Inside Blockchain’s Coronavirus Hiring Spree

Fibo Quantum

Since January 1, 2020, the share of job postings for cryptocurrency jobs has increased 4.77% on jobs site Indeed. During the course of March 2020, the share of job postings for roles related to cryptocurrency increased by 8.73%. 

The jobs site scraped those positions which included the keywords “cryptocurrency,” “bitcoin,” “ethereum,” “blockchain” or “litecoin” in the body or title. Positions include: 

  • Software engineer  
  • Software architect 
  • Senior software engineer
  • Full stack developer 
  • Front end developer 
  • Developer 
  • Instructor 
  • Transformation manager 
  • Product manager 
  • Development
  • Operations engineer 

According to Indeed’s data, companies hiring for jobs related to blockchain include:

  • IBM  
  • Cisco
  • Deloitte
  • Coinbase
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Facebook 
  • Accenture 
  • Ripple 
  • EY

When it comes to remote-only roles, the numbers are more dramatic. Since the beginning of January 2020, the share of all job postings that are for remote roles related to cryptocurrency increased by a whopping 40.3%. In March 2020 alone, the share of all job postings that are for for remote roles related to cryptocurrency increased by 42.86 %. The remote job positions include:

  • Broker 
  • Infrastructure engineer
  • Senior software engineer 
  • Developer 
  • Full stack developer 
  • Software engineer
  • Business development manager
  • Front end engineer 

As covered in March by Forbes.com, Kraken, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange, is also hiring. The company originally planned to hire 250 people in 2020, largely due to the upcoming bitcoin halving. As coronavirus led to people looking for alternative assets, Kraken bumped that number to 350, and moved up their hiring timeline.  According to data provided by the exchange, signups grew 39.5% in March month-over-month compared with February, while average daily signups for March were up 61% compared with January.

“The traditional system seems to be completely breaking down all over the world,” said Jesse Powell, co-founder and CEO of Kraken. “So, increased customer demand is going to mean increased business for us, and it’s going to mean increased hiring.” 

In recent weeks, the company turned to hiring people in the households of its employees, including roommates and close family members, for support related roles. “We did super streamlined on-boarding,” said Powell.

Part of Kraken’s motivation was to take care of its own employees. Part was to meet immediate demand. “We felt like members of the household were more likely to be able to vouch for each other,” said Powell. “In a remote working environment, having somebody there with you to help onboard you is really useful; someone sitting next to you to help to answer questions for you.”

It’s not in Kraken’s interest to have its employees completely distracted with the coronavirus crisis, says Powell. “Whether that be a spouse or a roommate losing their job, and now they’ve got to figure out how they are going to buy food or how they are going to pay their rent,” he said. “We were able to alleviate that pressure, which we think makes people more productive.”

They won’t have to deal with such distractions. “Just culturally and business wise, it made sense on so many levels to try to target the people in the households of our employees who are affected.”

Originally, Kraken was expecting to do most of the hiring in the months after the Bitcoin halving, an pre-programmed event on the bitcoin blockchain in which the amount of bitcoin’s rewarded to miners for solving computing puzzles will be cut in half. It is scheduled for May. “We weren’t expecting coronavirus to drop in all of this uncertainty,” Powell said. “It was the reason to hire earlier than we normally do.” 

Kraken isn’t the only exchange hiring. San Francisco-based Coinbase announced in a blog post the opening of 100 positions across its United States offices, Europe, and Asia.“As a cryptocurrency company, we’re in a unique position,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Coinbase has never known a time where we’ve operated without volatility. We have managed through 40x growth in a year, and negative 10x growth.” 

Armstrong adds: “In a world where unprecedented stimulus packages are being rolled by governments around the world, and a major expansion of the money supply is likely, I believe there has never been a better time for people around the world to learn about sound money and a more global, fair, financial system powered by cryptocurrency. “

If you’re looking to take a job in the blockchain industry, Powell points those interested towards the many Bitcoin job boards out there, such as BitGigs, the ‘Jobs4Bitoin’ subreddit, Crypto Jobs List, and others. Powell offers further advice, too. “If you don’t have any experience in the industry, that is one thing to get yourself up to speed on,” he said. “Start reading as much as you can. We often will ask people questions in the interview process, just general crypto questions, to see if they have a basic understanding or are actually interested in the industry.”

Kraken prefers to hire people who have an interest in crypto, not just someone looking for any random job. “If you’re applying for a job, but it’s a specific business, use their service, try it out, have an opinion about it,” he said. “It never hurts to come into an interview with a feature request or constructive critique.”

By coming in with some understanding of the business, you can demonstrate to your prospective employer that you didn’t just blast out 1,000 applications indiscriminately. “I look at applying for jobs a lot like online dating,” said Powell. “If you think about how you are going to get the person to respond to your message in an inbox with 1,000 other messages, you’ve got to go a little bit further. Let them know that you really took some time to understand them and why this might be a good fit.” 

Many people indiscriminately apply for jobs hoping to get something, as if it’s a numbers game, he said.“But, try and be more targeted to get that attention from the recruiter, the screener or whoever’s reviewing the stack of 1,000 applications for one role.”