Where to Hire Bitcoin Developers

It’s the Wild West as far as Bitcoin development is concerned. If you’re one of the growing number of companies seeking a Bitcoin developer, your job search is reversed. Usually companies have the gargantuan task of sifting through loads of highly qualified programmers to reluctantly decide which ones to hire. With Bitcoin developers, you’ll be lucky if you find some that make the cut.

Three Reasons Why Finding Your Perfect Bitcoin Software Engineer is So Hard

  1. Bitcoin is new
    Bitcoin is a new technology. As such, it is a technology that is constantly evolving. Your perfect Bitcoin engineer would need to have, at least, five years experience in lower-level programming languages (e.g., Java, OCaml, and C#), and be familiar with backend and frontend systems, distributed systems and cryptography.

    He or she would need to be in touch with new and evolving technologies, be open to change and be willing to learn. “You can’t just say, ‘I am a highly specialised blockchain guy,’ because that actually doesn’t really mean anything, nor say, ‘I am really good at Eris’,” explains Seamus Cushley, Director of PwC, blockchain consulting services, “Eris may not be here tomorrow: it may become the underpinnings of the globe or they may not. So it is the ability to change which is important.”

  1. A Bitcoin developer is not a regular programmer
    Many recruiters make the error of equivocating a Bitcoin software engineer with a software programer. The truth is, there is a world of difference – and this world of difference can make or break your blockchain. First, simple programmers are good at improving your app. That’s it. They don’t have blockchain experience. For that, you need someone who specializes exclusively in cryptocurrency, which is an entirely different, more complex topic. Such Bitcoin developers know how to program high-quality code for Ethereum or Bitcoin blockchains and are familiar with game theory and economic principles. They’ve worked in areas like fixed income instruments, currencies, and commodities (FICC), equities, payments processing, and wholesale credit.
  1. Bitcoin developers are not looking for a job
    Bitcoin engineers tend to be independently wealthy. They’ve already made it big from bitcoin. They don’t need your money. You’ll have to convince them to work for you, and you may find that difficult, especially since most Bitcoin developers are fiercely independent, tend to start or join their own ventures, and avoid the conventional workplace. You’ll have to be innovative, present them with something world-changing, challenging and atypical, and slant your team and your workplace philosophy to suit their tastes.

    Few companies succeed in finding or hiring their dream developers, which is why “There is far more demand than supply of developers,” says ConsenSys Chief Marketing Officer Amanda Gutterman, “who are skilled with blockchains.” Moreover: “With the total market projected to boom, we believe demand will only increase more sharply.”

Where to Hire Bitcoin Developers

That said, over recent years, several services have launched programs to meet the growing need for highly skilled Bitcoin engineers. ConsenSys launched its ConsenSys Academy where it trains some of the top programmers to become top Bitcoin programmers.

Some companies outsource engineers from blockchain development firms. Other companies hire stop-gap solutions from services like Microsoft, ConsenSys, Distributed Labs, or Cardano-Labo. This route works if you want to hire skillsets on a project basis, without committing long-term to particular workers. Job-market platforms that are more “iffy” in their selection include Ethlance, Altoros, and 1.s-pro.io. On the other hand, Coind may have higher-quality Bitcoin programmers.

Other places to find blockchain engineers are on blockchain meetups and in developer conferences like Ethereum Devcon (i.e., Ethereum Foundation Developers Conference). You can also advertise on AngelList and StackOverflow, or browse online blockchain-related forums like Bitcointalk, relevant Reddit subgroups, Gitter, or crypto channels on Slack or Discord.

Finding out where your Bitcoin developers congregate is part of the job. You’d also want to know what makes a great developer — and how to motivate such individuals to join your team.  That’s where other articles on our site can guide you further.

 

We here at Blockchain Developers, Inc. are world-class at helping you find and hire the talented Blockchain developers you need to grow. Just fill out our contact form, and we’ll be happy to see if we can help!

When to Hire Bitcoin Developers

If the hiring price of bitcoin developers were to rise in the same way that the bitcoin currency has already risen, many enterprises would be hard-put to recruit them. Rarely has any tradeable asset seen such a dramatic increase as Bitcoin, rocketing upwards by thousands of percentage points.

Since bitcoin engineers are also blockchain developers, their value is in their ability to help their employers ride the wave of bitcoin popularity and leverage the underlying blockchain technology for next-generation applications across sales, finance, supply chain, and more.

