Thinking of a career in crypto? Learn these skills

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jan 10, 2022

Jan 10, 2022 • by Rebecca Smith

The advent of bitcoin and related technologies has spawned a slew of new job opportunities, ranging from highly specialized data scientist and Ethereum developer positions to more entry-level blockchain professions including coding or supporting roles for fintech companies.

These are some of the abilities that you may require if you want to pursue a career in cryptocurrencies.

Hard skills

Because blockchain is an essentially technical profession, if you have applicable hard skills, you will probably be able to obtain some of the top bitcoin job opportunities. Because blockchain has only been operating for a little over a decade, formal education in these areas isn't necessarily required. Many of those who have risen to the top have achieved this because they developed an interest early on and sharpened their capabilities by experimenting with and designing software. Here are a few skills and disciplines required for a rewarding career in cryptocurrencies. 

Knowing the ins and outs of trading cryptocurrency is definitely an advantage when going into a career in crypto, but if you have other similar skills already, (such as working for forex brokers) can give you a headstart as well, since many of the skills will transfer over.

Understanding blockchain technology

It's an obvious place to start, but to go beyond an entry-level position, you'll need to understand how the system operates. There are numerous parts to the blockchain, as well as numerous variations of blockchain networks. Because distributed ledgers combine numerous different components, it is more appropriate to refer to them as blockchain technology. You'll need a solid understanding of blockchain principles, the structure of various systems, how they're utilized, and more. Start here if you don't already have it.

Coding

There are numerous technical crypto professions that will need coding abilities, whether you work as a blockchain programmer or perform blockchain analysis of data, security protocols, and so on. Some languages will be more valuable to you than others. Blockchain protocols are often written in C++, Java, and Scala. It's also a good idea to be familiar with other programming languages and frameworks, such as Python, Node.js, and Rust. Alternatively, you may be engaged in web or UX design — read below for more information.

Smart contracting

Smart contract design is a subset of coding. This is a somewhat technical field, and Ethereum development positions and other occupations that necessitate an understanding of smart contracts are very well compensated. 

You may also be tasked with performing third-party inspections of other companies' smart contracts, which is a high-stakes task. This topic has grown in importance as weaknesses in a handful of well-known smart contracts have been exploited, resulting in millions of dollars in losses. You can basically determine your own compensation if you have training in auditing. Businesses are aware that their goods are continuously under assault, and they would like to collaborate with the people who can uncover the flaws instead of against them.

Security and cryptography

General awareness of the cryptocurrency security landscape is a crucial skill. Knowledge of cryptography algorithms, public-key encryption, elliptic curve identities, cryptographic hashes, and Merkle proofs is also advantageous and will be necessary for most of the more prominent as well as some entrance level blockchain positions. As a security architect, you will be in charge of developing and sustaining the solutions that will keep your company and products secure and prevent unauthorized exploitation. This is a critical role in any sector, but it is critical in blockchain – a high-responsibility role that will necessitate a high level of skill. You will need to know terms like “is pump and dump illegal” to be able to identify sketchy situations and possible legal issues.

Data examination

Because of its transparent architecture, blockchain allows for access to massive amounts of data. Understanding how to extract this, interpret it, make sense of it, and utilize it to empower businesses and other organizations is critical – in fact, data scientists are at the top of the list of the best-paid bitcoin job openings. You'll most likely require a scientific, math, or engineering background, as well as coding skills, because you'll be creating tools to assist you process the abundance of data contained in the blockchain.

User Experience Design

Even outside of bitcoin employment, this is one of the top skills mentioned by LinkedIn for 2020. It's a potent combo, especially because blockchain is another top talent for the year. You'll need to be skilled at designing beautiful, user-friendly interfaces that connect to the blockchain and allow users to utilize its capabilities without having to understand or worry about what's going on behind the scenes.

Excellent front-end development abilities, as well as knowledge of applicable programming languages, are required. You'll most likely be using APIs to connect to the blockchain and access its functionality through your UI, but it never hurts to understand how the blockchain works and how it differs from other centralized databases you've worked with in the past.

Website creation

Similarly, web developers are in high demand to construct everything from company websites to trading portals and interfaces for blockchain services. For frontend work, you'll need standard web development languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but Node.js, Go, Python, Scala, and a variety of other options are ideal if you want to go into a bitcoin career that requires backend programming.

Again, if your site links to the blockchain, it will almost certainly use APIs, so it makes sense for you to grasp how they function and what's going on behind the scenes – even if you don't require the same level of deep technical expertise that a blockchain developer does.

Legal/compliance

While it is not a technical role, many cryptocurrency jobs strive to assure compliance within the complicated and ever-changing regulatory landscape for blockchain and digital currencies. Depending on the role, you may be required to have a law degree as well as other credentials or certification, such as a license to practice.

Other professions will not require this, but you will need a thorough understanding of the regulations that apply to cryptocurrency. Furthermore, you'll need to keep up with it as it changes - which it does frequently as different jurisdictions alter their attitude and clarify the rules. Because blockchain is a global technology, there's a good possibility you'll need to understand the regulations not only in your country but also in other key jurisdictions. 

Develop a variety of talents

While any of these talents will provide you access to anything from an entry-level blockchain job to one of the most senior and well-paid roles, this is not the type of industry where you should be taking things easy. The more talents you can learn and the more adaptable you are, the more value you will provide to your firm. If you continue to learn and acquire talents that firms sorely need, you may be in line for lateral moves into another area of the organization or an unexpected promotion. You could even work as a freelancer in crypto.

Soft skills

But it's not only about hard skills. While developers and other technical professions are in high demand, cryptocurrency careers entail considerably more than the development of software and infrastructure. There are openings in marketing and communications, as well as community management. Both of these involve soft skills – but, as always, the more you know about how blockchain works, the better. Some of the most important soft skills are:

Creativity

This is true for both technical and non-technical positions. Blockchain is a fast-paced sector where the rules are continuously being created. Those who can think outside the box and develop ideas and solutions that do not already exist will be incredibly important. This entails developing new economic models that align interests among multiple stakeholders, new forms of community and interaction, and new means of connecting with potential audiences, in addition to designing the software that will support the next blockchain platforms.

Wrapping up

Blockchain is the most in-demand skill for 2020, and there are numerous chances for people interested in a career in cryptocurrencies. If you have the technical capabilities but are just getting started, there are many entry-level blockchain jobs available, ranging from blockchain engineer roles to Ethereum developer jobs to marketing and support positions. Those with more experience and knowledge may soon find themselves at the top of the salary scale in a high-responsibility job in security, data analysis, or blockchain development. Furthermore, as organizations strive to operate under ever-changing regulatory frameworks, legal and compliance professions are becoming increasingly vital in the blockchain ecosystem.

To be a self-starter who can be trusted to work alone, to continue learning about the industry, to be a team player, and to be committed to bringing value to the organization in whatever manner you can – in and beyond your chosen function – is essential for all bitcoin careers.