As cryptocurrency continues to pique the interest of the wider public, the conversation around it is evolving. Rather than misconceptions of a dark network of criminals or talk of a Bitcoin bubble, curiosity is becoming a genuine industry. It’s slowly sinking in that cryptocurrency isn’t just the delusion of a bunch of nerds in T-shirts. It’s a serious, growing industry with a ton of cryptocurrency jobs.
According to a Q1 2018 press release from Upwork, “blockchain” is the fastest growing skill employers are seeking. Set to be the new “cloud” of the 21st century, companies are posting more and more cryptocurrency jobs–and there’s a shortage of talent to fill them.
But if working remotely from a home office doesn’t thrill you, it’s not only freelance positions up for grabs. Opportunities in this new tech landscape abound, from knowledgeable blockchain developers to entry-level cryptocurrency jobs. Traditional job posting sites like Indeed have also seen a massive hike in interest–by 621 percent, in fact!
And better yet? Cryptocurrency jobs are well-paid, for the moment at least. In fact, the average salary for blockchain jobs comes close to $100k a year, with the potential to make a lot more as your skills and knowledge progress.
But, what types of cryptocurrency jobs are we talking about and what skills do you need?
Types of Cryptocurrency Jobs
The majority of cryptocurrency jobs are unsurprisingly allocated to developers, although there are plenty of additional roles, too. Here is a handful of the top positions that are posted most often:
As the cryptocurrency craze reaches fever pitch, the search for good blockchain developers is on. And with a widening talent gap in blockchain and AI, both salaries and demand are high.
Most blockchain developers are tasked with implementing secure systems for their companies, developing innovative patches, ideas, and coming up with solutions to problems.
You’ll need to be able to think outside the box and have the courage to take the lead. Many companies hiring have little or no background in blockchain tech. They’ll probably expect miracles from you, so be sure you can properly manage expectations.
On a technical front, you’ll need to be or become a regular developer first. Many companies will ask for a CS degree and expect you to undergo some kind of blockchain boot camp training or take specialist blockchain courses.
As the second biggest cryptocurrency out there and the technology behind smart contracts, Ethereum has the biggest community of developers by far. There are around 30 times more Ethereum developers than on any other blockchain. A good Ethereum developer can earn as much as $110k per year.
Depending on where you work, whether you choose a well-known company like ConsenSys or a blockchain startup, you’ll specialize in developing solutions to improve Ethereum or build apps (known as DApps) on the network.
You’ll need a developer background with some knowledge or study of regular blockchains, and then additional knowledge of Ethereum and coding with Solidity. Many companies are offering short courses to bridge skills gaps. ConsenSys, for example, offers courses for developers who want to cross over to Ethereum and learn the Solidity programming language.
Cryptocurrency Project Manager
Like any project manager, you’ll need to be able to translate difficult concepts into plain English. You’ll be tasked with communicating the progress of a project and ensuring that all parties stick to deadlines and complete their work on time.
This is one of the few cryptocurrency jobs that doesn’t require developer skills, although knowledge of concepts will certainly help. Like most project management positions, you’ll most likely need a business related degree and perhaps a PMI certification.
Experience in other project management roles will be useful, especially if it’s within the blockchain arena.
An experienced cryptocurrency data scientist can make north of $120k a year. Most cryptocurrency data scientists predict cryptocurrency prices using deep learning and AI to provide data-driven insights to their teams.
You’ll need a ton of experience and an exceptionally large brain to do this job, as well as a degree in CS, data science, or math.
Other Cryptocurrency Jobs
As with all industries, there are plenty of other roles related to cryptocurrency that don’t require technical skills. The list is almost endless, in fact. From public relations and sales and marketing to copywriting, consulting and design. If you’re interested in working in this field, you’ll find no shortage of cryptocurrency jobs available.
What Else Should You Know About Cryptocurrency Jobs?
This is a young and growing industry, which makes it particularly attractive to tech-savvy millennials. However, keep in mind that since much of the technology is still explorative, working in cryptocurrency may not offer you job stability.
You may have to accept your wages in cryptocurrency or keep the faith in an idea, even when the headlines (and your parents) are against it.
Regulation varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so if you’re thinking about accepting your wages in bitcoin, make sure that you’re legally able to. Moreover, regulation across the world is waking up and responding to the cryptocurrency community, so be sure that the company you work for is compliant.
Many of the positions available involve working in a startup or working remotely. So, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys a more defined role, a busy office, or working for a multinational company, cryptocurrency may not be for you.
You’ll probably have to wear a lot of hats and weather plenty of storms, as the value of your chosen cryptocurrency skyrockets one day and plummets the next. You’ll also never successfully explain to your family exactly what it is you do.
That said, cryptocurrency jobs aren’t only available at small companies with little more than a concept and the first round of funding. Traditional businesses are getting more involved in it too. IBM, JP Morgan, Deloitte, Facebook, and Walmart are just some of the big names coming around–perhaps not for cryptocurrency jobs, but for the underlying blockchain technology behind it.