Posted by Chuck Reynolds on June 05, 2017 - 3:39pm

Blockchain-related job adverts surge
Number of postings on LinkedIn more thantrebles in the past year

    

The number of job adverts on LinkedIn for blockchain-related positions

has more than trebled in the past year, illustrating how demand is booming for people with the skills to harness the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies. Experts say demand for blockchain expertise is far outstripping supply, making it one of the hottest areas for technology recruitment. As thousands of blockchain-based start-ups are being created, established companies in many sectors from financial services to retail are scrambling to get to grips with what the new systems can do.

“Is there a talent bubble? Yes. We haven’t even seen it yet,” said Jerry Cuomo, IBM’s vice-president of blockchain technologies. “There is an entirely new way for businesses to interact — it is awesome and as this takes root it will be revolutionary.” The best blockchain engineers can command a salary above $250,000, Mr Cuomo said. “It is on the high side of what a really talented consultant or software engineer can earn,” he added. “Demand is exceeding supply, so we are seeing shortages. It is up there with the cloud and artificial intelligence as a really hot area.” Blockchains are a decentralised settlement technology that powers the issuance of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, the value of which soared to more than $2,500 last week, up almost fivefold in the past year.

LinkedIn data requested by the Financial Times show there were more than 1,000 blockchain-related job adverts on the site last week, more than treble the level of a year ago. The number of blockchain ads is growing at more than 40 per cent each quarter. Almost 10,000 people on LinkedIn list blockchain as a skill, half of them in the technology industry and a quarter in the financial services sector. LinkedIn does not include blockchain among its official list of skills, but so many people are citing it as a custom skill that the site is considering adding it to the ones it formally tracks. “Professionals in related areas such as cryptography and machine learning may want to look at the roles available and the skills they need to develop, as there is certainly a growing demand within the technology, finance and insurance industries for blockchain expertise,” said Josh Graff, UK country manager at LinkedIn.

Blockchain technology has attracted renewed interest in the past few weeks thanks to virtual tokens being issued by companies to raise money via an “initial coin offering” as an alternative to selling shares. In total, there are more than 850 different cryptocurrencies with a total market capitalisation above $92bn — more than Goldman Sachs, Ford or Nike — according to coinmarketcap.com. “It is a hot market at the moment because most of the large corporates want to be able to say they have a blockchain team,” said Michael Mainelli, who runs blockchain training courses for senior executives and boards at his consultancy Z/Yen. The majority of the people listing blockchain as a skill on LinkedIn are based in the US, followed by the UK, France, India, Germany and the Netherlands.

Chuck Reynolds
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