December 7, 2017 1:19 pm

Bitcoin-related job searches spike in Canada — but are there openings?

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Canadians seem to be taking note of Bitcoin‘s climbing value. According to a report by Indeed Canada, searches for Bitcoin-related jobs spiked dramatically over the past year — and even more in recent months.

The job search engine found that searches including the words “blockchain,” “bitcoin” or “cryptocurrency” jumped 488 per cent over the past 12 months. Specifically, amid news of the surge in value of Bitcoin, the searches spiked 37 per cent between October and November of this year.

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Job openings that included those three phrases also increased by 147 per cent over the same period — that’s a notable increase, but doesn’t match up to the interest from job seekers. Indeed Canada had 71 postings for Bitcoin-related gigs per one million job postings.

Among the jobs that included those words were:

  • Cryptocurrency programmer
  • Cryptocurrency mining expert
  • Bitcoin engineer
  • Bitcoin/crypto/blockchain developer

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Indeed Canada’s vice-president of product, Terence Chiu, noted that financial services and software companies are most likely to have these openings.

One such posting, for example, was for a Bitcoin mining expert. The full-time job was posted by Toronto-based investment fund Mask Capital and pays an annual salary between $80,000 and $100,000.

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“We need someone familiar with bitcoin/alt coin mining/blockchain to be one of our Chief Mining Officers,” the posting reads. “We are building a large-scale cryptocurrency mine and are looking for the right talented individual to join our growing team of developers and operators.”

What are the drawbacks of Bitcoin-related jobs?

While there is rising interest in these jobs, Chiu says it’s unclear whether the hype around Bitcoin is sustainable.

“At Indeed we’ve seen that job seekers are certainly sensitive to newsworthy events, and the hype around bitcoin can’t be denied,” he told Global News in an email. “The number of opportunities and searches are still quite small, so it remains to be seen whether the rapid growth in this field will continue. However, it’s certainly a field worth watching.”

Chiu noted that the openings also require highly specialized skills, which can make meeting job requirements difficult.

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“These jobs are high-skill developer jobs, and you should have knowledge of the blockchain system which is the technology behind cryptocurrency. Having Java knowledge is also a plus,” he explained.

Along with these specific tech skills, Chiu said those seeking Bitcoin opportunities must embrace uncertainty.

“It can be exciting to be a part of something new — and be at the forefront of an emerging technology so considering that, you need to be comfortable with the unknown.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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