Bitcoin bug bites job hunters, Blockchain to be one of the hottest skills in 2018

BENGALURU | MUMBAI: As bullish Indians buy into the Bitcoin boom, despite the recent volatility, the cryptocurrency craze is spilling over into the employment market as well. Jobs related to the industry have soared by over 50% in the past year, coupled with a doubling in enquiries from job hunters wanting a piece of the action.

The blockchain technology that underpins Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is a technology skillset that will see increasing demand in 2018 and beyond, said Paul Dupuis, CEO, Randstad India. "The demand for personnel with such skillsets has increased 50% over last year and as more industries align their internal systems to accommodate the technology, such professionals will be sought after," he said.

Companies such as Unocoin, Global DCX and Coinsecure, all of which are hiring, said they are flooded with responses to job postings.

"Cryptocurrency has enjoyed a bit of an enigma status until fairly recently, but interest in it is now exacerbated by recent reports of the Bitcoin surge," said Akash Aggarwal, president of digital currency exchange Global DCX. Job enquiries for India operations nearly doubled in end-November from September-October levels, he said.

Demand for talent from bitcoin/cryptocurrency companies is set to soar, said Ramathreya Krishnamurthi, business head, TimesJobs, a venture of the Times Group that publishes ET. The job portal has already seen a 30% increase in Bitcoin-related jobs for the July-December period from the preceding six months.

Benson Samuel, cofounder of Bitcoin exchange Coinsecure, said it hasn't hired from campuses so far but has been getting requests from several leading institutes including Symbiosis and IIT Kanpur to consider recruiting from them. It's currently hiring at its Delhi and Bengaluru offices.

Global DCX is looking to hire from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi; Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad; and Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad; among others, Aggarwal said.

"At the lateral level, we have hired from multinational companies including American Express, Barclays and IBM. We are in talks with various campuses to drive awareness about the Bitcoin space," he said. "Currently, the demand for employees who can work in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry is higher than the supply."


Salaries Higher than Median IT Pay
According to Randstad data, given the niche nature of the skillsets, salaries are higher than median IT industry pay. Average annual salaries for professionals with less than five years of experience are Rs 8-10 lakh; Rs 20 lakh for those with experience of five to 10 years and Rs 45 lakh for experience levels of 12 years plus.

The increase in customers is leading to the surge in new jobs.

"Last year, we were onboarding 10,000 new customers a month. Now we are onboarding 10,000 new customers a day. Our team has also tripled in size to support this new interest in bitcoin," said Sathvik Vishwanath, cofounder of bitcoin and blockchain company Unocoin.

Unocoin is hiring for entry level roles in customer care, account verification and social media communications. Lateral hiring is mainly for developers and programmers with three-five years of experience. "We prefer those with a quick learning curve, who are in touch with new methodologies and technologies and can hit the ground running," he said.

Roles available are across levels-—from fresh graduates in customer experience, user experience and digital marketing to mid and senior hires who can head blockchain and compliance teams. Recruitment is taking place across research analyst, customer support specialist and blockchain engineer roles.

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