What is Driving Bitcoin and Blockchain Popularity?

The exchange rate for a currency goes up because the market is convinced the underlying economy is strong, productive, profitable, sustainable or has some other desirable quality. As currency rates rise, a virtuous spiral develops. More organizations want to deal in that currency for their sales, purchases, rentals, and other transactions.

More and more applications are being developed to handle the currency and to integrate it with existing systems. In the case of Bitcoin, this includes writing programs to use blockchain to support contract management, inventory tracking, and so on. Costs, time to transact, and risk go down. The value of the currency goes up again, and the cycle repeats.

If you think this is wishful thinking, then consider the following example. One of the biggest insurance companies in the world, AXA, has already investigated using Bitcoin to provide micro-insurance services. The trouble is that companies like AXA have also already been snapping up bitcoin engineers to help them further their business aspirations.

What is at Stake for Your Enterprise?

To be fair, no enterprise is obligated to join the bitcoin movement. It is possible to forego on the additional customers that bitcoin transactions might bring your way. You can stick to automated clearing house (ACH) transactions that take days, rather than benefit from bitcoin transactions that take only minutes. And, of course, it’s your choice if you prefer to pay all the intermediaries in a conventional transaction chain for the fees they levy for passing your money along to the next in line.

As Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the renowned expert on quality, reputedly said, “Survival is optional. No one has to change.” These reasons and more are why companies are building up their teams of Bitcoin core developers today, to control their futures rather than have their futures control them.

What Will You Need in Terms of Bitcoin Developer Skills?

Bitcoin coders are software programmers, and basic software skills are a starting point. But you’ll need to add an understanding of cryptography and an appreciation of economics and business transactions, if you want useful, practical results. This combination of skills is already rare enough in most enterprises, but it still isn’t enough.

Bitcoin core developers are also renowned for their passion to discover new technologies, work on transparent, decentralized solutions, and find solutions to problems that leave many others scratching their heads. They often started working on Bitcoin and blockchain as an outside interest, fueled by a desire to change a system that they saw as outdated, inefficient, and even undemocratic.

A bitcoin dev list is their preferred meeting place, rather than a company coffee machine. In short, it’s unlikely that you will find longer-standing employees ready to go with this combination of capabilities and characteristics.

How You Can Move Forward

You might try any of the following possibilities, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. First, is training an option? Be aware that learning curves mean increased lead time, and that competent bitcoin coder instructors may be almost as rare as bitcoin developers themselves.

Second, how about outsourcing? You’ll have to agree to give up part of or all the control of your bitcoin app development, leaving the outsourcer in a potentially dangerous position of strength. If the outsourcer stops working for you, it keeps its skills and know-how, leaving you to scramble to find a replacement.

Third, can you hire bitcoin developers directly? This solution meets the needs for speedy deployment and building skills in-house, although it depends on knowing how to recruit via non-standard channels like a bitcoin dev list.

The Time to Hire Bitcoin Developers is Now

Insurance companies, banks, large corporations – the race for bitcoin talent is on. Once bitcoin engineers are ensconced in these kinds of organizations, it may be hard to tempt them back onto the employment market. Bitcoin coders and blockchain developers in general are also in demand across a range of industry sectors, and bitcoin engineers gravitate towards the top of recruiters’ lists, given their knowledge and experience of bitcoin as a currency and blockchain as an enabling technology. Yet when you know where to look for them and how to attract them – and if you act now – good bitcoin engineers are still available for hire.

We here at Blockchain Developers, Inc. are world-class at helping you find and hire the talented Blockchain developers you need to grow. Just fill out our contact form, and we’ll be happy to see if we can help!

Searching for Satoshi: How to Hire Bitcoin Developers?

Bitcoin still plays a central role in the Blockchain universe. But how do you find Bitcoin engineers?

Three types of Bitcoin engineers exist. Those who build program applications that merely happen to interact with your blockchain, those who build applications for your blockchain, and those who make a blockchain from scratch. This third category is the least common, the most skilled, and the hardest to get. As of mid-2016, blockchain thought leader William Mougayar estimated there were only about 5,000 such individuals. They’re supremely rich, so they’re not seeking a job. Most freelance, so you’d want to consider hiring remote. There’s a trick to hiring the best of them. You may have to change your work environment and philosophy to get them. Here’s a peek into their characteristics and interests so you know what to look for and how to motivate them to join your team.

