Blockchain Job Market Ripe for the Tech Savvy

There was a lot of talk in 2017 about making big money in cryptocurrency but for the next generation looking at crypto markets, the money may be in Blockchain related jobs.

Demand for crypto workers is huge

While speculators and investors may be at odds about the future of digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum what everyone seems to agree on is that the underlying Blockchain technology is going to be a game changer across the board.

Young, tech-savvy job seekers looking at the crypto job market should be enthused by the amount of opportunity to get into what is potentially the career slot of the future. As the industry is still in its infancy demand is high and competition is low for crypto-related jobs.

A quick search on for positions with the keyword ‘Blockchain’ in the title got 748 hits while the job site Indeed reported an increase of 621% in job listings that contained the keywords ‘Blockchain’, ‘Bitcoin’ or ‘cryptocurrency’ in since November 2015.

International Business Machines (IBM) alone has 362 job offerings posted on tagged with the keyword ‘Blockchain’. Other well-known names such as Uber, Capitol One, GIECO, and eBay are also on the search for applicants with crypto skill sets.

As the technology develops job opportunities will increase

Blockchain related jobs involving every aspect of utilizing the technology from design and engineering through to sales and marketing are already searching for applicants.

As the technology develops jobs not yet defined will evolve and those who already have a working knowledge of the technology will benefit. These jobs maybe managing currencies already in existence, creating new ones (ICO’s) or implementing the blockchain into other industries such as logistics.

Many of the people filling these positions will be transitioning from related fields. Others may come from having a private interest in trading cryptocurrencies or running their own mining operations but some will have come from university programs developing in schools around the world. Universities in the US such as UC Berkeley, MIT, and Cornell all have blockchain programs in development and classes that regularly fill their largest lecture halls.

“cryptocurrency and blockchain markets could eventually be a $10-trillion business. The engineers and other business leaders building that market will likely get their fair share of that value themselves.”

Said RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves.

Today the average salary for a Blockchain developer is around $80,000 while for a principal engineer it can be as much as 150,000 according to MSN Money.

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Bitcoins value may have dropped in the marketplace but interest in cryptocurrency is rising just as fast in the classrooms of top universities across the US.

Academia Gets Heavy into Bitcoin

Some of the top universities in America including Duke, Cornell and Massachuttes Institute of Technology are now offering classes exploring cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology as reported by the New York Times.

“There was some gentle ribbing from my colleagues when I began giving talks on Bitcoin but within a few months, I was being invited to Basel to talk with central bankers … joking from my colleagues stopped after that.”

Said David Yermack a professor of business and law at New York University who began teaching one of the first classes on the subject in 2014.

The classes have proven so popular among students that schools have had to shift classes to the largest lecture halls on campus and limit student enrollment.

As changes in the technology and market happen so rapidly teachers and professors aren’t promising a definitive syllabus.

“We aren’t waiting until we perfect it, don’t compare it to the perfect blockchain course. Compare it to having no blockchain course at all.”

Said Greg La Blanc one the professors teaching a course called Blockchain, Cryptoeconomics and the Future of Technology, Business and Law at the University of California, Berkley. A course that attracted so many students the three departments involved had to split the seats between them to make attendance fair.

The popularity of the courses may be fueled by the meteoric rise of Bitcoin prices in late 2017 but many students are reporting interest beyond making money fast from investing.

Blockchain Vital to the Future of Doing Business

There are as many classes on offer that explore the future of the Blockchain technology as there are examining the nature of digital currency.

“The students in my class are from every possible discipline, They understand that this is going to disrupt many different areas of business, and they want to be the disrupters, not the disruptees.”

Quipped Duke Universtiy business school professor Campbell Harvey, who is teaching a class with 231 students this semester.

Back at Berkley students who couldn’t find seats in crypto classes have formed their own campus club that offers classes and forums on Blockchain technology.

Students in these classes are looking towards the changes Blockchain ledger technology is going to bring to the immediate future to industries as far reaching as transport logistics, music streaming and of course money management.

