Blockchain creates new career options as cryptocurrencies gain traction

Bengaluru: Blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoins, is emerging as a promising career option for students and professionals as new opportunities are being created after the Supreme Court lifted the Reserve Bank of India’s controversial ban on cryptocurrency trade in March.

Leading cryptocurrency startups such as WazirX, CoinSwitch and CoinDCX said blockchain and cryptocurrencies can emerge as a promising career option for students who are thinking of a differentiated career trajectory or for professionals who have been laid off during the pandemic.

A keyword search on currently showed about 20,500 blockchain-related jobs in its portal while LinkedIn India has over 900 such jobs. As per a recent LinkedIn report, blockchain tops the list of most in-demand “hard skills” for 2020, overtaking last year’s skills like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and analytical reasoning.

Most of these startups have witnessed significant growth in their business in the last six months ever since the ban was lifted.

Binance-backed crypto exchange WazirX has seen its monthly trading volume in July grow 414% to $168 million compared to that in February. The monthly signups in July have also grown 290% from that of February.

“We are actively hiring in India to fuel our growth,” said Nischal Shetty, founder and CEO, WazirX. “Though the demand is high, skills in blockchain and cryptocurrencies do not exist in India. So, it’s a nascent and emerging field.”

In June, CoinSwitch, global aggregator of cryptocurrency exchanges, launched a new product called “Kuber” exclusively for the Indian market that allows users to trade in the Indian rupee.

“A lot of new exchanges and other crypto platforms are opening up in India, and we are seeing an inflow of global exchanges launching India-specific platforms, which would lead to a surge in employment opportunities,” said Ashish Singhal, founder and CEO, CoinSwitch. “It’s an exciting time for students to explore career paths in this nascent stage that could improve their career progression exponentially when the industry booms.”

As the crypto industry continues to edge towards maturity, several new job profiles will be created. “Roles like exchange fund managers, blockchain engineers, wallet engineers, community managers, and crypto economists will be in high demand,” said Sumit Gupta, cofounder and CEO, CoinDCX, Mumbai-based cryptocurrency exchange.

Many of these startups are collaborating with colleges and edtech companies to impart the necessary skilling in this emerging area.

WazirX has partnered with five edtech companies so far, including Indian Blockchain Institute, Corum8, Zubi, Qualki Academy, and Inblox Academy. “We are in talks with four more,” said Shetty of WazirX. CoinSwitch currently runs a “campus ambassador program” across 40 colleges in India and is rapidly expanding the scope of the programme. “We select student ambassadors from various colleges based on interest levels and aid them in creating small informal groups to educate their peers about crypto or help them deliver a webinar to their classmates,” said Singhal.

CoinDCX recently launched DCX Learn, a free online platform where Indians can gain access to a plethora of resources to navigate the crypto economy. “We have plans to partner with a number of multiple content creators and educators to expand the offering that DCX Learn can provide to its users. We are also in the process of rolling out certification programmes and partnering with crypto and blockchain-centric institutions,” said Gupta.

To be sure, the use of blockchain extends beyond cryptocurrencies and has a growing list of applications across industries such as banking and finance, supply chain management, and healthcare—mainly because of its secured and immutable feature to store and access data.

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