Interest in blockchain jobs has roughly fluctuated with the price of Bitcoin, according to an analysis of financial and Dice job-posting data.
In late 2017, the price of Bitcoin enjoyed a massive spike, shooting from roughly $2,500 per coin in June to $19,000 by the beginning of December. During that same period, both the demand and supply for blockchain-related jobs on Dice underwent a similar jump. The rate of companies posting blockchain-related jobs increased more than fourfold between June and September, while the number of tech pros applying for those jobs leapt threefold.
As the price of Bitcoin dipped in late December, so did the jobs. The price of Bitcoin now stands at roughly $7,000—very high by historical standards, but a significant reduction from its peak.
Bitcoin, like all cryptocurrencies, is based on blockchain, a distributed database that maintains a chain of “blocks,” or records with a timestamp and a link to the previous block. Blockchain is vital for cryptocurrency because it’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) for a user to retroactively alter the data within a block without someone noticing.
The correlation between jobs and Bitcoin price suggests a lot of companies were attracted to the recent hype over the cryptocurrency, and tried to staff accordingly; at the same time, a number of tech pros applied to see if they could break into a burgeoning market.
Indeed, some firms did insane things in an attempt to ride the Bitcoin rocket as high at it would go—for example, Long Island Iced Tea Corp. announced that it would change its name to Long Blockchain Corpo., a move that sent its stock price soaring 289 percent before crashing back down (sort of like the price of Bitcoin itself, ha-ha). Kodak, the photography firm, announced that it was now a cryptocurrency producer, and unveiled a Bitcoin-mining computer it dubbed the “KashMiner.”
If you’re interested in a career doing something blockchain-related (which could apply to realms as diverse as security and healthcare, not just cryptocurrency), there’s good news: it’s very much a nascent field, where those with the right combination of knowledge and skills have a lot of opportunity to quickly make their mark. Stanford and MIT offer some online courses in the technology, and a few companies are even trying to build out formal blockchain certification.