On June 22, 2021, cryptocurrency – notably coin giant, bitcoin (BTC) – took a big hit.
Within 24 hours, bitcoin’s price had dropped below $30,000, representing a giant loss for crypto enthusiasts, who had seen the first cryptocurrency reach above $64,000 per coin only two months prior.
The drop – partially fueled by China’s crypto crackdown – gave crypto critics their great “I told you so moment.” But crypto, like traditional stock markets, is often volatile in the short term but viable in the long run. China’s crackdown and Bitcoin’s June losses were a small dent in cryptocurrency’s global influence. Just take a look at its growth in less than a decade.
In early 2011, Bitcoin was priced at $1 per coin. As of this writing, it is worth $49,784.39 per coin. Within the last five years, the price has increased 7,981.58 percent and within the past two years, Bitcoin has seen a 367.03 percent price increase. This summer’s drop is likely to be a blip in crypto history, with Bitcoin already up 45.24 percent within the past 30 days.
Bitcoin may be the name people recognize, but there are more than 6,000 different virtual coins in existence, with that number growing. While nowhere near Bitcoin’s price per coin, Ethereum (ETH) is the second-largest cryptocurrency, trading at $3,324.17 per coin as of this writing. Investors can also put money into smaller coins like Amp (AMP), which is trading at $0.0609, or memecoin Dogecoin (DOGE), which typically sees a bump whenever Elon Musk feels like tweeting about it and is currently trading at $0.32 per coin – a big difference from where it was a year ago at $0.003535 per coin.
Cryptocurrency has staying power because one, our world is becoming increasingly digital; and two, crypto is attractive to investors because it is decentralized. This means there is no third party – like a bank, for example – involved in transactions. Trading, unlike the stock market, is also instant. The New York Stock Exchange operates on set days and hours, while there are no operating hours for cryptocurrency markets – an investor’s crypto holdings can literally change while they sleep.
As crypto’s popularity grows and more people view coins as a viable investment, more work opportunities are becoming available in the cryptocurrency field. And they are positions that are built for the future of work.
A new way to build wealth
There’s no surprise that millennials and Gen Z are the generations driving crypto’s success – these are the generations that grew up with the internet, after all. Just take a look at this statistic: Ninety-four percent of crypto buyers are between 18 and 40 years old.
According to Mastercard’s New Payments Index, 67 percent of millennials worldwide are more open to using cryptocurrencies now than they were a year ago, with 77 percent interested in learning more about the topic.
For millennials, cryptocurrency is one of the few ways to accumulate wealth. This is the generation that had to get their first full-time job opportunities during a recession, after all. Millennials’ outlook toward retirement is so bleak that 61 percent of “elder” millennials say they will likely work a second or part-time job during retirement. In a National Association of Financial Planners survey, 30 percent of millennial participants do not think they will ever retire.
By investing in cryptocurrency now, younger generations have an opportunity to “catch up” to their retirement goals. Millennials especially are old enough to remember Bitcoin’s grand entrance and see how much cryptocurrency has grown since then. As digital natives, Millennials and Gen Z also appreciate crypto’s decentralized nature.
“I think many of the younger generation have a great deal of skepticism towards banking institutions, and investing in and choosing to use alternative forms of currency is one way to vocalize this view,” millennial investor Mitchell Yousem told Business Insider.
And the higher up the tax bracket you go, the more you will find crypto holders. For example, a CNBC survey found 47 percent of millennial millionaires hold at least 25 percent of their wealth in a number of cryptocurrencies – not just Bitcoin. Comparatively, baby boomers and members of the silent generation hold no more than 10 percent of their wealth in cryptocurrency.
With younger generations looking to crypto to invest, the industry is going to need workers, and we are already seeing that demand growing.
Cryptocurrency is now a viable career option
When Amazon listed a cryptocurrency-centric position, markets were directly influenced. The corporation’s stock rose one percent and various coins saw a nice bump as well. Bitcoin and Dogecoin went up more than 14 percent, and Etherum went up 12 percent.
Amazon is just one example of cryptocurrency’s global influence. Another sign crypto is not going away? This summer, PayPal posted more than 100 crypto-related jobs, which coincided with the platform’s announcement to expand its cryptocurrency services.
This news is especially good for flexible workers (aka freelance or contract workers) that specialize in information technology, as these jobs can be done anywhere in the world and come with decent salaries. Blockchain – a decentralized ledger that facilitates transactions – skills are also in demand. Because the subject material is complicated and there is no degree in blockchain, the industry topped LinkedIn’s 10 most in-demand hard-skilled jobs last year.
Yet, companies are having trouble finding the right talent.
The truth is, understanding cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is complicated and there are few individuals who are experts in the field. However, these types of jobs go hand-in-hand with the future of work. Crypto positions can be done flexibly, are often contracted, and require specialized expertise.
Getting into cryptocurrency may seem intimidating, but a simple internet search will bring up thousands of resources for all skill levels. Social media accounts like Crypto Upskill are even emerging to provide layman’s knowledge to new investors, budding professionals, or anyone simply interested in learning more about the world of cryptocurrency. In fact, 41 percent of Gen Z members turn to social media influencers and accounts like Crypto Upskill to learn how to better invest their money.
For workers with a strong IT base, a career in the crypto field is completely feasible. The field lends itself to upskilling, and blockchain technology is just another way for IT professionals to grow their careers. And with cryptocurrency jobs leading the remote revolution, they’re doing it all in the comfort of their own homes.
Lindsay Patton is a self-employed writer and social media strategist. A leader for most of her career, Lindsay has managed more than 250 direct employees and loves mentoring young talent to help grow their skills. She spent seven years as a reporter and editor and is still an active writer and journalist. In 2016, Lindsay started taking social media seriously and the skill quickly became one of her specialties. Within the past two years, Lindsay has been invited to speak on social media and leadership in the workplace by Ernst & Young, Social Media Day PHL, The W.E.L.L. Summit, and more. She has found happiness in the self-employed life because it allows her the flexibility to spend quality time with her husband and their two goofball dogs.