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Cryptocurrency & Blockchain – The New Talent Crisis

Date: 23 January 2019

Despite a turbulent end to 2018, the cryptocurrency market is predicted to enter a new era during 2019 as industry experts suggest that blockchain, the technology that supports it, will become more mainstream.

However, it still faces a significant challenge. Cryptojacking was described as the ‘the runaway security problem in 2018’ by TechRepublic and the increased connectivity through the Internet of Things (IoT) is likely to exacerbate this problem[1].

These issues are leading to rising demand for talent with specialist skills not just in cryptocurrency, but also in blockchain.

A brief introduction to cryptocurrency and blockchain

Cryptocurrencies use blockchain to carry out transactions without the need for an authority such as a bank.

Blockchain is described as the technology on which cryptocurrency operates, creating a network for transactions and transferring information[2].  This network enables transferring of value and information.

Blockchains serve as the tech platform. Cryptocurrency is required to carry out a transaction on blockchain. Without the blockchain, there is no platform to record and transfer those transactions.

In order to protect their assets and detect threats, organizations that deal with cryptocurrency must source the right people to minimize potential damage resulting from cyberattacks, but that talent isn’t easy to find. In their 2018 report, Deloitte also noted that the lack of blockchain talent was a barrier to entry into the cryptocurrency market for many companies[3].

The rising demand for blockchain and crypto-talent

  • In 2018, Upwork named blockchain as the fastest growing skill required by employers for two consecutive quarters. Its year-on-year report for the first quarter of 2018 showed a 6,000 percent increase in demand for blockchain expertise.
  • From August 2017 to August 2018 Glassdoor reported a 300% increase in job openings relating to blockchain technology – and a 61.8% rise in average salaries to $84,884[4].
  • Skills gaps exist across the sector, but the role of software engineer was reported as the most common blockchain vacancy, accounting for nearly 1 in 5 of all blockchain job openings. Other in-demand roles include blockchain developer, cryptocurrency developer and Ethereum developer. Ethereum is the platform of choice for most companies developing blockchain technology and this is reflected in the demand for developers with specific skills.  

Where is the highest demand for talent?

Glassdoor’s report revealed that New York City and San Francisco dominated the location of new blockchain jobs in the US. The top three international hubs in terms of job postings were found in London, Singapore and Toronto. China has also seen soaring demand for blockchain skills.

IBM, Deloitte, Accenture and SAP are just some of the global organizations competing for the best crypto and blockchain talent, but start-ups are also fueling demand. Ethereum is facing competition from tech companies aiming to make their presence known in 2019. Brands such as TRON, Qtum and Aelf were named by Forbes as three organizations challenging the dominance of Ethereum.[5].

Where to recruit

In the long-term, educational institutions will play a vital role in addressing the skills shortage. According to Coinbase, the platform to buy, sell and store digital currencies, nearly half of the world’s leading universities now offer at least one course on cryptocurrency and blockchain[6]. In the US, Cornell University offers the highest number of courses related to cryptography, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Summer 2018 also saw the launch of a Center for Blockchain Research at Stanford University[7].

In the short-term, however, employers face a growing talent crisis in order to secure cryptosecurity within their organization.

Traditional recruitment methods aren’t always effective in attracting crypto-talent, making a robust, agile hiring process essential.  

How Glocomms can help

Working with a specialist recruiter like Glocomms helps you to tap into a talent pool to meet demand within your organization.

Positioning ourselves as specialists across the cyber analytics arena over the past few years has opened the doors for an effective embarkment on the crypto marketplace given the overlap of skillsets and interests within this extremely narrow talent pool.  Since the crypto markets popped in the end of 2017, Glocomms has taken a serious stake in the industry, and we have over 12 months of networking and platform development.  This had yielded an effective and accurate approach to solving talent acquisition challenges.

Glocomms also focuses across the end-users and vendors in the emerging technologies arenas with a Commercial Services practice specializing in highly technical positions that help our clients successfully get their products to market.  This Commercial practices spans across the markets we specialize in on the technical side including Cyber, Analytics, Software, IoT, and now, Crypto!

As we move into a Blockchain 2.0 era, clients will be seeking not only highly technically proficient, crypto-engineers but go-to-market professionals, an enormous hurdle where Glocomms can provide a valuable service for both candidates and clients alike.

If you want to learn more about opportunities in this space, or are an organization hoping to secure this hard to find talent, get in touch with the Glocomms team today.

 


[1] https://www.techrepublic.com/article/why-cryptojacking-will-become-an-even-larger-problem-in-2019/

[2] https://blockchain.wtf/what-the-faq/blockchain-cryptocurrency-difference/

[3] https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/innovation/articles/global-blockchain-survey-2018.html

[4] https://www.glassdoor.com/research/rise-in-bitcoin-jobs/

[5] https://www.forbes.com/sites/yoavvilner/2018/09/29/9-blockchain-and-cryptocurrency-companies-all-set-for-2019/#6836ef181400

[6] https://blog.coinbase.com/the-rise-of-crypto-in-higher-education-81b648c2466f

[7] https://bravenewcoin.com/insights/universities-respond-to-acute-crypto-skills-shortage