How to Get into the Crypto Industry – 2020’s Most Promising Sectors
By: Mary Ann Callahan – 30 March 2020
According to a recent CNBC’s article, the ability to work with blockchain is the most in-demand skill of 2020. That’s good news for computer science majors, crypto enthusiasts, experts in bitcoin trading, and blockchain developers everywhere. As blockchain’s potential is just starting to be recognized it seems likely that blockchain may remain one of the most in-demand skills for many years to come. With that in mind, let’s overview a short list of some of the most promising sectors within the crypto industry. Good jobs and gainful employment are available whether you work for yourself or someone else.
The Intersection of Crypto and Government Finance
China is the most high profile country with a plan to roll out a CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency). They’re on track to release a blockchain-based version of the Yuan sometime in 2020 and President Xi is on record as promoting the increased adoption of blockchain within the country. China, however, is not the only country with plans for digital currency. Russia has announced that they’re going to begin testing a digital Ruble and France has also said that they’ll soon be conducting trial runs of their own digital currency.
This trial concerns the question of blockchain currency not being implemented by the older generations of men and women who typically run banks. Instead, governments and central banks are recruiting blockchain developers to help them create their digital currencies. That creates a strong demand for people who are familiar with both blockchain and finance. Given that there are so few developers that meet these qualifications, if your expertise falls in this area there’s a great chance you’ll find an excellent job. If not now then certainly in the next year or two as dozens of countries inevitably begin to unveil plans to create their own digital currencies.
Crypto Custody and Secure Storage
As it is often repeated, one of the key roadblocks that are preventing institutions from getting involved with blockchain is custody. Until recently if a mutual fund or large family office wanted to invest in crypto the options they had to securely store their coins were limited. Often it would come down to someone buying a Ledger in order to self-custody the Bitcoin or whatever other currency that was being invested in. The disadvantages of self-custody (when considering millions or tens of millions of dollars’ worth of crypto) are obvious. A solution was needed and thankfully during the last year, a lot has changed.
It began with Fidelity, they were one of the first large institutions to launch a Bitcoin custody service. Bakkt came next with their own custody solution. Other products are also available. For instance, Coinbase custodial funds and their service is used by the likes of Grayscale.
All of these services are really just the tip of the iceberg. As more people invest in crypto and the industry matures it’s likely that dozens of new players will enter the space. Germany provides a great example of what could happen. The European powerhouse recently amended its laws so that “regular” banks can custody Bitcoin. Already dozens of banks have applied for the necessary licenses to do so. Given that few of these banks have blockchain experts on their payroll, or if they do it’s unlikely they have enough, there is going to be a hiring spree as licenses are granted by the German government. Anyone who is an expert in crypto security should have no problem finding a job in the industry.
Thanks to somewhat vague regulations and cheap renewable energy, the largest Bitcoin mining operations have typically been located in China. That’s changing, however, as mining is becoming more popular in America. In fact, Texas is the future home of what’s shaping up to be the world’s largest Bitcoin mining operation (once construction is completed). The new mining operation, backed by the likes the SBI Holdings, is anticipated to have a 1 gigawatt capacity by the end of 2020.
The Texas operation isn’t the only addition to America’s Bitcoin mining dynasty as Crusoe Energy Systems is planning a $70 million Bitcoin mining facility in the Rockies. Crypto mining operations require non-stop cooling and by locating in the Rockies the operation can get that cooling for free.
Crypto mining in the United States is clearly expanding and that expansion requires blockchain engineers to keep the ASICs running. These large mining facilities have tens of millions of dollars’ worth of specialized equipment and that means hundreds of jobs for those with the right training. These two operations are only part of a larger picture and we haven’t even covered the ever-expanding portable mining industry which uses excess natural gas to power Bitcoin miners. Gaining expertise in crypto mining may be one of the fastest ways to get involved with the crypto industry.
Pave Your Own Path
The final way to get involved in the crypto industry, at least the last way that we’ll cover in this article, is to do it yourself! Pick a smart contract cryptocurrency platform, learn the language and start coding your own Dapps! Crypto is in a really interesting position right now, therefore there are a lot of resources available for would-be programmers, but the marketplace is not yet flooded so it’s still possible for smaller projects to get noticed.
The odds of a good Dapp getting noticed are much better than the odds of a good App getting noticed in either Apple or Android’s overcrowded marketplace. DeFi on the Ethereum blockchain is particularly hot right now but there are lots of opportunities in other sectors as well.
Whatever crypto industry you’re interested in, from mining engineer to Dapp developer, the opportunities today are excellent. Crypto is on the verge of an explosion as large as the internet explosion in the late nineties. Those who get their foot in the door now are setting themselves up for great future prospects in an expanding, high paying industry.