Blockchain Developer Salaries – 2018 Report

blockchain developer salary

Throughout 2017, the job market in the blockchain industry has seen tremendous growth. The prices of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies have surged, fueling interest in cryptomarkets and new blockchain projects, and the demand for blockchain professionals has skyrocketed!

In the last year the number of jobs in the industry grew approximately 50%. Some estimates are even more impressive. For instance, according to Burning Glass Technologies, there has been a 115% increase in blockchain job postings in 2017, and on Indeed.com the number of blockchain jobs increased by 207%. And on Toptal, a marketplace for on-demand tech talent, the demand for blockchain engineers has grown 700% from January 2017 to January 2018.

Blockchain Job Posting By Year
Source: burning-glass.com

We have analyzed the current situation on the job market in the blockchain industry and found what the major platforms for blockchain job searches are, who hires the most employees, what competencies are in demand, how much blockchain professionals are paid on average, and where most jobs are located.

Where to find blockchain jobs

It might be difficult to find current job openings directly on the companies’ websites. Surely, certain startups, especially newer ones, advertise open positions on their webpages, but relatively well-established blockchain projects refrain from this practice. At least at the time this article was written, there were no openings on the websites of the top 10 blockchain projects by market capitalization. It might be that all positions on their teams are already filled or that they turn to different sources to find the best candidates. Either way, on various other job listing sites blockchain-related openings are plentiful.

The most popular sites for blockchain jobs are Indeed.com, AngelList, Linkedin, Crypto Jobs List, Blocktribe, Blockchainjobz, Joblift, and Upwork. Click To Tweet

The most popular sites for blockchain jobs are Indeed.com, AngelList, Linkedin, Crypto Jobs List, Blocktribe, Blockchainjobz, Joblift, and Upwork. They’re differentiating themselves in terms of the advertised positions and listed employers. Here is a brief overview for each of them:

Indeed.com

Indeed is arguably one of the most popular job sites. In terms of blockchain jobs, the majority of openings on Indeed are technical positions from legacy firms such as IBM, Ernst & Young, SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft. According to Coindesk, the number of blockchain-related jobs posted on Indeed.com in the US alone increased by 207% from December 2016 to December 2017.

AngelList

This job site is dedicated solely to startups. At the time this article was written, there were at least 1,520 blockchain startups registered on AngelList. Almost 500 of them had open positions, with around 1,500 jobs in total.

LinkedIn

It is a major career-oriented social network. On LinkedIn’s job openings page, blockchain-related positions in startups, legacy firms, and well-established blockchain projects such as Blockchain.com are equally common. The number of jobs in the blockchain industry that were advertised on LinkedIn soared in 2017, increasing from 1,037 in December 2016 to 4,541 in December 2017.

Blockchain Jobs Linkedin
Source: bna.com

Crypto Jobs List

This website launched very recently in September 2017 and, as the name suggests, is focused on jobs in crypto and blockchain industries. The founders promised that they would not just scrape jobs from other websites, but would publish unique openings. That is perhaps the reason why the number of open positions here is relatively small. Right now there are only 43 jobs are posted on the website. The majority of job ads here are from startups.

Blocktribe

Another website dedicated only to the openings within blockchain industry. Currently, it has 440 advertisements, most of which come from startups based primarily in the US and the UK.

Blockchainjobz

This is another blockchain-oriented job site. It has more than 1,000 openings in the industry with a wide range of positions related to development, management, design, sales, marketing, and finance. Most of the jobs are in startups based all over the world.

Joblift

Joblift is a popular jobs aggregator with multiple domains – joblift.co.uk, joblift.de, joblift.fr and joblift.com – that are oriented at British, German, French, and the US job markets respectively. Blockchain openings here are mostly technical. On the French and British domains, the majority of job postings are from local professional recruiting firms, while on the German and the US ones most jobs come from legacy firms, both local and international. The website might be not the best choice for the job seekers from the US, as just around 200 blockchain openings are currently present on Joblift, a relatively small number. However, the other domains have a broad variety of local listings, especially the British and the German versions that have around 500 job ads each.

Upwork

This is a popular website for freelance jobs. Upwork currently has more than 1,200 blockchain openings. Around a half of them are technical positions. According to Upwork’s report, blockchain development was the second most-desired skill among the employers in the 3rd quarter of 2017. However, in the 4th quarter it disappeared from the Upwork’s top skills list, giving way to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency-related terms. Interestingly enough, on Upwork writing jobs come second in terms of number of ads in the blockchain industry. They amount to 20% of all blockchain openings on the site. Among these listings are content writers and communication assistants.

Who has the most jobs in blockchain

We have analyzed the sites listed above in order to find out which companies are currently the top hirers in the blockchain industry. A single legacy firm might have dozens of positions open at the same time. For instance, IBM has more than 200 job openings on LinkedIn right now. On the other hand, startups very rarely have more than 10 positions advertised at once, as is evident from our analysis below. One notable exception here are the startups that have recently attracted big investments in venture funding or through a successful ICO, as they tend to look for many new employees to increase the scale of operations. So it is difficult to compare these three kinds of companies in terms of the number of job ads. That is why we divided the top-hirers in three broad categories – large legacy firms, new startups, and startups that have relatively recently secured venture funding.

