2017 was officially cryptocurrency’s coming out party. Skyrocketing prices brought increased mainstream attention and a certain cultural cache to what was previously a niche concern. Digital currency startups are now seeing tremendous investment and growth, most without acquiring a corporate feel. So what makes working in crypto so desirable, and what kind of jobs are out there for you?
The Benefits of an ICO
ICOs, or Initial Coin Offerings, have allowed cryptocurrency projects to raise significant capital quickly while bypassing venture capital firms entirely (if desired). This means companies like Filecoin, who raised $257 million in a recent ICO to fund their blockchain-based, decentralized file storage system, have significant resources available immediately to hire good people – and the autonomy to dictate their own direction.
Having an immediate influx of capital means higher salaries (roughly 10-20% higher than industry standards, in both technical and non-technical roles), as well as desirable profit-sharing arrangements. Equity stakes are frequent, especially at coin companies. While there are often restrictions on how equity holders can exercise their options (like most equity arrangements), coins are liquid by nature – meaning employees can hold a potential stake in a company as if it was a startup while being able to liquidate their holdings like a publicly-traded company.
Types of Jobs
Talented, experienced engineers are always in demand in technical fields, and cryptocurrency is no exception. But even less-experienced engineers or engineers without experience working on cryptocurrency-related projects are desirable – what matters most is a genuine interest in blockchain and a desire to learn. Blockchain engineers, full-stack developers, and front-end developers are vital to crypto companies, helping create decentralized apps (or ‘dapps’), working in UX and UI design, and handling other nuts-and-bolts type tasks.
Like any rapidly-growing startup, crypto companies are also hiring for a variety of non-technical roles, like marketing, operations, customer support, business development, and more. Initial expertise again matters less than an ability to learn – hiring managers are looking for candidates who can rapidly absorb and synthesize intricate technical information, contributing to a general understanding of blockchain and similar technologies.
It is an exciting time to be involved with a crypto startup. Companies are doing innovative, exciting things every day in a burgeoning field with myriad opportunities, regardless of experience level. Blockchain and cryptocurrency are here to stay, and now more people than ever have a chance to make a personal stamp on the ongoing revolution.
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