According to PwC, cryptocurrency is a viable alternative to traditional currencies, with more than 14 billion Bitcoins already in circulation. Investor speculation has driven most of the current market, a reality that will stay the same until “a certain measure of price stability and market acceptance is achieved.”
“Inherent value” – which includes the technology, network, cryptographic code, and decentralized network – also contributes to this legitimacy. Blockchain public ledger technology also has the potential to disrupt traditional financial transactions, including stocks, bonds, and other digitally-stored assets.
Ultimately, PwC predicts that the cryptocurrency has long-term potential, as long as merchants, consumers, investors, financial institutions, regulators, and tech developers continue to authenticate the currency.
“In our view, cryptocurrency represents the beginning of a new phase of technology-driven markets that have the potential to disrupt conventional market strategies, longstanding business practices and established regulatory perspectives—all to the benefit of consumers and broader macroeconomic efficiency. Cryptocurrencies carry groundbreaking potential to allow consumers access to a global payment system—anywhere, anytime—in which participation is restricted only by access to technology, rather than by factors such as having a credit history or a bank account,” they write.
So, if you’re interested in pivoting into cryptocurrency, now is an exciting time to both explore its possibilities and shape public perceptions of its authenticity. The industry is also booming; as of September 2021, there was an 118-percent increase in crypto-related jobs posted on Indeed since the same month in 2020.
Choosing a Role
Software programmers seeking a change can secure employment in blockchain development, the most in-demand and one of the highest-paid roles in the industry. As of now, the average salary for blockchain developers is over $120,000 annually. Each year, the demand for employees in this field is predicted to increase by 300 to 500 percent.
Some of the roles in this sector include Blockchain Solution Architect, Blockchain UX designer, Blockchain quality engineer, Blockchain project manager, and Blockchain legal consultant.
Artificial Intelligence engineer
AI engineers develop and program the AI algorithms, including trading bots and cybersecurity protections for crypto exchanges. They also help investors make decisions through technical analyses and issues with AI technology
“AI engineers need to be familiar with certain programming languages, most commonly Python, robotics, developing AI and extensive math knowledge including linear algebra, probability and statistics,” said Linda Rosencrance.
Crypto mining professional
Those interested in a hands-on tech job should consider mining opportunities. These jobs require that you understand data center maintenance, electrical systems, and engineering. Some roles in this sector include mining technician, mining manager, mining specialist, electronics technician, and mining process engineer.
Business development representative
Like in any sector, business development representatives build relationships with other companies and generate leads. They typically have worked in finance, marketing, or business in the past, though they also want to understand the crypto market so they can better achieve their company’s goals.
Product managers help companies differentiate their products from other offerings in the market by launching “non-fungible token, or NFT, marketplaces, encoded health-care records and anti-money laundering tracking systems,” Linda explained. Product managers who have worked in non-crypto-related launches are particularly well-suited to this career shift.
If you’ve funded traditional finance operations, you may find it natural to pivot into venture capitalist endeavors in the crypto industry. You’ll need an understanding of economics, financial modeling, and, of course, cryptocurrency. Some of the roles in this sector include a research analyst, investment analyst, and portfolio analyst.
How to Break Into the Industry
- Understand cryptocurrency. In job interviews, you’re likely to be asked a question where you’re asked to explain Bitcoin. You can take a class on this topic at a college or university, or expand your knowledge by reading up on the subject or listening to lectures.
- Develop a project that you can share at job interviews. If you are applying for a developer position, add to open-source projects that you can then share in the job interview.
- Understand how to describe crypto to the general public. “You need to speak the language of the crypto-native while empathizing with mainstream users’ general lack of caring about the fact your product uses blockchain,” said Chase Chapman whose company Decentology explains blockchain to users and developers. “When you’re able to hit that sweet spot, you unlock a lot of value.”
- Learn from a variety of use cases. Before you can develop the industry, you need to understand failed efforts, especially so you can adapt to problems more effectively.
- Make connections virtually and in person. Like in any career pivot, you need to connect with others already working in the field.
The Crypto Industry Isn’t Just a Fad
In some ways, cryptocurrency has been portrayed as an unreliable currency that won’t ever be legitimized. But this doesn’t seem to be the case. A University of Chicago study found that 13 percent of people traded cryptocurrency in the last year, compared to 24 percent who traded stocks.
This figure indicates there will be a huge boom in crypto-related jobs in the coming years, and because of the nascency of the industry, companies will look for applications from professionals in similar fields who have developed industry-specific skills.