“This is a very precious opportunity for you to be able to sit in this class, There are a bazillion other students who are waiting for your spot.” Professor Dawn Song tells her students.

Advertisements, videos, infographics, articles, and more are part of Hong Kong’s push to educate the public on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Earlier this week, Hong Kong’s Financial Services and Treasury Bureau (FSTB) and Investor Education Center (IEC) launched a public campaign to educate cryptocurrency enthusiasts in Hong Kong about the potential risks associated with this new and booming industry. According to Under Secretary for the FSTB, Joseph Chan, the aim of the program is to provide a “correct and comprehensive understanding of ICOs and cryptocurrencies” to help give the public the tools to make informed decisions on their investments.

The campaign has many facets, including television and radio ads, ads that will be displayed in Hong Kong’s public transit system, and government-sponsored educational videos which will be posted on social media. Also included in the campaign will be articles and infographics on ICOs and cryptocurrencies provided by the public financial education arm of the IEC, the Chin Family. Information is already live on their website, which has educational tools in a variety of arenas, including protection from scams and wallet security.

Hong Kong has generally been more open toward cryptocurrencies, contrary to the opposition faced in mainland China. One of the larger cryptocurrency exchanges, Gatecoin, operates in Hong Kong, and regulators have generally held a cautious but open approach. As illustrated by this new campaign, their concern is focused primarily on protecting and informing investors, rather than shutting the door on this emerging asset class.

One of the main drivers behind the educational push is due to the volatility of the cryptocurrency markets, which some traditional investors are not prepared for. “ICOs and cryptocurrencies are high-risk products that are not suitable for everyone,” said Dr. Kelvin Wong, Chairman of the IEC. “Cryptocurrencies are highly speculative and are associated with various kinds of risks. Their prices may be susceptible to significant fluctuations due to speculative activities.”

This isn’t the first time that a government has pushed for state-sponsored educational programs on cryptocurrencies and related technology. Last year, the Russian government announced it hoped to include cryptocurrency in its financial literacy improvement strategy in order to help better educate the Russian people.

Hardly anyone ever expected to use the terms Federal Reserve and Bitcoin in the same sentence in a positive manner. As it turns out, the Fed has been quite open to Bitcoin and blockchain as of late, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

On the first of June 2016, there was a fintech conference for central bankers at the Federal Reserve premises. With roughly 100 attendees from the central banking world, the topic eventually turned to Bitcoin and blockchain. While the crowd seemed very open to the idea, there is still a lack of understanding regarding the technology of blockchain.

Federal Reserve Awed by Bitcoin and Blockchain

Moreover, a Bitcoin transaction took place at the Federal Reserve premises during this conference. Chain CEO Adam Ludwin demonstrated the protocol by making an on-stage donation to Wikipedia. As is the case with novelty concepts, seeing is believing, and what better stage to do so that at this event?

This occurrence was the very first time a Bitcoin transaction was initiated from the Fed’s boardroom. This may not seem like a significant event to some people, but it just goes to show Bitcoin is on everybody’s radar in the financial sector. All in all, reports indicate the audience was quite engaged during the Bitcoin and blockchain topic, which is a positive sign.

Hardly anyone will be surprised the regulatory engagement in the blockchain world is reaching new highs. An open blockchain can be a critical tool to fix the broken financial ecosystem we use today. Keeping track of all assets and potential risks in real-time is an opportunity well worth exploring.

Proof-of-concepts are an excellent way to pitch a blockchain or Bitcoin idea to the masses, but the time has come to move well beyond this stage. Caitlin Long, who attended the Federal Reserve conference, mentioned how it appears more startups are working on production level projects. This indicates a growing interest and maturity of this technology, although she did not specify what these companies are working on exactly.

In the end, raising awareness about Bitcoin and blockchain continues to hinge on educational efforts. Enthusiasts are encouraged to apply for speaker slots at upcoming conferences around the world, even if they are not Bitcoin-oriented. Long also mentioned more significant announcements regarding the blockchain will be coming in the financial sector.

