In this guest post, Education Ecosystem‘s Simon Kariuki examines the effect of the emerging ICO market on employment trends in the U.S. tech sector.
In 2017, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in the U.S. alone raised an incredible $4 billion through the sale of digital tokens. New cloud storage provider, Storj, raised $20 million in six hours, then went on to raise another $10 million over the next seven days. The $30 million was raised without the help of traditional lending institutions. With growth like this, it’s no wonder people are talking about the impact of ICO’s on the U.S. job market.
Companies that can enter the market on a decentralized platform can compete with industry giants like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Also, these new companies are highly scalable and represent a unique strategy for today’s entrepreneurs.
As these ICO startup companies move forward, they’re creating thousands of jobs in the U.S. tech market. For instance, Education Ecosystem, a decentralized learning ecosystem for future technologies, has built a special category focused on cryptocurrency for their learning platform. In this category, detailed projects will be created that discuss blockchain and ICO technology. Through these project videos, viewers will be equipped with the necessary skills needed for the current technology market. During 2017, only about 7.3 million workers were employed in the IT industry, but today that number is 7.7 million and growing. Anything that can create 400,000 jobs that quickly is certainly worth keeping an eye on.
According to the ICO Watch List, the United States represented 16.7 percent of all ICO projects in the world. Moreover, the total dollar amount raised in the U.S. totaled $811 million in the first quarter alone, and this figure is certain to grow even more by the end of the year. At this time, ICOs are raising venture capital at a much faster rate than all other funding sources combined.
The number of ICO companies is also growing. The total number of ICOs in the United States has reached 434, leading all other countries in the world by a landslide (Russia is second with 243). A significant portion of the funds raised by these various ICO projects is earmarked for the recruitment and hiring of new employees.
It’s clear that this explosion in ICO funding has played a major role in creating tech jobs. According to Boston analytics firm Burning Glass, research was conducted recently whereby millions of jobs posted were scanned searching for the words blockchain, distributed ledger, and bitcoin.
The results showed that New York ranks first with 1,316 job openings in ICO-related fields. San Francisco ranked second with 651 ICO job openings. Boston, Chicago, and Palo Alto are the remaining cities in the top five with job openings hovering around 200 each. In addition, large consulting firms like Deloitte, Accenture, and IBM now have job vacancies that are related to ICOs.
While the growth of ICOs has had a significant impact on the U.S. tech job market, the increase in employment was not limited to just tech roles. There was a higher demand for a wide range of positions across many industries. A few of the factors that have attracted workers to ICOs have been higher salaries, better benefits, and flexible contracts.
The unique ICO funding phenomenon has inadvertently become a job market growth engine. According to Hackernoon, the number of ICO related job vacancies posted on LinkedIn in the U.S. alone was over 1,500 in the first quarter of 2018. This number is growing. The job descriptions are highly diverse and include developers, engineers, data scientists, miners, and project managers.
Just a few of the companies that have searched for candidates with ICO skills are:
- Capital One
Finally, the impact of ICOs in the U.S. tech job market goes beyond the current project itself. In cases, where the ICO project is not successful, there’s still a great deal of benefit created by it. As workers and professionals join these ICO projects, they learn so much, plus they expand their network of contacts. In other words, they gain valuable skills and make good relationships that can be profitable in the future. Even the ICO failures have value.
As Scottish author, Samuel Smiles said, we often learn more from failure than from success. As these new entrepreneurs continue to develop their skills, the tech world will no doubt reap greater rewards from their ambition, skill, and creativity.