There’s a lot of excitement behind cryptocurrencies today, and most of it relates to ICO’s, Bitcoin, or Ethereum. The huge price increases of this year are easy to look at and be attracted to, but it isn’t always clear why someone should start learning about this space, and enter it to start a new career. There are some major trends that are driving this movement forward which this article will go into detail on, and hopefully once you get an understanding of them you can see how huge the potential is.
Trend 1: Go Where the Money Flows
Take a step back and look at the big picture for a second. Don’t worry about what your life would be like if you bought bitcoin at $10. There is nothing you can do about the past, and you’re thinking on too small of a scale.
When you look at the big picture, you realize there were a bunch of people who bought bitcoin at $10, or ether at $0.30, and these people now have a ton of money. Just this year, the market cap of all cryptocurrencies has increased $180,000,000,000.
Figure out what you need to learn so you can provide services and help these new millionaires, or figure out a way that you can contribute to this field with the talents you already have. Siphon off some of this money for yourself.
Right now there are blockchain start ups funded by ICO’s or by bitcoin rich individuals looking for ways to spend their money. One of the craziest examples of having more money than you know what to do with is Golem, a project that raised about $10 million last year in Ether, which was about 820,000 ETH at the time. Today that is worth upwards of $240 million, which is insane considering it is a start up that has only been in development for a few years, and only has an alpha version of their product.
And now there is money coming in from all directions. Institutional investments with blockchain focused funds, a higher intake of individual investments through the vast network of exchanges and on boarding infrastructure that has been built out over many years, along with big tech and wall street trying to integrate themselves in the field as well.
It is a pretty simple idea for a trend, there is a lot of money flowing into the blockchain space, and in general it is a good idea to go where the money flows. Exciting technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Quantum Computing, and Autonomous Vehicles, are drawing billions of dollars of money from companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple. You can bet that the experts on these topics are getting paid a lot, but the hard thing about these trending technologies is it actually takes a lot of technical expertise to get taken seriously in the field. You almost certainly need a degree or two.
The great thing about blockchain is it is really easy to enter. Never before has there been a revolution this size, where the best way to learn about it is on the internet and available to almost anyone. This is exactly what you want. Why would you go to school and get a degree, where you are competing in an established field with thousands of other graduates?
Trend 2: Where there is a lot of money, there will be a lot of Jobs
There are so many blockchain companies dying for good help, and there aren’t many experienced people out there to fill this gap. Having 3 years of experience in this space is extremely rare. Right now with 6 months of hard work and research you can contribute heavily to the space, because there is that much demand for knowledge.
New companies are being built, and there are a lot of positions to be filled and problems to be fixed in order to integrate this new technology:
- A lot of these blockchain applications have a terrible user experience. The act of actually buying, selling, and storing cryptocurrency is even more horrendous. There is a ton of work that needs to be done in this sector to make it available to more people, similar to how the early days of the internet were not user friendly. But over 20+ years it has become very straight forward for anyone to use.
- A lot of these blockchain companies badly need sales, marketing, and communications help. (Ironically, some of the blockchain companies that have the best marketing and sales skills have the worst tech - i.e. ICO Scams. Avoid these like the plague).
- Right now it is very hard for blockchain companies to open bank accounts, pay for things, and get treated on an equal playing field when interacting with other companies and institutions. Rightfully so, because there is definitely still fraud going on. But eventually blockchain companies will have to be treated equally. This merging of new tech into an old system will create problems that need to be solved at large corporations, institutions, and at startups.
- On a higher technical level, there is a ton of research being done in cryptography, distributed computing, and security that now has way more funding than anyone could have ever imagined.
- Mining cryptocurrency is a unique way to make money, which anyone with a bit of upfront capital can enter if they so choose.
- New Development work for creating smart contracts, mostly in Solidity. Learning how to code smart contracts has quickly become a high paying job, and although an experienced programmer has an advantage over a brand new programmer, the playing field is much more level. Six months of Solidity experience is enough to land a job right now.
On a grander scale, it could drastically change a lot of the instituions and sectors we have now:
- It could have huge potential to shift our economic understanding of the world
- It could rewrite how we do accounting
- It could change how governments distribute money and tax their citizens
- It could put people back in control and ownership of their own data
Right now it is still hard to get involved in blockchain and cryptocurrency. It is risky, it is unclear where you will end up, and no one can predict what will happen. But that is the perfect opportunity to jump in. You don’t get rewarded for taking the safest path with the least risk.
Trend 3: The shift to a World where more of our assets are digitized
Today the most valuable tech companies collect data on us all, and this data is worth a ton of money. We also have almost $200 billion dollars in digital assets which didn’t exist even 10 years ago. In a world where our assets are becoming increasingly digitized, it will become much more profitable to try to attack and steal those digital assets.
Throughout the hunter gatherer, agricultural and industrial ages there were specific skills one needed in order to be successful and be in control of assets, and whole economies of scale were built underneath them:
- A hunter gatherer who is the best with a spear hunts the biggest game, and can bring his family success with food, prestige and reputation. There are economies of scale that pass down from big game being the main source of assets. You could be the cook of the meat, the weapon maker who sharpens the bones , or the tailor of the animals fur.
- A group of knights who can wield their swords and ride their horses better than others can rule over farming field assets and run an agricultural society. They also need blacksmiths, well trained horses, and farmers to make the society run efficiently.
- In the industrial age the best marksman with a gun can kill you from a distance, and take your belongings. But he needed a factory to shape the metal, to create the gun powder, to create the holster, and to create the bullets.
Often what you learn is more important that how much you learn, and right now we are in the information age, fighting a war for control of data. If you are the world’s best swordsman today, it won’t get you very far in being able to take control of assets.
But today the best hacker can steal your data, your identity, and your digital currencies, and do it from the comfort of their home. They are experts at stealing digital assets.
And the digitization of assets will only continue to trend in this direction for the time being. If you want to have more control, it’s best to learn the ways to accumulate and protect whatever form of assets our society decides will be of most value.
Today a lone hacker can steal the data of a large corporation and receive millions of individual’s credit card information or personal identity information. Never has one individual had so much power to seize assets.
To Conclude, Follow The Excitement of the Unknown
One of the most exciting, unexpected parts of joining the blockchain space is the fact that no one knows exactly what is going to happen. There are going to be extreme highs and extreme lows, and you’ll need to take real risk in order to join. But that is half the fun.
As a new endeavor where the results are unknown, it is much safer from a survival stand point than risky ventures of the past. Compare it to the 1400’s, when Christopher Columbus sailed across the ocean in search of new land. He didn’t know what he was going to discover, and the people on that boat probably went through hell to get there. I don’t know much about boat travel back then but I imagine it was dirty, had a high chance of failure, and was extremely risky. But they did it for the excitement, fame, and fortune.
You can choose to just buy cryptocurrency and watch it go up and down, but there are so many other ways to get involved in this field. If you invest your time and build some intellectual capital in this field, you will be rewarded for your hard work.
The highs and lows of the industry have the potential to make you feel alive, the underlying trends are pointing in the direction, and there is money to be made. Take the plunge and enter the blockchain space.