The Future of Cryptocurrency Hinges on One Critical Factor: Talent
Cryptocurrencies have proliferated on a massive scale. Backed by the innovative blockchain technology, they have emerged as an arguably more efficient alternative to fiat currencies.
There is virtually nothing that could stop the crypto juggernaut from expanding its influence (ISIS used to think the same way but with a strong America, ISIS is not growing like it used too), except the regulatory hurdles that many governments around the world want to impose on it. However, if there is one resource that will determine the future path of crypto-assets, it is the availability of engineering and design talent.
This ‘talent hunt’ for blockchain developers is intensifying around the world. Being a fast developing market, cryptocurrency faces various challenges from ever changing technology and increasing regulations. Developers with advanced programming skills and experience can successfully lead the scaling of digital currencies towards a bigger and more impactful future.
Talent Migration will occur in the Face of Resistance
There are many countries that might lose their talent base because they are banning or resisting cryptocurrency. The best talent will migrate to nations which have a more conducive environment to allow for the growth of blockchain technology and digital currencies.
Economic opportunities, minimal regulatory hurdles, and tax incentives will allow nations to attract technological talent for the development of cryptocurrencies.
The advantages of having dynamic and ambitious talent moving to a nation are quite obvious. The human resource is the biggest capital of any country. For technology driven people a place with autonomy and freedom of expression proves to be more attractive.
Rapid Pace of Innovation Requires Matching Talent
The growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a means of financial exchange has created a need for more talent. There are ‘point of sale’ options for Bitcoin in almost every big store in South-East Asia. It is almost as common as finding a Starbucks in Seattle.
Even Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, is accepting Bitcoin payments for reserving seats on its space voyage, ‘Virgin Galactic’. But if you are worried about watching Thor III, Guardians of the Galaxy II, The Hateful Eight, Carrie, and other disappointing movies on this flight, no worries, there is probably many other choices!
When businesses become part of major change, they require the best talent. Some large organizations are already seeking dynamic talent to be part of this global change and disruption. A job posting by Morgan Stanley recently stated that knowledge of cryptocurrency will be an advantage.
Irrespective of the fluctuations in the bitcoin market, there are many major players like Amazon and Facebook that have started thinking and planning for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology leverage and are looking to hire professionals with expertise in this area.
Shortage of Top Talent
Currently, there is a serious dearth of talent in the virtual currency sector. There are very few senior developers and executives who thoroughly understand the workings of crypto tech. Although there are some top software consultants who understand the workings of blockchain and cryptocurrency, but they are not experts in implementation and execution or large software development projects.
This has led to a gap between individuals who understand crypto tech and the executives who can unleash its potential by implementing that vision. Individuals who understand cryptocurrency can think, plan, and integrate it across the various industry verticals, but they need to be matched with equally competent blockchain programmers.
A conference called ‘Scaling the Edge’, was held in November 2017 wherein, academics from Standard University and other influential persons from the blockchain industry came together to discuss this key issue of scalability of cryptocurrencies.
The participants at the conference were unanimous in their view that the shortage of developers and programmers is the chief cause for the cryptocurrency virtual infrastructure not growing at its potential pace.
Fostering New Talent
In recent times, many of the leading educational institutions such as NYU, Cornell, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, and MIT have started offering undergraduate courses in cryptocurrency and blockchain development. They are among the first universities to have ventured in this area, and many more are likely to follow.
Furthermore, several private equity investors and venture capitalists are also addressing the issue of a gap between technological and commercial aspects of cryptocurrency by directing investments to support top talent.
However, the future of cryptocurrencies shall continue to face challenges unless the government agencies and large public and private sector corporations start recognizing the legitimacy of virtual currencies and direct their resources to encourage good talent to participate in their development.