Source: Caitlin Long

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

The blockchain can be used to suit various needs, and companies like Sony are exploring how it can benefit some of their own internal projects. By using distributed ledger technology for the open sharing of progress records and academic proficiency, the way we think about education might be coming to a change very soon. Sony Global Education has a clear direction they want to go in, and the ability to openly share research and progress will spur future innovation.

Sony Global Education Values Blockchain Technology

Most people will think of Sony as the technology giant, but there is so much more to this company that most people are aware of. For example, Sony is hoping to make a big wave in the educational department, through the Sony Global Education branch. One way to make a big name for itself in that department is by embracing the blockchain, which also powers the Bitcoin network.

One thing the educational system of today lacks is the ability to openly and conveniently share academic research and proficiency. A lot of research is being done in various departments, although only a small portion of the efforts gain any form of attention as they are shared with the public. As a result, there is a ton of information out there which deserves a lot more accreditation.

By using blockchain technology to smoothen the process of openly sharing this academic proficiency, future innovation will become possible in various industries. The blockchain acts as an open peer-to-peer platform which has plenty of use cases outside of the realm of finance as well.

Sony Global Education has embraced the blockchain and created a new form of technology for the educational sector. Combining the security aspect of distributed ledger technology with progress made by various academics around the world will prove to be invaluable for the educational system in the long run. All of the communication will be fully encrypted, removing any worry about information being leaked or intercepted by third parties.

The efforts made by Sony Global Education will lead to future possibilities in the academic and education industry. One of the examples mentioned in the press release comes in the form of sharing test results with multiple evaluating organizations. Relying on just one central party to validate test results is not the safest way of dealing with academic progress, and a more decentralized solution would result in various fresh sets of eyes looking over the findings.

The Educational System Needs To Change

This announcement by Sony Global Education comes at an interesting time, as discussions are running rampant regarding how the educational system needs to undergo much-needed changes. Combining technology with education is what is needed sooner rather than later, as it will help diversify the way tests are designed and results are evaluated.

In the end, new educational services might be created thanks to the integration of blockchain technology. This concept by Sony Global Education has the potential to shape a bright future for education in general. More collaboration is on the horizon as well, as this open yet secure infrastructure can draw a lot of educational institutions to this network.

Source: Sony

Bitcoin as a successful digital currency so far has made headway into the FinTech sector. We already know about various instances where Bitcoin and blockchain technology has successfully provided alternative financial services to the unbanked population in both developed and developing countries alike. Many bitcoin remittance service startups have been successful in places like Philippines, Kenya, and many other countries.

Bitcoin-based remittance is an all round winner as it takes about an hour to send funds across the globe using bitcoin instead of 2-3 days over conventional channels. Migrant workers from many developing nations in the Asian and African continents regularly send money to their families back home. Bitcoin remittance services can help them reduce transactions costs to a great extent.

READ MORE: Current Trends in Bitcoin Remittances

The story is somewhat similar in mainstream banking and the FinTech sector as well. Banks have come to realize the importance of blockchain technology, the underlying technology powering Bitcoin network and they have started adopting it for fund transfer and compliance applications. BitShares, OpenLedger, and even the good old blockchain technology are now being adopted by stock exchanges.

All these developments have enabled universities to embrace Bitcoin and blockchain technology to an extent. We now have a handful of universities across the world offering courses on digital currency. Some of them also allow students to use bitcoin inside the campus.

While progress is being made in the higher education levels, there is an increasing need to address the lack of interest and understanding of technology among the school going kids. “Catch ’em young” as they say, unless children are sensitized to computers and technology at a young age, they grow distant and a considerable portion of them find themselves alienated from the tech driven world as they grow up.

Western Countries like the United States of America have realized this now. The ‘Learn to Code’ movement in the United States and United Kingdom is supported by the government as well as huge tech players like Microsoft, Google and, Facebook. But there are many startups working at the grass-root levels, successfully introducing technology to school kids. The tech driven education programs include online learning, Do it Yourself projects etc., These programs cover a wide range of subjects including computer science and robotics. The whole tech driven shift in the education sector now has a name and it is called ‘EdTech’.

