How big can Bitcoin’s jobs, infrastructure and opportunities become 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 “monetary value” dimension that this network holds. At the time of writing, bitcoin has a global market capitalization of around $ 445 billion. What about the dimension of “employment value” it can produce?In 1999, the iOS engineer job title did not exist. If you do a basic search on LinkedIn you will find over 33,000 open roles with that title alone. These are to open job positions, not the number of people already employed in that position. In 2002, React front-end development jobs didn’t exist. On LinkedIn, you’ll find over 47,000 open roles at the time of writing. Same with “AWS Engineer” – nonexistent in 2004. Now? 203,000 jobs. Get where I’m going with this?
A similar trend is taking place in the Bitcoin space. In 2013, there were no positions of bitcoin mining and communications wallet leader, lightning infrastructure engineer, and bitcoin mining operations manager. Not one. There are now dozens if not hundreds of these types of positions available.
What will these opportunities be like in 2038? Will the LinkedIn search (or equivalent) for “lightning engineer” return more than 10,000 results?
Breakdown of Bitcoin subsectors and potential Bitcoin career paths
Let’s explore Bitcoin’s current subsectors to define existing and future opportunities:
We are still early. If Bitcoin is the Internet, it’s 1997. People will want educational content to help them understand the importance of bitcoin and how to buy, trade, store and trade with it.
Remember the 90s, when people were trying to explain to you how important the internet will be? Remember when major news hosts didn’t know what email was? Remember when Dave Letterman laughed at Bill Gates when he tried to explain the importance of the Internet?
We’re in the exact same spot on the timeline if you’re mapping Bitcoin on the internet – it’s pretty much the same story. For this reason, the market will need great communicators to inform the public of the importance of bitcoin.
Bitcoin mining jobs
Examples of mining companies are Cathedra, Marathon, and Compass Mining. Currently, the bitcoin mining industry has the largest number of public companies and the largest measurable market capitalization compared to other types of Bitcoin companies.
Bitcoin mining could potentially be the largest subsegment, both in terms of market capitalization and number of employees, simply because the bitcoin mining process requires a large amount of physical infrastructure and capital expenditure.
Bitcoin engineering work
Inventions that we cannot predict will be created in addition to the Bitcoin protocol. Were the engineers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ever able to predict e-commerce or online dating when they first invented the internet? Was Alan Turing ever able to predict smartphones after creating the world’s first computer? Now, look at how many innovations have been developed in addition to those fundamental breakthroughs.
I don’t think, in 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto ever mentioned concepts like opening 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 pool
In addition to the bitcoin mining companies, there are completely separate “mining pools” companies, such as Foundry. This can be an entire subsector in and of itself. Mining pools are similar to financial services companies and process efficiency companies for miners. Mining pools reduce the risk of the variable rewards of the mining process and allow multiple network participants to have a stable sats flow.
Bitcoin exchange jobs
The need to convert USD to BTC will always exist until the complete collapse of fiat currencies. This is where bitcoin exchanges come into play.
The exchanges were some of the earliest – and now the richest – bitcoin companies. Examples are Kraken (started in 2011) and Coinbase (started in 2012). Most of them have since switched to cryptocurrency offering in general, but there are exceptions: Swan Bitcoin is a bitcoin-only exchange. Expect this space to expand as other altcoins such as Terra / LUNA begin to implode.
Bitcoin software wallet jobs
The scope in which bitcoin wallets will be incorporated into nearly all user interfaces (both physical and digital) will be shocking. They will be ubiquitous as email addresses or credit card submission forms. Every machine and website that accepts cash, credit cards, wire transfers and PayPal will be integrated, if not entirely replaced, with bitcoin wallets.
You will also need more types of wallets. One as a current account (hot wallet) and another as a savings account (cold storage). There will be a need to implement these wallets in existing businesses, and there will be a need for education on how to transact with the Lightning Network, how to manage a hot wallet and cold storage wallet, and how to calculate tax events.
Custodians help users keep a backup key for multi-signature wallets. They also have specialized services in this service for institutions, not just individuals. Two of the biggest players in this space are Casa and Unchained Capital.
Bitcoin hardware wallets
You’ve probably heard of Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets, but have you heard of ColdCard? ColdCard specializes as a bitcoin-only hardware wallet.
Expect the hardware wallet space to become more creative and imaginative. We just started scratching the surface during cold storage.
Bitcoin node manufacturers
Bitcoin nodes are the specialized hard drives that house the ledger of all bitcoin transactions dating back to the first block in January 2009. There are several companies that manufacture and sell these specialized mini servers. Some include Nodl, RoninDojo, and The Bitcoin Machine.
As bitcoin’s market capitalization grows, more people will have skin in the game leading more people to want to decentralize and secure the network.
Physical Bitcoin products
The sky is the limit for physical bitcoin products. Opendime is a great example.
Other examples include Coinkite’s BLOCKCLOCK. Then there are steel key backup devices like Codl’s Punchplate or CypherSafe’s CypherWheel.
Bitcoin “Bridge” services.
Professional services will not go away, they will simply switch to the bitcoin standard. People will still need help in person to transition to the financial system such as bitcoin cold storage advice.
New paths are new business opportunities. A great example would be the mortgage market. Are you rich in bitcoins but poor in fiat assets and are you trying to get a mortgage? Look no further than Hoseki, an emerging technology to prove your skills without giving up on housing.
As new needs become apparent, more and more business solutions and full-time employment opportunities will arise to help others integrate into the Bitcoin network.
This is a guest post by Peter Conley. The views expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.