With the rise of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain jobs are some of the most in-demand positions around. In fact, jobs that involve blockchain development have increased nearly 200% over the past year.
But while cryptocurrency development is rooted in blockchain, not all blockchain jobs directly relate to the cryptocurrency industry. Blockchain is a digitized, decentralized transaction of any information the sender wants to be encrypted but not copied, deleted, or even stored by a central authority (like a bank or a government entity). So when looking for a job in blockchain development, think outside the Bitcoin box. You may find the job market on the fringes is much less competitive.
“Much of the excitement and speculation around blockchain and distributed ledger technology is tied to the ability to secure, manage and verify data in a tamperproof environment,” IHS Markit researchers point out, adding that its potential to replace traditional database or escrow approaches could revolutionize a variety of industries that require high data security and integrity. Top highlights for blockchain development outside the cryptocurrency landscape are:
- Semiconductor manufacturing: Cryptocurrency mining requires a lot of chip processing power. According to IHS, companies that focus on graphics processing units (GPUs), application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), along with the chip foundries and test/design firms that manufacture these chips are where to look.
- Oil, gas and other chemical and energy areas: BP and Shell are looking into modernizing the post-transaction management of physical energy commodity trading using blockchain. Others are looking at using the technology to ballot partners on new projects, perform joint interest billing, and report production revenue.
- The Internet of Things (IoT): According to IBM, blockchain is being used to track sensor data measurements, exchange data directly, enable device autonomy, and provide other functions for all kinds of internet-enabled devices in our daily lives.
- Media, advertising, and telecommunications: Everything from audience verification to royalty payments and fraud protection can be enabled through blockchain, says the IHS researchers.
- Real estate and commercial industries using smart contracts: Smart contracts enabled by blockchain technology are automatically validated, signed and enforced; eliminating the need for mediators in real estate and other legal and financial transactions.
- Human resources and payroll: Blockchain is being used to help simplify payroll (particularly overseas), certifications and digital-processes management. It might one day be used for background checking and other onboarding functions to help increase transparency in the hiring process, too.
- Supply chain management: Ways to track the movement of goods and ensure quality assurance along the way are valuable uses for blockchain being investigated by food companies and other manufacturers.
And that’s just the beginning of the list. Check out this list from Entrepreneur and this one from CB Insights with dozens of other industries hiring blockchain developers right now. It seems whatever you’re interested in—like nonprofit, civic service, healthcare, the gig economy, or sports—there’s a place for you.
“There is a strong demand for blockchain developer talent from both startups and established companies,” says Matthew Kenahan, director of development for the Chicago Blockchain Center and product marketer for the Wanchain Foundation. “Those who know Solidity and have familiarity or experience with smart contracts are especially well-positioned as prospective hires.”
If you’re new to Solidity or blockchain development altogether, Kenahan says there are ways to catch up quickly. The Austin Blockchain Collective features several organizations that offer meetups, clubs, and other crash-course type opportunities for those who simply need to pivot into specific areas of blockchain development.
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