bitcoin mine

Individuals with bitcoin expertise are high in demand. Source: Shutterstock

Bitcoin, blockchain skills rise in demand as cryptocurrency values balloon

THE RISE OF CRYPTOCURRENCY has driven up demand for skilled workers with expertise in the nascent but increasingly popular segment, according to industry research.

According to online freelancer marketplace Upwork, the second and third categories of work skills on the platform are directly related to those with blockchain and bitcoin-related tasks. Last quarter, according to reporting by Bloomberg, saw particular surge in demand for online freelancers with those skills.

It’s boom times for the cryptocurrency industry. Major developments have helped launch the price of cryptocurrency by as much as 500 percent this year, including recent announcements by CME Group’s decision to offer bitcoin futures and increased development of blockchain-based products from both private and public sector entities.

Companies today are scrambling to find ways to include the new tech into their operations, thus leading to the rise in the skills demand.

Blockchain, the public distributed-ledger technology that forms the basis for cryptocurrency, is being implemented in various industries for transferring information securely, building up databases, and even preventing the spread of fake foods.

Blockchain’s ability to bypass intermediaries and the scrutiny of regulators has led to its popularity as well as general concern about the reckless proliferation of the technology.

Upwork’s data noted that robotics was the only technology skill to overtake blockchain and bitcoin. In fourth place was a specialist cybersecurity skill called “penetration testing” – essentially the work of security professionals and white hat hackers, whereby simulated attacks are conduction on mainframes in order to locate weaknesses or test new protocols – while Amazon Web Services skills and “deep learning” took eighth place.