of system requires no use of a middleman and instead connects the users and providers directly. The use of a DApp allows an individual to publish something to the blockchain that another person cannot erase or edit. Not even the company responsible for the system’s creation can alter it.
To learn more about DApps, read “What is a DApp?”
Blockchain projects only have a chance of success by building decentralized applications that people want to use. The primary focus will be hiring software designers who are able to build DApps that will appeal to a mass market. By appealing to the masses, this will ensure a boost in the popularity of the projects.
3 – Legal compliance
With the many changes that come with the crypto world, so too are there many changes being made to laws surrounding the industry. All over the world, there are new laws that are being put in motion concerning the usage of cryptocurrencies. More specifically, how they are being used. By itself, the technology is capable of guiding legal contracts, specifically in the form of smart contracts. What this means is that law firms will need to have crypto experts onboard. Likewise, crypto businesses will need to have legal advisors.
4 – Logistics
The ability to store and transfer large amounts of information is, on its own, very impressive. However, when you think about the effect it could have on supply chains’ operations, it becomes all the more noteworthy. With this in mind, it could lead to big changes and new jobs in an array of other fields. These include – to name a few – farming, heavy industry, and international trade.
5 – Trading and/or Sales
The stock market has been subject to massive growth during the 1980s. Even now, the coin market is continuing to grow at an even faster rate. Coin exchanges typically deal with tens of millions of crypto trades per day. The people they need for their operation are asset managers, crypto brokers, analysts, and ICO advisors.
What does a developer earn?
You cannot hire a developer without, of course, promising to pay them for their contributions. As is the case with other jobs, those looking to apply for them won’t do so until they find one with an appealing enough pay rate. For this section, we need to go back to the four main players from earlier. How much are they willing to pay the blockchain developers they hire?
On the whole, what a blockchain developer earns will ultimately depend on their level of experience. Moreover, it also depends on where they decide to work.
1 – Startup earnings
Startups are incredibly attractive to some of the best talents in blockchain technology. While they provide a lot of responsibility, they also offer an exceptional amount of freedom.
With that said, they do not offer the highest wages. The average salary per year for a blockchain developer that lacks experience is roughly 50,000 in US dollars. This yearly salary can go up to 70,000 USD if the developer has five or more years of experience. There are a good number of startups that offer their staff equity in the company. This is a bonus that, most of the time, is not found elsewhere.
2 – Legacy and tech firm earnings
It is without question that both legacies and tech firms offer the best salaries in the business. Entry-level salaries can go up to 70,000-80,000 in US dollars. Following a five year period in the trade, salaries can exceed 100,000-120,000 USD. When you compare it to other salaries in the industry, it is quite appealing.
Mike Schade is the VP for People and Culture IBM. He believes that the gap between startup salaries and the more established companies’ salaries is large because of one reason. Generally speaking, blockchain developers tend to not view working for large centralized organizations in a favorable light. So, if legacy businesses and tech firms want to attract the right workers, they have to offer a large salary.
3 – Government earnings
Overall, government salaries will vary, depending on the country. However, they generally pay considerably less than either startups or established companies. That’s not to say that there are no benefits to come from working for the government. Government projects will often involve top-secret data and systems, so it gives blockchain techies additional excitement.