Qualities of Bitcoin Developers

Crypto-anarchists dream of a decentralized industry that has people all over the world functioning without government interference. Peaceful though their philosophy is, it tends to intimidate businesses. Get used to it. It’s part of who they are.

1. Autonomous: Bitcoin engineers worth their salt became extremely rich from Bitcoin early in their careers. They’re not in it for the money. They’re obsessed with the technology. As one Reddit member put it: “I was enamored with Bitcoin when I first learned about it, and wanted to know everything about how it works. I spent hours everyday after work (I was/am a software developer) learning and practicing the tech… researching the tech, writing smart contracts/Dapp prototypes, and more or less evangelizing this technology.” There’s little hope such people will agree to be caged. These are people who prize their personal freedom and tend to hate workplace conventions. They may agree to work for you remotely. You may have to relax your rules.

2. Crypto-Anarchists: Many Bitcoin developers are strong libertarians, or crypto anarchists, who aim to decentralize everything from governments to the monetary system. BitNation’s founder, Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, summarizes their viewpoint when she stated that she hoped that cryptocurrency could replace the nation state and rid us of bureaucrats, creating “a world of a million competing digital nations.” Crypto-anarchists dream of a decentralized industry that has people all over the world functioning without government interference. Peaceful though their philosophy is, it tends to intimidate businesses. Get used to it. It’s part of who they are.

3. Intelligent: They’re highly intelligent in the areas of technology, science, finance and arithmetics. Blockchain programming is programming of a different order. “In order to get your head around the complexities of Blockchain,” says Opus’ Zeth Couceiro, “you have to be a pretty smart programmer anyway, it is not just like knocking a website together.” Your dream bitcoin engineer knows game theory and economic principles inside out. Bitcoin developers often work with money, and, therefore, have experience in areas like fixed income instruments, currencies, and commodities (FICC), equities, payments processing, and wholesale credit.

4. Passionate about Financial Technology: Your dream Bitcoin engineer frequents blockchain communities, chats on hackathons, and patronizes on- and offline meetings –  as a hobby. You’ll also find them on crypto Subreddits, writing LinkedIn articles, hosting podcasts, and so forth. While some have Ph.Ds in the field, others are self-taught. What they have in common is decades-long experience in the field and a passion for FinTech.

5. Innovative: Many Bitcoin developers have teamed up to work on crypto challenges. The really good ones form and develop their own startups. You’re likely to find them on platforms like Gitter, the preferred chat app for developers, Slack or Discord, or plugging away at blockchain projects on HackerRank or GitHub. They congregate on blockchain-related forums like Bitcointalk, relevant Reddit subgroups, blockchain meetups, and developer conferences like Ethereum Devcon (i.e., Ethereum Foundation Developers Conference).

Other typical characteristics include the following:  They’re natural multi-taskers, juggling many different projects at one time. The best of them are able to solve technical and business problems simultaneously. They know they can resolve all problems, are highly competitive by nature, and crave recognition by and from their peers. They want to change the world – again, that’s where their libertarianism comes into play.

The Cost of Hiring Bitcoin Developers

They know they can resolve all problems, are highly competitive by nature, and crave recognition by and from their peers. They want to change the world

The low supply and huge demand for Bitcoin engineers mean that many companies are willing to pay a premium for this expertise. Opus’ Zeth Couceiro estimates a range of $70-90K for “regular” developers whom startups hire then boostwith training. For full-fledged Bitcoin developers, “expect to pay [between] $400,000 and $600,000” for an annual salary according to former chief information officer at UBS and founder of Bussmann Advisory, Oliver Bussmann. Bussmann believes there are only about 20,000 people worldwide with this kind of talent. “Demand for these skills is high. To get the talent you have to pay,” Bussmann tells the publication Financial News. (For a more comprehensive look at this area, see our Feature article “How much do Blockchain Developers Cost?“)

Bottom Line

In short, demand for Bitcoin software engineers is high and growing. While Russia and Poland have an abundance of developers, the United States has far less. The search is harder, particularly if your project is not viewed as outstanding. Some of the solution lies in your hands, though it’s far from easy:  Walk their walk, master their lingo, speak their speech. Show dream developers how their work will change the world and how they’ll gain visibility. Expect to hire remote devs who cherish independence and who enjoy juggling three or more projects simultaneously.

