Blockchain Technology Prospers in Asia, Defying Crypto Bear Market
While the cryptocurrency market continues going through a wobbly phase with weak asset prices and little sense of an imminent recovery, job creation figures related to the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector across the world’s most populated continent are recording a very firm and noticeable uptrend.
Across Asia, both startups and established corporations have set blockchain technology adoption firmly in their sights, according to an August 31, 2018 report by CNBC.
50 Percent Increase
The report states that following the crypto market bull run of 2017, interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies has spiked across Asia, with both new and established businesses racing to incorporate blockchain technology into their operations.
According to data from the recruitment company Robert Walters, there has been a 50 percent increase in 2018 over 2017 in the number of job roles related to blockchain or cryptocurrency, with heightened interest in particular on programmers with Python language proficiency.
Whether it is at established legacy businesses like IBM or newer upstarts like Binance, Asia is creating blockchain-related job opportunities at an unprecedented rate. This is also reciprocated by jobseekers, according to data from job postings board Indeed. Pulling data from its vital Asian markets namely Malaysia, India, Australia, and Singapore, Indeed confirms that job seekers across the continent display heightened interest in blockchain roles.
Speaking to CNBC, Julian Hosp, Cofounder of crypto wallet startup TenX revealed that the relative infancy of the blockchain industry in Asia makes it difficult if not impossible to hire talent for new roles from within due to the sheer number of new roles needed versus the number of people with the requisite skills actively involved in the industry. As a result, he explains, companies are hiring blockchain talent from outside the space.
In his words:
“We hardly ever hire from inside of crypto because most people inside of crypto are very inexperienced. You have very, very few people who are experienced who get into the crypto industry.”
John Mullally, a financial services director in Hong Kong, confirms this, stating that while there is indeed a significant amount of interest in new blockchain roles, the number of people with the required skill set to fill those roles is relatively low.
This bears out an earlier report by BTCManager where it was revealed that the demand for blockchain talent far outstrips supply, effectively making it an employee’s market, with starting developer salaries going as high as $100,000 in some cases.
Interest Volatility and Lag Effect
According to Julian Hosp quoted earlier, the vagaries of the crypto market do have some effect on companies’ decisions to invest in blockchain talent.
“If crypto is doing well, if people are making money in crypto, we get huge inbound from people because they feel like, ‘I need to jump on this wave.”
Giving a counterpoint to this, Justin Chow, Asia head of business at Cumberland says that many conventional finance professionals have become interested in moving into crypto over the past three to six months after the initial lag effect caused by the price crash.
According to him, the delay between initially having their interest in crypto piqued in December 2017 and looking to get into it now in late 2018 is likely because many professionals did not want to risk their careers on a price surge and so they decided to wait it out.
In May 2018, BTCManager reported that cryptocurrency hedge fund manager Olaf Carlson-Wee believes that top-tier tech talent is joining the crypto industry “in waves.”