Bitcoin’s valuation in 2009 was $0USD. In 2021, Bitcoin’s valuation was at an all-time high at above $60,000USD, a staggering comparison to its value just 12 years ago. In a quick summary, cryptocurrency is any digital currency that can be traded for various goods and services, and is also traded for profit. Crypto’s growth and lucrative investment opportunities has made it a highly sought-after career choice. Web3 may be a better term to refer to a career in cryptocurrency – Web3 encompasses opportunities in NFTs, DeFi, blockchain, and crypto (e.g. Ethereum, Bitcoin, Solana).
Like most careers in newer and more volatile industries however, a career in Web3 seems elusive. The elusiveness is in part because technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrency is such a new phenomenon that university degrees in the industry are probably twenty to thirty years out. Web3 comes without the guidance that a degree in finance or marketing would afford a young professional. So what does a career in Web3 look like?
Actually, a career in Web3 is quite similar to a career in another field. Most current job roles can be translated into a role in a Web3 / crypto firm. There are several significant divisions within the crypto job market, which include banking, tech, government, finance, insurance, and retail. Some positions in high demand include engineers in intelligence, software, and web developing; as well as analysts in finance, research, security. Not all positions are within quantitative or technical skills – Web3 companies also need journalists to write about trends and news, and technical writers to create engaging content for audiences. Job postings for jobs in Web3 / cryptocurrency have increased by 120% since last year, and according to cryptojoblists.com, there have been 56,000 applications for crypto positions sent out in the last week alone.
What is unique about a career in Web3 / cryptocurrency is growth opportunities – it’s possible to advance into a senior position within 24 months because of how new the industry is, and how labour is in high demand. Blockchain is a technology that allows a secure and anonymous exchange of currency without the need for a third party. Blockchain can be integrated into nearly every business industry. A great first step is to begin thinking of a problem within your current industry that blockchain could solve, and how to integrate blockchain into the transactions within your industry.
Web3 companies differ from traditional companies because they aren’t centralized around a certain location. For example, there are plenty of crypto roles that are fully remote. This is an advantage if you want to begin a career in cryptocurrency – you can start no matter where you are located. If a career in cryptocurrency interests you, here is a list of some of today’s most advanced firms with hiring schemes. For reference, here are some stats about the largest crypto firms and the size of their workforce:
- Coinbase: 3,538 employees
- Crypto.com: 1,914 employees
- BlockFi: 806 employees
- Gemini: 681 employees
- Ripple: 607
- Ethereum: 489 employees
- Blockchain.com: 415 employees
- Consensys: 547 employees
In comparison, here the sizes of some tech and finance firms:
- Honey: 588 employees
- Venmo: 713 employees
- Cash App: 1,213 employees
- Slack: 3,425 employees
- Bird: 952 employees
- Line Corp: 3,805 employees
It’s clear that there are already many size-able Web3 / cryptocurrency companies, especially in comparison to a big industry like technology. So how would someone find their start in crypto? We’ve done some research and followed the career paths of 30 people who are working in cryptocurrency firms and their most recent position prior to their current role. Through our research, we’ve also found that most people working in cryptocurrency now already had a solid footing in whatever industry they were working in prior to making their career shifts. Previous positions in finance or banking were commonplace. Those who work less directly with cryptocurrency finance and technology, such as in brand partnerships in marketing, had held previous positions at other companies in those fields.
The technology and software engineering involved in a Web3 / cryptocurrency career are new and likely would require extra online courses. Refer to end of blog post for some great choices. One that is of particular interest is https://buildspace.so/: this is a Y-Combinator backed startup that is focused on helping individuals learn about crypto and web3. From their website: “If you’re a dev that’s curious about web3 but not sure where to start — this is the spot for you.” There likely will be many other companies focused on building onramps into the crypto / web3 space.
For non-technical roles, if someone were to pivot from a career in marketing or investments, it’s likely that a shift into cryptocurrency would not involve an in-depth study into crypto-specific software. Instead, a good idea would be to do some background research into the cryptocurrency industry as a whole and how existing business sectors are adapted in the industry.
We interviewed several Lloyd members and friends who work in cryptocurrency about what a career in cryptocurrency looks like, and have given insight into what industries compare to crypto’s job market.
“The subject matter is large enough now that you can’t possibly learn everything, so I’d try to find an angle that most excites you and go deep. For example, I was initially really interested in the way the protocols and consensus mechanisms were designed. Then I got interested in the creator economy. Lots of people start with reading Whitepapers and engaging with the community on Twitter to find projects to support.” – Varada
“I had been following Bitcoin since 2010. I was aware of the problems facing the industry and how we could build and grow a business that would be impactful and well received by the community. The most important factor to our early success, and the biggest obstacle to overcome, was to establish trust with our customers and the broader community. Crypto has had a lot of scams and it is challenging to establish trust in a community that has as one of its mottos ‘don’t trust, verify’.” – Ken
- Follow prominent leaders in crypto on Twitter to stay up to date on the community.
- Dickie Bush
- Gaby Goldberg
- Packy McCormick
- Messari Crypto
- Alex Gladstein
- Nick Szabo
2. Get familiarized with crypto through articles and YouTube videos.
- Curious Beginner’s Guide to Crypto
- Reading List about Web3 (machine based data for websites),
- So you want to learn about Web3
- The Block
- Infinite Machine (book)
- Tim Ferris’s Crypto Podcast
3. Keep an eye on job boards.
- Web3 Jobs
- Cryptocurrency job board 1
- Cryptocurrency job board 2
- Cryptocurrency job board 3
- Cryptocurrency job board 4
- Cryptocurrency job board 5
- Pomp Crypto Jobs
4. Consider enrolling in some intro-level cryptocurrency courses.
- Princeton University’s 23 hour Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies online course
- UCBerkeley’s 18-30 hour Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies course hosted through EdX
- The Linux Foundation’s 28-42 hour Blockchain course hosted through EdX
- Pomp’s Crypto Course (Fundamentals of Bitcoin & Crypto)
- Become a Web 3.0 developer in 3 weeks
- Crypto Startup School
In sum, the Web3 space has lots of buzz, and there are real opportunities for people to work in this space. People have entered crypto often from adjacent spaces, such a finance, FinTech, and Big Tech. That doesn’t mean those are the only onramps into Web3, so if you aren’t working in that space now, creating a strong narrative for yourself will be important. Some of the nomenclature can be foreign to start, but stay persistent and be curious.
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