Blockchain and cryptocurrency jobs are increasingly appealing to job seekers from more conventional sectors in Asia — even as the technology's most famous use case struggles on the price front.
Blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, is a digital record of transactions that cannot be altered. It has the potential to not only disrupt much of finance, but also many other industries.
The much-hyped technology has been adopted over the last two years by both start-ups and more established corporations. Mainstream interest in the space picked up last year as cryptocurrency prices soared late in 2017.
If job postings are any indication, that trend is going to grow. Recruitment firm Robert Walters said it has seen a 50 percent increase in the number of roles related to blockchain or cryptocurrencies in Asia since 2017, with developers with Python language skills among the most highly sought after.
A cursory search for blockchain jobs on LinkedIn yields results for openings at corporations like IBM along with positions at newer businesses, such as cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
And there's also strong interest from job seekers: According to data from job search engine Indeed's main Asian markets (Australia, India, Singapore and Malaysia), there's been high interest in blockchain roles.
Due to its relative nascency, however, many of those entering the cryptocurrency and blockchain-related space are coming from other industries.
"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," said Julian Hosp, co-founder of Singapore-based crypto wallet and card start-up TenX.
In fact, even though there are plenty of blockchain enthusiasts looking to join the industry, "not many people have the actual skill sets" required for developer roles, said John Mullally, director of financial services at Robert Walters in Hong Kong.