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July 23, 2019

Crypto Job Surge


Job Interest in Crypto Companies is on the Rise

On April 3rd, LinkedIn published its list of the top 50 U.S. employers for 2019. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase ranked number 35, which is nine spots ahead of JPMorgan, the largest bank in America. No other cryptocurrency or blockchain firm made the list.

The report indicated that Coinbase has predominantly hired for engineering, IT and human resources roles and has a current headcount of about 600 employees in the U.S. Interestingly, its staff can choose to be paid partially or entirely in bitcoin, and about 40 percent of Coinbase employees have a portion of their salary paid in cryptocurrency.

JPMorgan has been filling finance, engineering and business development positions. The report further states that JPMorgan has been “aggressively” preparing for the future of banking, investing $10.8 billion a year to fund a team of 50,000 technologists, which is “more than Twitter and Facebook combined.” LinkedIn added that the JPM Coin introduced in February, is “the first-ever cryptocurrency created by a U.S. bank.”

At the top of LinkedIn’s list of preferred employers is Alphabet, the Google and YouTube parent company, followed by Facebook in second place and Amazon in third. LinkedIn conducted the study of U.S. firms’ popularity by analyzing their performance across four categories: interest in the company, engagement with employees, job demand and employee retention.

In December 2018 LinkedIn also published a report on emerging jobs, noting that interest rose 33-fold in the role of blockchain developer, making it one of the most popular positions in 2018.

However, despite the increased interest in the Crypto world, it has yet to become part of mainstream culture.

One of the main benefits of blockchain technology is that it is “trustless,” meaning that it does not require a trusted intermediary. And yet, it is mistrust and uncertainty in the technology that is holding back blockchain’s mainstream adoption. A lack of trust is cited as one of the main reasons that new technologies, and blockchain specifically, are slow to launch. The introduction of new technologies is easier and faster when consumers are familiar with the concept. Blockchain is completely foreign and novel, thus making its introduction into mainstream consumption clunky and precarious.

Security concerns arise with centralized exchanges because they require users to disclose personal information and clients’ assets are held in centralized servers. This type of storage is prone to attack by hackers. However, Decentralized Exchanges (DEXes) are a promising solution. They build peer-to-peer marketplaces directly on chain, allowing users to exchange value directly person-to-person and ensuring that users don’t have to submit private information. Moreover, it ensures that customers’ funds are not kept in a centralized account.

One such DEX company is AirSwap. Its cofounder, Don Mosites says that the Airswap system “is between two peers and uses a smart contract for every trade… this means that [customers] are in custody of [their] own funds the whole time, the price that [they] execute is in [their] hands, and then the settlement happens on the blockchain.”

It is by decentralizing custody, execution and settlement that higher security for exchange users is guaranteed. And, it is with innovations like this that fintech will enter the mainstream, and companies like Coinbase will continue to rise in popularity.

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