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Forecasting The Size & Scope Of The Bitcoin Job Market

By July 25, 2022July 27th, 2022No Comments

How big can the Bitcoin economy get?

How big can Bitcoin jobs, infrastructure, and opportunities get as a whole? Not crypto as a whole – just bitcoin.

The bitcoin network is growing at the same pace as the internet. 

We are well aware of the size of the “monetary value” this network holds – as of writing this, Bitcoin has a global market cap of around $400,000,000,000. What about the size of “employment value” it can produce?

In 1999 the job title iOS Engineer didn’t exist. If you do a basic search on LinkedIn you’ll find 32,547 open roles with that title alone. These are OPEN job positions, not the number of people already employed in that position. In 2002 Frontend React Developer jobs did not exist, on LinkedIn, you’ll find 30,35 open roles as of writing this. Same with “AWS Engineer” – nonexistent in 2004. Now? 56,480 job openings. Get where I’m going with this?

A similar trend is occurring in the bitcoin space. In 2013 Bitcoin Mining & Wallet Communications Lead, Lightning Infrastructure Engineer, and Bitcoin Mining Operations Manager positions didn’t exist. 

Not one. Now there are dozens if not hundreds of these positions available.

What will these opportunities look like in 2038? Will the LinkedIn (or equivalent) search for “Lightning Engineer” return ten thousand results? 

Breaking Down Bitcoin “Sub Sectors” & Potential Bitcoin Career Paths

Let’s explore the current “sub sectors” of bitcoin to lay out existing and future opportunities.

Bitcoin Education

We’re still early. If bitcoin is the internet, it’s 1997. People will crave useful educational content in order to understand bitcoin’s importance and how to buy it, trade it, store it, and transact with it. 

Do you remember people trying to explain to you, in the 90s, how important the internet will be? Remember when major news anchors didn’t know what email was? Remember when Dave Letterman laughed in the face of Bill Gates when he tried to explain the importance of the internet?

We’re in the same exact spot on the timeline if you map bitcoin to the internet – it’s practically the same story. Because of this, there will be a market need for great communicators to inform the public of bitcoin’s importance.

Some of my personal favorite educators in the space are: 

Robert Breedlove, Lyn Alden, Michael Saylor, Natalie Brunell, and Jeff Booth.

Bitcoin Mining Jobs

Examples of mining companies are Cathedra, Marathon, and Compass Mining. Currently, the bitcoin mining sector has the most public companies and the largest measurable market cap. This could potentially be the largest subsegment, both in terms of market cap and employee count simply because the bitcoin mining process needs a large amount of physical infrastructure and CAPEX.

Bitcoin Engineering Jobs

Inventions we can foresee will be created on top of the Bitcoin protocol. Was DARPA ever capable of predicting e-commerce or online dating when they first invented the internet? Was Alan Turing ever capable of predicting smartphones after he created the world’s first computer? Now, look at how many innovations were built on top of those core breakthroughs.

I don’t think, back in 2009, Satoshi ever mentioned concepts like seed phrases, multi-signature wallets, and the lightning network…but here we are.

The opportunities are endless here. If you can dream it and code it, you can make it a reality.

Bitcoin Mining Pools

In addition to bitcoin mining companies, there are entirely separate “mining pool”  companies like Foundry. This can be an entire subsector in and of itself. Mining pools are financial service and process efficiency companies for the miners. Mining pools de-risk the variable rewards from the mining process and allow more participants in the network to have stable  satsflow.

Bitcoin Exchange Jobs

The need to convert USD to BTC will always exist until all fiat currencies completely collapse. That’s where bitcoin exchanges come in. Exchanges were some of the first, and now the richest, bitcoin companies. Examples are Kraken (started in 2011) and CoinBase (started in 2012). Most of them have since pivoted to crypto at large, but there are exceptions – Swan Bitcoin is a bitcoin-only exchange. Expect this space to expand as more altcoins like Terra Luna start to implode.

Bitcoin Software Wallet Jobs

The scope at which bitcoin wallets will be embedded in nearly every user interface (both physical and digital) will be mind-bending. They will be as ubiquitous as email addresses or credit card submission forms. Every machine and website that accepts cash, credit cards, wire transfers, and PayPal will be complemented, if not entirely replaced with bitcoin wallets.

You’ll also need multiple kinds of wallets. One as a quasi-checking account (hot wallet) and a savings account (cold storage). There will be a need for implementing these wallets into existing businesses and there will be an education need on how to transact with the lightning network, how to manage a hot wallet and cold storage wallet, and how to calculate tax events.

Bitcoin Custodians

Custodians help users hold a backup multi-key for multi-signature wallets. They even have services that specialize in this service for institutions, not just individuals. Two of the biggest players in this space are Casa and Anchorage. Most existing crypto exchanges also offer custodianship like Gemini.

Bitcoin Hardware Wallets

You’ve probably heard of the hardware wallets Ledger and Trezor, but have you heard of ColdCard? ColdCard specializes as a Bitcoin-only hardware wallet. 

Expect the hardware wallet space to get more creative and inventive. We’ve only just started to scratch the surface on cold storage approaches.

Bitcoin Node Producers

Bitcoin nodes are the specialized hard drives that host the ledger of all bitcoin transactions dating back to the first block in January 2009. There are several companies that make and sell these specialized mini servers. Some include Nodl, Samurai, and The Bitcoin Machine.

As the market cap of BTC grows, more people will have skin in the game leading to more people wanting to decentralize and protect the network.

Bitcoin Physical Products

The sky is the limit for bitcoin physical products. Open Dime is a great example. Other examples include the Block Clock by Coinkite. Then there are steel-based devices for backing up keys like the Codl Punchplate or the Cypher Wheel by Cypher Safe.

Bitcoin “Bridge” Services

Professional services won’t go away, they’ll just shift to the bitcoin standard. People will still need in-person help to transition to the financial system like bitcoin cold storage consulting

New paths are new business opportunities. A great example would be the mortgage market. Are you bitcoin rich but fiat asset poor and trying to get a mortgage? Look no further than Hoseki.

More and more opportunities will arise in helping others onboard to the bitcoin network.

Peter