A gold rush mentality surrounds bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain. And despite drastic price fluctuations (Bitcoin’s value shot up more than 230% in the first six months of 2019 to above $12K) and nearly half of companies citing regulatory uncertainty as a major barrier to blockchain adoption, employers continue to ride the wave and invest in both blockchain tech and talent.
Mark Zuckerberg, for instance, wants to launch Libra, a new global cryptocurrency, in 2020. And digital payment giant Square recently assembled a crypto-focused team, Square Crypto, with the goal of strengthening the Bitcoin ecosystem. Not only that, but you’ll soon be able to spend bitcoins at Starbucks through a brand new exchange app that converts digital assets into dollars.
So with the headlines filled with cryptocurrency innovations (and widespread scrutiny), what has job growth and tech talent interest for crypto jobs looked like this year? And what can we expect in 2020? We analyzed millions of job postings on Indeed.com to unpack how bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain trends have affected the job market and what its future might look like—i.e., is it more gold plated or solid gold?
Crypto, blockchain and bitcoin jobs at a glance
Searches for bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency roles are going down—yet employer demand has skyrocketed. According to Indeed.com, in the four-year period between September 2015 and September 2019, the share of these jobs per million grew by 1,457%. In that same time period, the share of searches per million increased by “only” 469%.
Looking more recently, in the past year, the share of cryptocurrency job postings per million on Indeed have increased by 26%, while the share of searches per million for jobs have decreased by 53%. We’ve previously covered how bitcoin’s volatility seems to correlate with job seeker interest, and the change in bitcoin price this year might be why job searches have declined.
Employers, however, are doubling down on these tamper-proof blockchain technologies, which means there’s likely lots of opportunities for job seekers with these skills or interested in this industry.
Top 5 cryptocurrency tech jobs
So employer demand is high for tech roles related to bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency—but what are those jobs?
From coding smart contracts to designing user interfaces for cryptocurrency apps to building decentralized applications (dApps) that communicate with the blockchain, there’s no shortage of work to be done in the bitcoin field—and the tech jobs in our top five prove it.
Companies doing the most hiring for crypto, blockchain and bitcoin jobs
Software roles make up the highest percentage of cryptocurrency jobs, but which companies had the highest share of job postings for these roles over the last year?
Since blockchain technology has expanded well beyond the financial sector, you’ll see a sprinkling of crypto startups, but also bigger, more established firms not directly related to cryptocurrencies (or even the financial industry at all).
IT, consulting and professional services firms
Two of the Big Four accounting firms make the top 10, along with tech giant IBM. Why? Earlier this year, EY launched a new crypto tax accounting tool for investors, and consulting firms are hiring blockchain talent to advise clients on how to apply these new technologies. IBM is also making waves with IBM Blockchain World Wire, a blockchain network that clears and settles international payments in near real-time.
Not surprisingly, five companies directly related to cryptocurrency—Coinbase, Ripple, Circle, Kraken and ConsenSys—make our list. Only ConsenSys made the top 10 in our previous list of bitcoin hirers from May 2019.
Why are financial companies hiring so much blockchain and cryptocurrency talent? They’re designing their own dollar-backed digital coins. Signature Bank (#15), for example, built its own blockchain platform, Signet, to allow its clients to move money around in 30 seconds, 24/7 by converting dollars to ethereum-based tokens known as “Signets.”
Given the potential of blockchain, companies outside the traditional finance ecosystem are starting to adopt it for use in supply chain management, ecommerce, telecommunications and beyond.
Collins Aerospace (#5), for example, is an Iowa-headquartered company that provides solutions for the aerospace and defense industries. It’s using blockchain technology to make complex global supply chains more efficient and protect defense and space-related data from cyber attacks.
Another company you might not expect to be hiring a lot of cryptocurrency talent is online home goods retailer Overstock.com (#8). However, it makes sense because it was the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, starting back in early 2014. The company now accepts all major cryptocurrencies and has since founded a venture capital arm, Medici Ventures, to accelerate blockchain innovation.
Bitcoin jobs are not as volatile as its value
As the bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency industry continues its rapid growth and widespread adoption, companies of all sizes and industries are making long-term investments in these technologies by ramping up hiring over the last year. That trend is likely to continue through 2020, even in the face of extreme price volatility and regulatory uncertainty of cryptocurrency specifically.
And while Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies might function more like an asset than a currency (there’s not much you can actually buy with it), that’s clearly changing as major retailers are starting to accept digital tokens and more unique use-cases for these technologies continue to pop up.
So with employers investing heavily in bitcoin jobs and cryptocurrencies becoming more accepted and accessible, blockchain tech seems like it’s here to stay.
*Methodology: Indeed.com analyzed the percentage change in the share of job postings and share of job searches per million for roles related to bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain during the time period specified.
The most in demand roles related to cryptocurrency were identified by calculating the percentage of job postings related to bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain during the time period specified and ranking them in order based on the percentage of job postings for those roles during the time period of October 2018 to September 2019.
Companies listed had the highest share of job postings related to bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain on Indeed from October 2018 to September 2019.