One of the hottest places at this moment for EdTech startups is United Kingdom. The financial capital of England, London is now eyeing to become the EdTech capital as well. Just like Innovate Finance initiative that encourages FinTech startups and innovation in the sector, EdTech UK is set up to promote and support EdTech industry in the United Kingdom and beyond. EdTech UK’s website also claims that the program is influenced by Innovate Finance and MedCity programs. MedCity program is focused on another hottest tech sector – medical technology or MedTech in short. EdTech UK works in close collaboration with educators, investors, startups, large corporations, scaling up companies and more to ensure effective public-private partnership to achieve progress in education using technology.

READ MORE: Innovate Finance Brings All FinTech Players under One Roof

EdTech UK was started about three months ago catering to a $67 billion industry. It has already helped startups like Technology will Save Us (TWSU) raise investments.

Digital Currency, FinTech, EdTech, and MedTech are the future where tech drives not just autonomous vehicles, smart homes and smart contracts but life itself. London has placed itself in an unique position rather early in Europe to have an upper hand over rest of European Union in the coming days.  

Ref: EdTech: London Capital for Learning Technology
Is The Future Of Learning In The Hands Of The EdTech Entrepreneurs? - Forbes

Whenever we have any sort of tech related problem, we usually remember the name Houston. Fortunately, there is a new place in Houston, Texas provided by Cryptospaces that is jointly powered by FinalHash, a renowned Bitcoin consulting company. Situated at 6907 Almeda RD., this newly established Houston Bitcoin Embassy could be regarded as a joint-working place that is completely dedicated to tech startups. At the end of April, there is plan for setting up a Bitcoin ATM as an added facility.

The Houston Bitcoin Embassy is now known as the home for the Texas Coinitiative – a non-profit association that works for promoting Bitcoin use in Texas.

The Coinitiative mission statement:

“We do have a belief that this growing community of ours will be able to assist for shaping progress in this sort of field. You are welcome to make networks and connections with traders, innovators and entrepreneurs through working in the most exciting technological and sociological innovations in the recent days.”

houston bitcoin embassy

The Texas Coinitiative also arranges various meetups – a minimum of 1 meetup per week – including the Ethereum meetup, the Houston Bitcoin meetup and the forthcoming Houston Bit Business meetup – a meeting that is exclusively designed for the promising Bitcoin entrepreneurs.

The Texas Coinitiative always tries to manage the renowned business professionals to serve as speakers at the meetings in order to inspire the new Bitcoin developers and entrepreneurs. Some of the mentionable speakers they have recently picked up as hosts are Changetip CEO, Nick Sullivan; Bitcoin Core Developer, Peter Todd and Ziftr CEO, Bob Wilkins.

The Houston Bitcoin Embassy is also trying to implement a big initiative where they will promote an educational project that is led by Jay Campuzano of the Yo Soy Bitcoin. This project includes a series of video tutorials (available in English and Spanish) on Bitcoin for the beginners.

There’s a new bitcoin-related start-up in Colorado, and they’re hoping to start a bitcoin ATM network in America’s 38th state, beginning with a location in Aurora, a Tuesday announcement stated.

The idea: allow residents of Colorado to easily get bitcoin through the intuitive interface available on the Lamassu units XBTeller is making use of. And if they were just curious about digital currency, XBTeller is coupling their ATM with a so-called “educational kiosk” that will teach consumers the basic ins-and-outs of bitcoin.

“The Bitcoin protocol may be the most significant invention of our time – a grand experiment and global phenomenon based on free will and math; we are thrilled to be apart of it,” said Noah Berger, CEO of XBTeller.

In attempts to get the people of Denver excited about the arrival of the bitcoin ATMs, XBTeller says they’re giving away bitcoin. By hiding it.