IBM has more than 200 blockchain job openings on LinkedIn right now! Click To Tweet

Legacy firms

Overall, the top employer in the blockchain is now IBM. The company has 49 blockchain openings on Indeed, primarily in the US, and 221 ads on LinkedIn, with blockchain jobs in IBM’s offices around the world. It comes as no surprise that IBM is heavily investing resources in blockchain development and was recently ranked by Juniper Research as the technology leader in the blockchain industry.

Accenture is the second top blockchain company, according to both Juniper Research and the number of job openings it currently has on LinkedIn. There are 180 vacant blockchain-related positions in Accenture advertised on LinkedIn.

Surprisingly, the third top employer among legacy firms on LinkedIn is Scalian, a French tech company that has 143 jobs with relation to the blockchain all over France.

Scalian is the top local blockchain employer in France, while in Germany, according to Joblift.de, the top hirer is Materna GmbH that has 68 open positions.

Startups

On AngelList currently, the blockchain startups with the most openings are Coins.ph, a Philippines-based mobile blockchain-enabled platform for financial services, and Hydrogen, a fintech platform that allows businesses to easily build blockchain-based financial service applications. The first one has 26 open positions, primarily in Manila, while the latter has 21 openings in New York. Both startups are mostly looking to fill in tech positions, although they also have jobs in sales, design, marketing, and analytics. On average, startups have 3-4 job openings on AngelList.

blockchain developer salary

Crypto Jobs List overall has significantly less ads than AngelList. Most startups here have just one or two open positions. At the time this article was written, the top hirers on Crypto Jobs were OKEx and NFJ Global Holdings. OKEx is a digital assets trading platform. On Crypto Jobs List it is advertising five positions in the financial sector in Hong Kong and Beijing. On the company’s own website there are nine more openings, however, most of them are in Chinese, while on Crypto Jobs the company is advertising those positions in English. NFJ Global Holdings has four cryptocurrency-related technical and trading positions in the US on Crypto Jobs list. On NFJ’s website dozens of other openings are advertised, however, they do not deal with the blockchain or crypto as the company offers research and technological and trading solutions in a number of different fields, not just in the blockchain industry.

Startups with funding

Out of the startups that have successfully attracted more than $100 million in venture capital investments in 2016, 2017, and 2018, the absolute top hirer right now is Coinbase. The company received $116 million in venture capital in June 2016, and they received $216 more in October of that same year. They have since started to rapidly expand their operations. Right now it has 94 openings on Blocktribe, more than any other startup on Blocktribe, AngelList, and Blockchainjobz. Circle Internet Financial, that attracted $136 million in June 2016, right now has 39 open positions on Indeed. Another blockchain company that has received more than $100 million in VC investments in 2017 at the moment has 31 vacant jobs according to its website.

We have also looked into the openings in startups that have raised more than $100 million through ICOs in 2017 and 2018. The results are presented in the table below.

Startup Number of current openings Amount of money raised through ICO
Envion 7 $100m (2018)
Hdac None* $258m (2017)
Filecoin 8 $257m (2017)
Tezos None* $232m (2017)
EOS Stage 1 None* $185m (2017)
Paragon 1 $183m (2017)
Bancor 4 $153m (2017)

*None means that we were unable to find any current openings via the company’s website, jobs search resources mentioned in this article or searching for the openings in Google.

Overall, the top hirers in the blockchain industry are legacy firms that are looking to expand their blockchain divisions, namely IBM and Accenture. Blockchain startups, both with and without funding, have significantly less openings on average, what can be explained by a smaller scale of operation and company size. One remarkable finding is that startups that raise money through VC investments tend to have far more openings than those who raise the same amount of money through ICOs.

IBM Coinbase Coins.ph

Where the jobs are

Major locations for blockchain jobs differ for legacy firms and startups. It, of course, depends on the locations of the legacy firms’ major offices and the startup’s headquarters. We have looked into the data from Indeed.com for the legacy firms, as well as the data from AngelList for the startups, in order to identify the locations where blockchain professionals are in the highest demand.

Legacy firms

According to Indeed.com’s data, the majority of jobs in the blockchain are located in the US. It comes as no surprise that the top destination for blockchain jobs at legacy firms in the US is New York. Out of the total pool of 1,173 positions that are currently advertised on Indeed.com, 24% are in New York, 9% in San Francisco, 8% in Boston, and 3% in San Jose and Austin.

We also looked into the top locations for jobs in legacy firms within Germany based on the Joblift.de’s data. In Germany, blockchain jobs are distributed more evenly across the country than in the US. Out of the 477 advertised jobs, 20% are in Berlin, 18% in Frankfurt am Main, 14 in Munich, 12% in Hamburg, and 10% in Stuttgart.

