Blockchain Career? Is that a thing?
I am going to tell you what one of the greatest opportunities is right now, and that’s in Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, and why a Blockchain Career is for you.
But before I do that, let me share with you some quotes from some very famous people who know much more than I do.
John McAfee, Founder of McAfee anti-virus, says “You cant stop things like Bitcoin. It will be everywhere and the world will have to re-adjust. World governments will have to re-adjust”
Melanie Swan, Author of Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy says “Bitcoin is just one example of something that uses a blockchain. Cryptocurrencies are just one example of decentralized technologies. I think decentralized networks will be the next huge wave in technology”
Leon Luow, Nobel Peace prize nominee says “Every informed person needs to know about Bitcoin because it might be one of the worlds most important developments”
And what do I say? Well I have been investing, teaching, and speaking about Blockchain and cryptocurrencies for over a year now, and I have founded two of my own Blockchain based companies, so I can tell you this industry is going to be massive. The skills shortage is immense, and presents some amazing opportunities for those searching for something new and exciting.
What is the ‘Blockchain Industry’?
Firstly, lets have a quick run down of the technology and why there is a whole new industry behind it.
You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin, Blockchain, or Cryptocurrency at some point. Well what you may not know is there is a new and EXPLODING industry behind the scenes, right now, and it is desperately in need of skilled people across a variety of different backgrounds and skillsets.
See the technology behind just about all cryptocurrencies is called blockchain, or distributed ledger technology.
Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is essentially where transactions that occur over cryptographically secure channels via the internet, are saved on an immutable ledger. This ledger in just about all cases is public, or permission less, meaning anyone in the world can view any and all transactions that have occurred on that particular ledger.
The next key technology component is called smart contracts. A smart contract is where a digital contract is created with various inputs being set to execute the contract based on set parameters. The contract itself is stored on the Blockchain, and thus on an immutable distributed ledger, so anyone can view the transaction execution.
Ethereum is the main platform used for Decentralised Applications right now, and like Bitcoin, uses a system called ‘Proof of Work’ for ensuring security and consensus on the network. Without getting too technical, miners around the world use their computational power to confirm transactions on the network, and are rewarded in cryptocurrency for their ‘work’.
Decentralised Applications (DApps)
Now the whole point of explaining the above is lead in to how big the Blockchain Industry is going to be. See ‘DApps’ are built by developers, based on a concept that generally comes from taking an existing centralised system, and making it decentralised. By decentralising existing centralised systems and processes, and automating much of the decision making through smart contracts, significant automation, and thus efficiencies, can be achieved.
These concepts eventually turn into teams, and products start to be built. The products normally include the DApp itself, a website, documentation in the form of a whitepaper, UI/UX design, graphic design, etc. The teams behind these products generally consist of founders, various executive positions, developers, designers, marketers, communitiy managers etc., essentially creating a company behind this idea and application.
Now these teams in almost all cases go on to have an ICO, or an ‘initial public offering’, where they globally crowd source the project to fund further development of the product. The company normally recieve funds in the form of Ethereum, Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, and the investors get the native cryptocurrency token associated with the DApp.
In 2018, we have already seen $1.2B USD worth of funding raised through ICO’s, and this is across 14 different industry categories.
2017 was a massive year for ICO funding, with all time cumulative funding through ICO’s now moving close to $8B USD.
The takeaway from this graph is that the funding significantly ramped up in 2017, and there is a reason for that. See Ethereum is the main blockchain protocol that is currently used for building DApps, using its native programming language ‘Solidity’.
Ethereum went live on 30 July 2015, but suffered a major setback with the DAO hack in 2016. This essentially pushed back development on the platform to late 2016, to early 2017, which is why there was such a big run up in value of ICO funding during 2017.
So, why all the background? Because it explains why this industry is so ripe for talent and job opportunities. Its only really kicked off the last 2-3 years with the plethora of DApps being built, launched, and many now into post-ICO development.
The developers that learned the native language solidity in the very early days are sitting very comfortably, with many of them being millionaires.
The time for a Blockchain Career is now!
Other platforms which are close to launching or have already been launched include EOS, NEO, Cardano, Stellar and ICON, all of which enable crypto businesses to build DApps and launch crowdfunding through ICO’s.
What this boils down too, is the platforms that facilitate global crowdfunding through this ICO mechanism are only ramping up, and with that, so will the demand for skilled roles across a variety of different skill sets.
What Blockchain Career Roles Are there?
The main skills shortage right now is developers, specifically Ethereum solidity developers. Why? Because as mentioned, Ethereum is currently still the main platform used to build DApps, but that wont be for much longer.
Other roles that are fast becoming in high demand, are those in marketing, community management, social media, project and product management, and legal and regulatory.
As the Blockchain ecosystem continues to grow and mature, so has the need for skillsets outside of just developers. It is becoming more and more important for upcoming platforms to gain exposure above the many competitors, given the sheer volume of blockchain based platforms being launched every week. This is where good marketers and community managers can build communities and engage with influencers to boost credibility and exposure. Connecting with the right people in the industry can significantly place projects at a huge advantage.
Other roles that are becoming ever more important, are lawyers and legal experts. This is due to the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency tokens being seen as possible securities, and the United States S.E.C continuing to crackdown on initial coin offerings.
This places experts in the legal field who are experienced in blockchain and cryptocurrency, specifically the Howey test and securities law frameworks for blockchain tokens in a very valuable position, as more and more crypto businesses seek legal advice for their tokens classification.
Other roles include UI/UX designers, graphic artists, writers and even producers, as the bar continues to be lifted on how these platforms are perceived, branded and presented to investors and the public.
Where can I find jobs?
Well up until recently, much was done through connections, social media, blogs, forums and ‘who you know’, as the skills pool was so small, most of the highly experienced blockchain and crypto experts were known throughout tight circles.
Times are starting to change, and you will see jobs are starting to be advertised directly on the crypto company websites. The issue with this is, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of companies, and this is only going to grow so where do you start?
Well a good place would be visiting the websites of some of the biggest blockchain companies. The easiest way to go about this would be going to Coinmarketcap, clicking on the cryptocurrency names and then going to the official websites to look at the job postings.
Alternatively, we are now starting to see new recruitment companies pop up that are providing services to source talent for various companies, which is a sign the industry is slowly start to evolve and mature.
Here in Australia, we have Crypto Recruit, which amazingly was the worlds first cryptocurrency recruitment agency. Crypto Recruit is building its jobs listings, with there now being a number of advertised roles across managerial, development, marketing and product management. For those looking for a career change or searching for new positions, agencies like Crypto Recruit will be a great resource for whats available and for determining what the role requirements are for certain positions, which is not an easy task given how new this industry is.
A Blockchain Career is Just the Beginning
The blockchain and cryptocurrency industry is in its earliest stages of infancy. Here at Cryptocurrency Australia, we believe this industry is going to disrupt every sector in every industry across both public and private. Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology is as disruptive, if not more, than the internet itself. The incredible thing is we can use what happened with the internets disruption as a baseline of what will happen with blockchain.
One thing is for sure, those that get in now will be positioning themselves for an exciting and fulfilling career in the years to come.
Beau is the Founder & Chief Editor at Cryptocurrency Australia Media, an educational platform designed to help anyone learn about cryptocurrency investment and blockchain technology. Beau is also the Founder & Principal Consultant of Blockchain Management Solutions, a specialist technical and project management consultancy, is an advisor with Masternode Ventures, a blockchain incubator, and is an advisor with THORChain, a new decentralized exchange protocol.