Beginning Wednesday, July 30th, XBTeller will be providing clue via Twitter to followers as to where bitcoin paper wallets will be hidden around town. Each paper wallet, the start-up says, will be funded with between 0.1 bitcoins and 1 bitcoin.

That first location I mentioned previously is located at The Big Tomato, a hydroponics and organic center in Aurora. An XBTeller attendant will be on-site to help out.

You’re probably wondering about the cost of using such an ATM. XBTeller says they’ll be charging a flat, 5 percent commission for transactions conducted using the machine.

But it seems as if the primary goal is to get newcomers into bitcoin using educational tools.

“The majority of people haven’t heard of Bitcoin. Of those who have, many are misinformed about its purpose and potential, and only a tiny fraction actually own or use it. We aim to change that by building an experience that targets the 99 out of 100 people who don’t have a bitcoin wallet on their phone yet,” Berger added.

“I think that experience starts best with a conversation and an opportunity to ask questions. It’s hard to walk up to an ATM and feel a personal connection, so we’ve added the human back into the process.”

XBTeller– founded in January of this year — says they plan to bring additional units to Denver, Boulder, Blackhawk, and Breckenridge by the end of the year.

There are the type of executive teams that remain reclusive (looking at you, BTC-e), and those out and about actively furthering the cause of digital currency in today’s technology-obsessed world.

Take the Coinsetter executive team, for example. In a blog post today, the New York City-based bitcoin exchange announced that two company executives would be speaking at industry conferences this month.

Coinsetter Homepage

Company CEO Jaron Lukasiewicz will be speaking at the Forex Industry Conference (also known as FXIC NYC) on Friday, June 20th at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan, New York City.

From the Coinsetter blog today:

At this highly attended forex industry event, Jaron will discuss why institutional market participants should be excited about bitcoin and what the future holds for the digital currency industry. The FXIC NYC event brings together leaders in the forex field to learn from one another, exchange ideas and network.

Next Wednesday, Coinsetter CTO Marshall Swatt will serve as a panelist at the next held ON21 Vision Series event.

The ON21 Vision Series will explore the cryptocurrency space with an in depth discussion of the technical and financial attributes of bitcoin’s successes and how the currency will continue to evolve in the future.

Why it’s important

It’s important to have executives on the front lines of these types of speaking engagements. Enlightening industry executives from the people who know best (business-wise) is vital for a widespread understanding of how this industry and digital currency works.

It’s refreshing to see this, and we certainly hope to see a lot more of it in the future.

So you’re into software, but you know nothing about coding? Worry not, because announced today, Team Treehouse says they’re accepting bitcoin for their interactive coding courses in HTML, CSS, iPhone app programming, and more.

The company writes on their blog:

As one of the fastest growing payment methods, Bitcoin will give more people across the world the opportunity to learn with Treehouse. Our mission is to bring affordable Technology education to people everywhere, in order to help them achieve their dreams and change the world, and we believe that Bitcoin can help us accomplish that.

In order to accommodate acceptance, Treehouse is working with San Francisco-based Coinbase, who will give them the option to immediately convert bitcoin revenue to local currency for a minimal free (actually, no fees until the $1 million mark is reached, then 1 percent of balance withdrawal).

Some of the reasons Treehouse says they’re accepting bitcoin include the digital currency’s rapid growth (with more and more merchants accepting every day); extreme level of security (it is based on cryptography, after all); lower fees (which can easily reach 2-3% percent per transaction made with a credit card); and what the company declares to be the most important: more opportunities for the unbanked.

They write:

The reality is that most of the people in the world may not have a bank or PayPal account but they are likely to have a phone. With Bitcoin all you need is a smartphone with a Bitcoin Wallet. With this additional payment option, more people than ever will be able to join our community.

Bitcoin for educational courses isn’t a new concept. Take, for example, the University of Nicosia in Cyprus. Last year, the educational institution announced they would be accepting tuition payments in bitcoin — going so far as to offer a Master’s program in digital currency.

Could the tides be turning when it comes to paying for education (especially online)? Is bitcoin the new way? Time will tell, of course.