Despite slumping bitcoin prices in 2018, the cryptocurrency space has continued to see a huge development in a market lacking top-level expertise, according to an interview in the Wall Street Journal.
Ripple chief cryptographer David Schwartz pointed out that one developer on his team had recently received two USD 1 million signing bonus offers, one from a crypto startup and the other from a blockchain tech company headhunting for blockchain expertise, according to Business Insider.
According to Finder.au, 4,500 job openings with the terms “blockchain”, “bitcoin” or “cryptocurrency” in the title have been posted on LinkedIn this year, an increase up to May of this year of 151% over 2017. This compared to 2016 when only 645 openings were posted.
The eye-watering signing bonuses for crypto and blockchain developers with just a few years of experience is unusual in any tech company, despite bonus schemes being the norm with top tech companies, according to recent TeamBlind figures. Its survey revealed that 67% of tech companies questioned received a bonus but only 11% received an amount over USD 100,000.
One of the reasons for the spike in bonuses was due to a surge in demand in December 2017, prompting exchanges to scale up their operations in order to meet customer demand, particularly as the funds were readily available to do so.
Cryptopia, a relatively small New Zealand exchange, started in 2017 with two staff members and finished with about 100, with plans to hire many more. Coinbase aims to double its headcount in 2018 with top talent, while Kraken plans to quintuple it from 200 to 1,000.
Juha Mikkola, co-founder of Wyncode Academy, a coding school, told Business Insider he knows of developers being paid double the going rate for their blockchain experience, claiming, “It’s not just tech companies that need this talent, it’s real-estate, non-profits, and banks.”
There is a shortage of talent and it’s more of a headache than Bitcoin’s volatility, according to Miha Grcar, the head of business development for Bitstamp: “Globally, the pool of talent – people with experience in blockchain and distributed-ledger technology – is somewhat limited… This is a big challenge.”
Ripple’s David Schwartz had the last word: “The hiring packages have gotten insane.”
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