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Getting a Job at a Crypto Startup in 2018

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Recent months have seen a phenomenal rise in investment in cryptocurrency startups and subsequently the amount of crypto job openings.  Statistics for the first 6 months of 2017 alone indicate that more money was invested in cryptocurrency startups in that time than in the entirety of 2016. Going hand-in- hand with the rise of cryptocurrency companies are their demands for talented staff to help them develop and grow. AngelList, a company that provide job listings for startups, has stated that the number of jobs available at cryptocurrency
startups nearly doubled in the first 6 months of 2017 with over 2,500 technical roles and over 1,000 non-technical roles listed. Many of these jobs relate to blockchain and cryptocurrency engineering, but outside of the technical sphere there are also opportunities in areas such as marketing, business development, customer support and many other support roles.

Crypto Jobs Boom

One of the reasons for this influx of jobs is as a result of cryptocurrencies becoming more mainstream in 2017, with the huge increases in the value of coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum attracting more interest from investors. However, investment in cryptocurrency is not only occurring as a result of established brands, but also through Initial Coin Offerings, which has changed how funding works in the tech industry. Many ICO’s can raise millions of dollars in mere hours, with the largest ICO in history being Filecoin, which raised $257 million to help develop its decentralized file storage platform on the blockchain. With all of this money being raised, it is hardly surprising that one of the first goals of the startup is to put in place a team to help develop the project.

In terms of the job specs in a crypto startup, although prior knowledge of cryptocurrency can be of assistance to applicants, there are many areas of the business in which the staff does not need to be experts in the industry prior to taking on the role. Soft skills in non-technical roles are equally important in helping startups reach their goals.

Crypto Role Benefits

Some of the perks of working for a cryptocurrency startup include:
 Better Salaries – Statistics indicate that in both technical and non-technical roles, cryptocurrency startup salaries are between 10-20% higher than the industry norm. In addition, many cryptocurrency startups include profit-sharing arrangements as being one of the benefits
for employees.

 Remote Flexibility – One of the founding principles of the blockchain is that it offers decentralisation, and that is also applicable to its staff. Many crypto startup employees work remotely, and may never even have to visit the company office. Even those that do work in an
office tend to have flexible work policies that only require them to attend the office on certain days.

 Employee Liquidity – Early employees in new coin / token companies tend to receive coins as a form of compensation similar to equity. While the employees may have some restrictions on when such coins can be sold, they are inherently liquid from an equity perspective.
As stated above, deep knowledge of blockchain technology is generally not required, with companies placing greater value in a genuine willingness to learn about the cryptocurrency market, as well as the ability to be able to contribute to the startup from the outset. In terms of the roles available in a startup, the technical roles are primarily in engineering anddevelopment, with blockchain engineers, full-stack developers and front-end developers being in the highest demand.

 Blockchain engineers will generally work in Solidity (the Ethereum smart-contract language) and the role will involve creating custom tokens for the platform, building decentralised apps or building clients, with some other roles involving the use of tools like Multichain, Hyperledger and private Ethereum chains.

 Full-stack developers will work with similar technologies to front-end candidates, using technology such as MySQL, javascript, python, C++ etc. Depending on the focus of the startup, developers will also be likely to be working with the Bitcoin or Ethereum clients.

 Front-end developers will be involved in building effective and secure interfaces, with developers with experience in UX/UI design being especially in demand, especially early on in the startup’s development.

On the non-technical side, the departments with the highest number of vacancies are operations, design and marketing. In respect of the non-technical roles, although there may be no deep knowledge of blockchain required, startups do tend to look for people to learn fast in terms of researching and understanding technical concepts, and obtain a general understanding of blockchain technology and smart contracts. Ideally, hiring managers want people with an interest and passion in the cryptocurrency sphere and have a keen interest in the latest developments and technology in the community.

 

Article Update: December 30th, 2017

About the author

Jason Manolopoulos co-founded Dromeus Capital Group in April 2008 and is the co-CIO of the firm. Jason leads the firm's investment activities is a member of the Firm's Executive and...

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