Obviously enough, remote positions in big legacy firms are scarce. Less than 1% of all blockchain jobs currently advertised on Indeed.com allow for working remotely.

Startups

Top destinations for blockchain jobs in startups are a bit different than for those in legacy firms. According to the data from AngelList, 16% of the currently advertised blockchain openings are in San Francisco, 12% in London, 10% in New York, 5% in Berlin and Singapore, and 4% in Toronto. Startups are much more open to remote contracts than legacy firms. Thirty-seven percent of all jobs involving the blockchain on AngelList can be done remotely if one wishes, while 6% of all ads are remote-only positions.

Top Blockchain Destinations

Still, the top site when looking for remote jobs is Upwork, which has more than 1,200 openings at the moment, and many jobs for blockchain developers on the website pay $150 per hour.

How much money blockchain professionals get

Salaries in the industry differ remarkably depending on the employer, job function, and location.

According to the data collected by Indeed.com, the salaries of blockchain professionals in the US range from $63k a year for marketing specialists to $157k a year for senior managing consultants. According to Bloomberg, software development and financial services are in the highest demand in the industry.

Software Blockchain Jobs
Source: bna.com

Average salaries for different job functions are based on the data collected and analyzed by Indeed.com, and the data about 926 current openings on AngelList that we have collected and analyzed ourselves are presented below.

Software developers

As Indeed’s analysis indicates, software developers are paid an average of around $110k per year. Junior software developers get around $90k, while directors of product management are the top-paid specialists in this category with their salary averaging at $144k per year. The data from AngelList suggests the numbers collected by Indeed are true for the software engineers employed by startups as well. Advertised salaries for them range from $40k to $150k, with the median at $85k.

Management

Shown in Indeed’s data, managers are the top-paid professionals in the blockchain industry with their average yearly salaries ranging from $101k for innovation managers to $157k for senior managing consultants. In the jobs advertised on AngelList, however, salaries for managers are significantly lower. There are no vacant positions for senior managers, and the median salary for project managers are $40k. This discrepancy between the managers’ salaries in the data from Indeed and AngelList can be explained by the fact that Indeed mostly has its data from major legacy firms while AngelList is oriented toward startups that, in general, have fewer employees and managing positions.

Marketing

As noted above, marketing positions are the least paid in the industry, according to the Indeed’s analysis, with an average salary of $63k per year. Still, in the data on openings in startups collected from AngelList, marketing jobs faired significantly better than in Indeed’s data. The average salary for a marketing manager is also around $60k per year, however, there are several head of marketing positions with the median salary level of $120k. One possible explanation for this difference is that for startups marketing is more crucial than for well-established legacy firms, thus they are willing to spend more resources on the specialists in this field.

Sales

According to Indeed, the average salary for sales professionals is $81k per year. In the vacancies on AngelList, however, the median salary for sales managers are significantly smaller, just around $60k per year. This makes sales specialists the least paid employees that startups look for.

Analytics

As Indeed’s data suggests, risk analysts in the blockchain industry are paid an average of $84k per year. There is no data on the other types of analytics professionals in their data. Openings on AngelList do not include risk analysts. The majority of the jobs in analytics are for research analysts specializing on cryptocurrencies, with the median advertised salary of $75k.

Money blockchain professionals

It should be noted that although the salaries in startups on average are less than in distinguished legacy firms, many of these positions allow for working remotely. This fact might in part explain why the advertised salaries are smaller.

What skills are in demand

As we have seen here, the demand for blockchain developers is growing rapidly. However, the blockchain is a broad area where multiple skills are needed in order to become a successful developer.

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According to Toptal, most employees look for three major competencies in blockchain developers. The first one is Hyperledger Fabric implementation. The second is Ripple development. And the third one is smart contract development with a concentration around Solidity.

However, as the blockchain is an emerging sphere, experienced blockchain developers are hard to find, so companies are looking into software developers with no prior experience in the blockchain, but with a set of desired skills that can help them become better blockchain engineers in the future.

Seamus Cushley of PwC noted that a potential blockchain engineer should have a strong technical background and be curious about new technologies, flexible, and willing to learn more about the blockchain.

Zeith Couceiro, from the recruitment firm Opus, claimed that potential blockchain developers should feel comfortable working with multiple programming languages at the same time and have some understanding of cryptography. It is advantageous to know C++, as both Bitcoin and Ethereum platforms use it (however, Ethereum uses Python as well), have web development, networking, and security skills. If you want to focus on smart contracts, you should be comfortable with JavaScript and Python, and be willing to learn Solidity since Ethereum’s smart contracts run on it.

Skills blockchain developers

The good news for aspiring blockchain professionals is that due to the fact that there is currently a large gap in demanded skills, multiple platforms are running courses on the basics of the blockchain and its relevant areas. Many of the courses are free of charge. The platforms include Consensys Academy, Cryptocurrency Certification Consortium, B9 Labs, Byte Academy, and various MOOCs from Princeton, Stanford, and several other top universities.

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