We are at the dawn of the cryptocurrency revolution.
It's not just the future. It's your future. It’s my future. We feel it our bones. We need to be part of it. It's not just a change in commerce or finance. It's a momentous shift to the way things ought to be.
Decentralization is not just a good idea; it is the idea the world needs.
Blockchain is not just a new way to do business; it's the backbone of everything that's coming. Bitcoin is just the beginning. Those who know what's behind it can see the vast opportunities it presents, and we are never going back to centralized society.
I believe 2018 is the year everything is going to change. I'm ready for it, and I want to help you get ready, too.
It's only a heartbeat away.
Welcome to the ground floor.
The Romance of Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology, blockchain, are the most exciting digital developments since the advent of the Internet itself. Only a small group of people has gained a foothold in the field so far. Virtually all of them have been there from the start, like me.
Within a year, the field is going to explode and the demand for qualified professionals is going to erupt along with it. History is changing before our eyes and more and more people want to be part of it.
Those who fell in love with the idea of Bitcoin because of the decentralization ideology are true believers who are more interested in spreading the idea than commercializing and earning from it. Culturally, those early adopters are like the early advocates of open source code. The commonality is the ultimate respect they have for the system itself, and their commitment to maintain its integrity and momentum. They grasp the significance of the possibilities blockchain presents, and they want to foster its growth for the sake of the greater good. We – the believers – know that this is a revolution.
The challenge: cryptocurrency is in its very early stages, which means entering the field is not a well-trodden, clear path, like the road to becoming a standard developer, or a dental hygienist, or a paleontologist. Entering this field as a professional, even if you have the passion, presents challenges both to companies seeking qualified workers and to those who have a burning desire to work in the field but don’t know how to go about entering that door.
How to Break Into the Field as an Employee
While interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies continues to grow, prospective employees must search for new ways to exhibit their qualifications to employers, since most people will not have any directly applicable formal education (because there isn’t any available) or direct experience (because much of it happens in their garages, on weekends) listed in tight little bullet points on their CVs.
Challenge: There is no official certification or degree program for blockchain and no way to demonstrate expertise to employers.
Solution: While no formal education program for blockchain has been established yet, there is a great deal of information about it available for informal study. Those who want to find jobs in the field should take every opportunity to develop their own knowledge through the vast array of resources available online.
It is also a good strategy to find people who already know a great deal about Bitcoin. The early adopters are usually more than happy to refer people to great sources of information. In addition, the Bitcoin Embassy and the Israeli Bitcoin Association are great resources for learning.
Working with a placement professional who specializes in blockchain recruitment (yes, like me) can often get people through the door for interviews. CVs will be less useful than in a traditional job search because of the lack of direct experience (an industry-wide problem), and the cover letter will play a bigger role than usual. It's important to let employers know how deeply one wants to enter this field and how much a person is dedicated to the concepts behind it.
The key is to communicate passion and knowledge in the cover letter. Employers want to know why people are fighting to enter the field.
Challenge: Most of the jobs currently available are in the area of development.
Solution: The thirst for decentralization is so great among many people that they are willing to make a career move into development even if their experience is completely different. Don’t do it!
There is no need to make a radical break from one's profession and transition to becoming a blockchain developer simply because no other opportunities in this field are available. If you’re a project manager, and you love it, remain a project manager, even though a PM role in Bitcoin hasn’t revealed itself just yet. The rapid growth in the field is likely to bring about demand for all types of professionals. Therefore, a little bit of patience could make all the difference. We are at the dawn of 2018, and this is our year.
In the meantime, concentrate on gaining mastery of the field: attend events, read journals, and stay current in all the developments. When the time is right, no knowledge and personal development will go to waste.
How to Find the Right Employees
The people who have blockchain experience are either in such high demand that their salary demands are cost prohibitive, or, more likely, they’re simply not available for hire. Everyone with Bitcoin on their resume - the early adopters - has already fielded numerous offers. Most of the time, they aren't interested.
Early adopters tend to be deeply ideological, and when it comes to blockchain, they are extremely savvy as well. That's how they found the next big thing before everyone else did. They are talented entrepreneurs and their passion is tangible to anyone who meets them. They aren't looking for nine to five jobs. They want to turn the world on to this special thing they have found.
These are the next generation of educators, whether that's going to be in the formal structures that are starting to take shape - with their help - or as speakers at conferences and other informal educational settings. The true believers are the ones who are laying the groundwork for solving the employment problem in the coming year.
Challenge: If no one available has any real experience, employers can't rely on traditional methods to find employees to help their companies grow.
Solution: A specialized placement professional can screen potential employees and make sure that the people I send are fit for the job that needs to be filled.
The important thing to remember is that the knowledge that's needed for all types of jobs in cryptocurrency is already out there and people are devoting themselves to learning it. They may not have certification, but that does not mean they lack qualifications. The desire to enter the field is so high that people are inhaling information wherever they find it.
That means that potential employees need to advertise as widely as possible because they need to find those who are looking to break in and are willing to work as salaried employees. Competition may be fierce now but as the field blows up, the search for talent is only going to intensify.
Still, it's smart to develop some sort of blockchain-specific test to ensure that the people you bring in have the knowledge you need. You are welcome to use the one provided here or you can create your own. Either way, people are eager to demonstrate their knowledge to those in positions to hire them. They will welcome the opportunity.
Challenge: The definition of development roles in the world of Blockchain are often vague or inaccurate.
Solution: Defining a job carefully and precisely will help ensure that the right person is hired. It's not enough to call a position "Blockchain developer" because that covers almost every development position in the field. Be more specific.
Getting the position description right is harder than it seems. Here is a sample which includes specifics which will make your search more efficient. Writing an accurate description requires having a complete grasp of the company's infrastructure and the role of the product under development. Sometimes, the best move is to seek the assistance of an external advisor who understands the field. The insights they bring will make the company function better in the long run.
The Time to Act is Now
With crytpocurrencies about to go through the roof, the people who benefit most are the ones who are ready.
For those who want to break into the field, that means learning everything, everywhere. It also means holding out for the job that's right because it's only a matter of time before the field catches fire.
For those who are looking for workers to build their business, it means getting the word out far and wide to attract the people who can help. Defining jobs as precisely as possible will help attract the right people.
In either case, the time to act is now.
Don't let the revolution pass you by!