According to various journalists and analysts, Bitcoin is dead—and it’s died more than 350 times. (In that list, you’ll also find a number of obituaries for blockchain and crypto.) With these articles coming every year since 2010, perhaps the analysts are a bit off. While the debate about the merits of cryptocurrency and whether blockchain is a fad rages on, we took a look at US Indeed data to see whether tech talent is still interested in the field—and whether employers are still hiring.
So with searches for crypto, blockchain and Bitcoin jobs down 67% from 2018 to 2019, has the job market for blockchain and crypto actually started to go by the wayside?
Jobs Up, Searches Down
According to our data, the crypto and blockchain market is far from dead—in fact, it’s still rapidly growing. From February 2018 to February 2019, we saw the share of US job postings related to crypto, blockchain and Bitcoin grow 90%.
So why has job seeker interest slid so far from February 2018 to February 2019? Well…
Trend of bitcoin price (January 2013 to May 2019). [source]
Not only did bitcoin reach an all-time high in December 2017, in February 2019 it had 37% of the value it did compared to the year before. Job seekers responded to the peak in bitcoin pricing with searches for roles related to Bitcoin, crypto and blockchain:
So while job seeker interest dipped quite a bit since last year as bitcoin’s price slid, the share of searches related to crypto and blockchain is still up 553% from 2016 to 2019.
While there have been dips in the share of job postings, crypto and blockchain roles have steadily increased since 2016. Though Bitcoin launched in 2009, companies only started to seriously look at implementing blockchain beyond currency a few years later.
We see the share of employer interest go up in mid-to-late 2016, shortly after IBM announced its “Bluemix Garage,” setting itself up for the Blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) market. In fact, the share of job postings for blockchain and crypto is up 4,086% from 2016 to 2019. That’s in no small part due to the banking industry investing in blockchain because it brings down costs while increasing transparency as well as speed and safety in storing and transmitting data. As of late 2018, three-quarters of banks were either adopting or looking into blockchain.
For the first time, the number of jobs per million exceeded the number of searches per million. It could be reasonable to assume that if bitcoin drops dramatically again, a candidate looking for a blockchain role would run into less competition than they would after a large increase. There also does appear to be a skills shortage as enterprise projects have matured over the last three years.
Companies hiring the most
With employer interest near its peak, we examined which US employers have the largest amount of listings related to Bitcoin, crypto and blockchain. Banks might stand to benefit the most from blockchain, but only one lands in our top ten: JPMorgan Chase (JPM).
Earlier this month, Microsoft made JPM’s Quorum blockchain (its enterprise version of Ethereum launched four years ago) the first distributed ledger platform through the Azure Blockchain Service. Microsoft lands eighth on the list right behind JPM.
Filling out the list are two more tech giants (IBM and Cisco) and six consulting firms, including three of the Big Four Accounting Firms. Ten on the list is the only dedicated blockchain company, Consensys. These rankings suggest that though banking is heavily investing in blockchain, consulting firms so far have the highest concentration of opportunities for those in the industry.
Where blockchain professionals should be
Next, we looked at what metros had the highest share of job postings in crypto and blockchain:
This list is close to the largest tech hubs of 2019 (metros where tech jobs have the largest share of postings) but has a few notable differences. New York, for example, isn’t considered a “tech hub” though it has a lot of tech jobs—it simply has a lot of jobs. However, it places third in blockchain/crypto jobs, playing host to a number of consulting firms, and, of course, Wall Street. Chicago and Denver also have a large share of jobs that are in blockchain or crypto, but aren’t “tech hubs” either.
On the flipside, while Baltimore and Raleigh are “tech hubs,” they don’t place in the top ten for blockchain/crypto roles. All that to say, if you’re looking to make a move to a new role and a new home, make sure you’re not just going to a metro with “hot tech roles,” but one with the right roles for you.
Investing in bitcoin right now may or may not pay off, but it’s a great time to jump into a blockchain career as the overall industry trends in the right direction. Job seekers might be fickle in their interest, but employers, from consultants to banking to government, are still full steam ahead in hiring those ready for the opportunity.
Methodology: Indeed analyzed the percentage change in share of job postings and share of job searches per million for roles related to bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain during the time period specified.
Companies and metro areas listed had the highest share of job postings related to bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain on Indeed from February 2018 to February 2019.
Tal Vinnik leads content strategy for Indeed Prime, the service that connects tech talent to leading brands and startups.