Few things have been as divisive as the advent of Bitcoin. Since it arrived on the scene in 2009, values have soared, plummeted and then leveled out, leaving commentators divided as to whether it is the pioneer for investments in the new millennium or just a new way of shuffling virtual funds around online that will ultimately be neither better nor worse than any other currency.
One thing that is in no doubt, however, is that the phenomenon of the cryptocurrency is here to stay; in fact, it has opened up a whole new sector in the crossover world between the IT and financial investment fields. For anyone seeking a job or a career change, this could open up a whole new world of opportunity.
The rise of blockchain
The interest in cryptocurrencies themselves is almost matched by the increasing attention that is being paid to the underlying blockchain technology, which many think could revolutionize the way we do business in wider ways than were ever imagined.
Tech companies, banks, consulting firms and private sector businesses are all hiring blockchain developers, and demand is currently outstripping supply. This has led to a spike in the number of small business consultancies springing up to meet demand and get a slice of the pie. There is no doubt that there are some great opportunities for anyone with the right skills and knowledge.
Skills and expertise
So how can you join the party? The whole world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies might sound complex, but the good news is that you do not have to be an expert in cryptography to get into this exciting sector.
In many cases, large companies will look to build a team around a small core of developers with expertise in blockchain technology. This means a wealth of support roles for anyone with solid software engineering and development skills and a basic understanding of the underlying blockchain principles.
It is also true that it is not all about blockchain. Anyone with expertise in aspects such as online security and networking can also play a vital role alongside the developers.
As with many of the rapidly evolving tech sectors, the best way to get started is to throw yourself in at the deep end and try to get noticed. Go on to one of the open source currencies or tools and try uploading some source code.
If it gets approved, it sends a strong message out to those in the industry that you are serious about what you are doing, have the dedication to develop code in your own time and are good enough to get your code accepted.
All of which makes you a very strong proposition as the sort of person they want on their team.