The crypto bear market has seen the billions of dollars in valuations evaporate within the past 6-8 months. Most Tokens are now at or below ICO price, and the rate of new ICO’s have dramatically decreased due to an increase in regulatory scrutiny and an overall lack of confidence in the market.
However, despite all this, Glassdoor reports that Bitcoin and Blockchain related jobs have risen by as much as 300% from August 2017 to August 2018.
As shown in the chart, Bitcoin/Blockchain jobs around August were just 446. During peak Bitcoin prices, they rose to 748. Despite more than a 70% drop in price from January to August, the number of jobs grew all the way to 1,775.
Other interesting statistics show that 19% of the blockchain job listings were for software engineers, and the median salary for blockchain-related job openings was $84,884 per year. This is $32,423 or 61.8 percent over the US median salary of $52,461, according to Glass door’s August 2018 Local Pay Report.
Furthermore, New York City and San Francisco, respectively, represent a disproportionate share of blockchain-related jobs at 24 percent and 21 percent of total job openings. San Jose (6 percent), Chicago (4 percent) and Seattle (4 percent), also known for their financial and technical expertise, round out the top five cities for blockchain job openings. In total, these cities account for 59% of open blockchain related jobs in the US.
One of the main reasons why jobs may have grown too rapidly in the past year was because of the amount of attention that was focused on Bitcoin and blockchain technology while prices were at an all-time high. The constant news of Bitcoin breaking record prices caught the eye of hungry investors, but also caught the eye of developers, lawyers, marketers and other professional interested in pursuing new career opportunities in a fast-growing space. Even as the prices began to decline rapidly, these professionals still flocked to space because they held a much more long-term view of building a career in blockchain technology, as opposed to just buying and selling coins to make a quick profit. This leads me to my next point.
Builders vs. speculators
The people who have been drawn into the crypto space in the past year primarily fall into two categories: Builders and Speculators. Speculators represent the retail and sophisticated investors who view crypto as just another asset class to diversify their funds and make short to long-term profits by longing or shorting the market. Most of those people showed up when Bitcoin was approaching 20,000. Their numbers have declined due to the fact that the majority of them were burned by buying tokens at the wrong time, or invested in failed ICO (ironically, Bitcoin trading volume has actually reached $1.2tillion this month, which may have more to do with an increase in day traders entering the market, while long-term investors have stayed the same or decreased).
Builders are the entrepreneurs, developers, lawyers, marketers and other professionals who are much more long-term focused. The reason why the job growth has increased despite us being in a bear market is that people who wish to build a career in blockchain technology anticipate its value increasing steadily over several years, and hope to establish themselves as experts in the space by the time it indeed becomes mainstream.
Although speculators bring excitement and attention to the crypto space, builders are ultimately the ones who have worked and will continue working over many months and years to prove that the hype around bitcoin and blockchain technology is worth it.