Cryptocurrencies and the job market
People planning careers in finance should not overlook emerging industry
Cryptocurrencies have clearly become an emerging trend despite episodes of volatility in recent years. With Facebook hoping to launch its Libra project this year, as well as more supportive attitudes by some governments, the industry is gradually approaching a turning point.
In short, cryptocurrency may soon start to reach a more general and mainstream base of customers, instead of the traditional market of professional traders. As cryptocurrencies expand their coverage and reputation, they not only create a buzz, they also bring about potential in the job market.
AngelList, a US-based investment and jobs platform, reported a 100% increase in the number of cryptocurrency-related jobs being advertised on its website in the last six months of 2017. On the Indeed job search platform, recruitment postings including "cryptocurrency", "blockchain" or "bitcoin" have accelerated by 621% since the end of 2015. Searches including these three terms are up ten-fold.
Major corporations have also shown interest in the growing crypto sector. eBay, Uber and the insurer Geico rank among the top prospective employers who are searching for candidates with bitcoin and blockchain in their skill set.
In addition to businesses and traders, more governments are showing support for this new way of approaching finance. Thailand is one of 13 countries that have legalised cryptocurrencies, officially issuing licences to three local exchanges: Bitkub Online Co Ltd, Bitcoin Exchange Co Ltd, and Satang Corporation.
The cryptocurrency job market is not limited to technology or engineering-based positions. There have been specialised websites established solely for crypto-related jobs, such as Cryptocurrenciesjob.com based in the US. Most crypto companies also feature career openings on their own websites.
Job opportunities can range from broad management-level positions such as project managers to business representatives, those who seek out the opportunities and connect the dots between cryptocurrencies and corporations.
Data analysts or financial analysts will be in high demand as new enterprises enter the market, and as adoption of cryptocurrencies as a method of daily payment gains momentum.
In addition to innovative versions of existing positions, the crypto industry is also giving rise to more specialised and concentrated positions such as blockchain engineer, cryptocurrency analyst or security architect.
These jobs are most likely to be integrated into existing currencies such as bitcoin or ethereum.
There could also be positions on a team endeavouring to introduce a completely new currency via the initial coin offering market.
As in any young industry, the responsibilities for newly emerging positions can vary and will evolve along with the business. The best first step is to make yourself familiar with the market by equipping yourself with a solid knowledge base related to cryptocurrency concepts and applications.
Extensive databases of information regarding cryptocurrencies are available online and can facilitate the learning process. However, beginners might be confused and not sure where to start. To begin with, you can take a look at directories and blogs provided by official trading platforms such as Investopedia.com or Bitkub.com Knowledge Centre.
The next question to be answered will be your preferred job's background, whether it be management, finance, consulting, technology or engineering. Once you have identified your vision, you will have a clearer direction towards your goal.
Even if you are still debating whether to work in the crypto industry, it will pay to stay up-to-date on cryptocurrencies by following market analysis and discussion.
In addition to major publishers such as Forbes or Business Insider, exchange platforms such as Bitcoin.org, Bitkub.com or Yahoo Finance also provide accessible and user-friendly online updates.
Jirayut Srupsrisopa is the group CEO of Bitkub Capital Group Holdings Co, a local blockchain technology specialist that is also advising businesses on decentralised applications.