People who want to work in world of Bitcoin and blockchain are looking for something more than the average hi-tech company can offer (think fancy coffee machines, game rooms and wok-from-home options.) They’re not motivated by the standard compensation packages because they are the exact opposite of standard: their primary motivation is the desire to taste the freedom of decentralization and contribute to it.They want to be part of creating the Next Big Thing.
We are on the verge of seeing it happen.
The signs point to 2018 as the year crytocurrencies break out. The markets and investors are catching on to the massive growth in value that some of the coins are amassing. In the coming year, companies are going to look for ways to take the power of blockchain to the next level, and they will need both workers and experienced advisors to push things forward.
Those who are itching to join the revolution are going to find a wealth of opportunities in the near future.
But just like any new field, there is confusion about how much people are going to earn. There are no salary surveys available to serve as guides. The first wave of experts are not looking for jobs in the field; they are true believers who are busy leading the revolution! They are ideologically driven and most are unavailable for hire; many work as consultants or advisors, avoiding the 9-5 grind and instead, working on independent projects.
Therefore, there are no reliable surveys of industry salaries, like those which are available in so many other standard fields. Just like the core of the industry itself, we have to self-educate, find solutions, and search for hints in other places.
Working for a Salary
Right now, blockchain salaries are based on those in the world of hi-tech. I chose to say “based on” rather than “consistent with” for a good reason:
Keep in mind that just like the early days of the hi-tech field, blockchain companies often pay in-house employees in a combination of salary and equity. In the early 1990s, that meant stock options in the startup. Today, it could mean tokens or ownership shares through an Initial Coin Offering.
Candidates with this in-demand skill set are self-taught because, as of yet, there are no formal university programs established to learn about blockchain. They also have to be motivated to be part of something completely new and dynamic. That means many of the rules are still being written and the next innovation, like smart contracts themselves, could change everything in an instant.
Freelancing in Cryptocurrencies
A freelancer with all of the qualifications above can easily earn $200 per hour as a developer, even in countries that don’t generally offer American or European salaries. The serious money, however, at the moment, is in helping companies navigate the field, advising them on how to reach the next level. Top advisors can charge as much as $500 per hour and are in high demand. Take Morgan Rockwell, for example, who is making an international name for himself as a Bitcoin advisor. He and other successful advisors in the cryptocurrency prefer to be compensated in… you guessed it… Bitcoin. Don’t be surprised if your firm seeks their counsel, and while they accept dollars, they might offer a discount if they are paid in Bitcoin.
And the demand is not limited to just hi-tech. Many mainstream, traditional companies are recognizing that the future belongs to blockchain and Cryptocurrency, and they want to get on the action. Two of the big four accounting firms are already accepting Bitcoin in an attempt to establish a foothold in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. PricewaterhouseCoopers even began offering advisory services to help companies new to the playing field take advantage of blockchain technology, and that new line of business means their recruitment needs in the field will only increase.
For all of these reasons, both freelance and in-house opportunities will grow in 2018, along with the number of companies doing business in the field.
How the Field Will Open
Breaking in just as the world of blockchain is exploding is a tremendous opportunity. The masters of today are in perfect position to corner the emerging market. Remember, the space is currently dominated by the first generation of Bitcoin enthusiasts and they are almost completely unavailable for internal hire. That means that as the field expands and the initial generation moves to leadership positions over the next year, the need for experienced, knowledgeable nine to fivers will skyrocket.
The signs of growth are everywhere; the world just need experts to take blockchain to the next level.