- The rapid rise of cryptocurrency has created a boom in crypto-related jobs.
- Many of these positions are high-paying and don’t require direct experience, experts say.
- Insider spoke with people in the industry to learn how people could enter the crypto world.
Nearly 12 years ago, the first public cryptocurrency transaction occurred when Laszlo Hanyecz traded 10,000 bitcoins — the equivalent of $63 million today — for two large Papa John’s pizzas.
Since that trade, cryptocurrency has been used to buy houses, digital land, and cars, and bitcoin has become an official currency of El Salvador. The total cryptocurrency industry was worth nearly $2 trillion as of Wednesday, according to CoinMarketCap.
The rapid growth has also meant another boom: the rise of crypto jobs. Job titles containing the terms “bitcoin,” “ethereum,” “blockchain,” and “cryptocurrency” grew by 395% in the US between 2020 and 2021, a LinkedIn analysis found.
Open positions span finance, software development, IT, and customer service, and experts say the barriers to entry are lower than job seekers may expect.
“I think the whole market is still in the make-the-market mode,” Daniel Wasik, the head of talent acquisition at the cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com, said. “Talent is still being developed, and individuals are developing their own capabilities within the crypto, Web3, blockchain space.”
At Wasik’s company, there are 2,600 open roles across 38 different countries. James Neave, the head of data science at the job-search platform Adzuna, said there were over 7,000 available cryptocurrency jobs on the site in the first seven days of April. That number has not fallen below 4,000 in 2022, Neave added.
The companies posting these jobs vary, from large, established firms like Deloitte, PwC, EY, and PayPal to buzzy startups. If you’re looking to work in this growing industry, here are the steps experts say you should take.
Industries that are hiring
While a variety of industries and companies are venturing into crypto, there are clear figures showing which are meeting that interest with job offers, Neave said.
In April, 53% of the cryptocurrency roles listed on Adzuna were in IT, and 18% were in finance. In these fields, software developers, financial analysts, customer-service representatives, and cybersecurity workers were in the highest demand, Neave added.
“One thing that was interesting was that a lot of these job ads are fairly clear with these software developers, especially if they’re entry level,” Neave said. “They don’t actually need crypto experience.”
Finance and cybersecurity roles often require five to 10 years of cryptocurrency experience, he said, but they come with high salaries — the average crypto-security salary is $85,656 a year, according to ZipRecruiter.
How to learn more
There are three clear paths job seekers can take if they’re looking to gain cryptocurrency knowledge, Tommaso Di Bartolo, an entrepreneur, author, and blockchain lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, said.
The first step is the most direct and involves investing a small bit of money, $10 to $20, with a crypto exchange.
“Once you start investing, you start reading about it. And once you start reading about it, you start understanding it,” Di Bartolo said.
For those who don’t want to invest their money before learning more, Di Bartolo said a good alternative could be playing games that use nonfungible tokens or in-game currency, such as “Rev” and “Upland.”
The final option is taking an academic route, Di Bartolo said. Job seekers can take classes or read to grow their understanding, he said. Di Bartolo, for example, shares a weekly post on his LinkedIn page with courses and opportunities in the Web3 field.
“We are going to reshape and reeducate the next generation of learners,” he said. “No longer are we going to university and saying, ‘Turn to Chapter 3, Page 4. Learn this.”
The necessary qualities
Curiosity, humility, and passion are the most important characteristics those looking to join the cryptocurrency industry should have, experts say.
“You’re joining such a dynamic, forward-thinking industry,” Crypto.com’s Wasik said. “It’s clear thinking, determination, and being resourceful that’s really, I would say, differentiated from other industries and something we really do look for within our interview process.”
It’s understandable for job seekers to lack a formal education in such a newly developed field, but there is ample opportunity to learn independently though online courses and conferences, he added. Such action proves a passion for the space.
“Whether you’ve worked for a technology company, a media company, or a finance company before,” Wasik said, “values are what link your own career.”
Moving forward, experts agree that crypto continues to be a growing and changing space that will need workers who are willing to be on the frontier of this digital wave.
“I think the key ingredient to learning is curiosity,” Di Bartolo said. “So be curious about the topic — curiosity always meets with fear, but curiosity helps you move from being fearful to being fearless.”