You’ll want to be resourceful, imaginative, persistent, and flexible. Some buy a whole company only to acqui-hire the right talent. It may be worth it.


We here at Blockchain Developers, Inc. are world-class at helping you find and hire the talented Blockchain developers you need to grow. Just fill out our contact form, and we’ll be happy to see if we can help!

How Much do Blockchain Developers Cost?

With Blockchain engineers in high demand, what’s the cost to hire a Blockchain dev?

According to Boston-based job data analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies, the median income for Blockchain developers in the United States was up to 30% higher than that of general software developers in 2017—and specifically, $158,000 in high-tech epicenters like New York and Silicon Valley. In Europe, cryptocurrency wallet company Eidoo’s CEO Thomas Bertani said that Blockchain developers are earning $10,000 to $15,000 monthly, while Crypto-Valley Association founder and former UBS CIO Oliver Bussman put Blockchain developer salaries in mid 2017 at “£200,000 to £300,000” a year. “That’s not a lot,” he added, ”Demand for these skills is high. To get the talent, you have to pay.”

Lies, damned lies, and statistics:

“Former UBS CIO Oliver Bussman put Blockchain developer salaries in mid 2017 at “£200,000 to £300,000” a year. “That’s not a lot,” he added, ”Demand for these skills is high. To get the talent, you have to pay.”

Mark Twain famously popularized the saying (that he himself attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli) “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” What every honest statistician understands is that median figures can be misleading— especially when you consider the chasm between those highly experienced (and highly rare) Blockchain developer veterans and the Satoshi-come-latelies who have slapped Blockchain on their resume in the last 6-12 months. The latter greatly outnumber the former, making the statistical median Blockchain developer salary deceptively low.

Making matters even more opaque, earnings figures for top level Blockchain talent typically do not take into account compensation in the organization’s own tokens nor perhaps in Bitcoin, Ether or other rapidly appreciating crypto-currencies. Hiring a software engineer with a Blockchain project or two under their belt is indeed possible for $80-$150/hour as of the time of this writing, but as demand gets hotter and hotter, and as more developers venture into Blockchain, it is really hard to predict which way the market will go.

As for Senior Architect and CTO level Blockchain engineers, currently the sky is the limit. Job postings for Lead Blockchain Developers were listed at $250,000 on dice.com in January 2018, and we should not be surprised to see base compensation offers of $300-$500k/year for the most important Blockchain roles in 2018. A Financial News story concurs with this target, stating that top Blockchain salaries are already as high as $650,000/year.

Blockchain developers are in short supply.

There are three phenomenon driving the surge in cost for Blockchain developers. The first, of course, is the limited supply of experienced Blockchain Developers. Most estimates put the number of Blockchain developers worldwide in the low tens of thousands, with the truly experienced and talented amongst them numbering no more than 5,000. That amounts to approximately just a couple hundredths of a percentage of all 18.5 million software developers worldwide.

The field is young and the skill set needed to engineer Blockchain systems is complex. It requires knowledge of

Cryptography, Peer-to- peer networking, Distributed storage, Consensus algorithms, Smart Contract development and more relatively recently advanced topics, plus an expert grasp of up to two dozen programming languages, tools, frameworks and platforms. (for more on this, see our article “What is a Blockchain Developer?”) It takes a diverse set of skills to achieve expert status in Blockchain. It is not just hard skills that are important. Would-be Blockchain engineers must also be well rounded and analytical, perseverant and passionate.

As BitBay founder David Zimbeck shared with us in our feature article: “Becoming Blockchain: Interview with BitBay Founder David Zimbeck,” he spent 93 straight sixteen-hour days in a trailer in North Dakota gobbling down Taco Bell burritos and Mountain Dew before he was able to produce his first Blockchain prototype. That kind of single-minded dedication is not for everyone.

Demand for Blockchain developers is sky high…

“With the crypto-coffers of Blockchain competitors filled to the brim, and top Blockchain talent in desperately short supply, there will continue to be upward price pressure on Blockchain developer salaries for some time to come.”

The second condition driving up salaries is of course simply the high demand for Blockchain developers. There are now thousands of Blockchain startups (that we know of), with more coming on the scene every week. A search we conducted for the word “Blockchain” at the end of 2017 turned up nearly 4,000 open job positions worldwide containing the word “Blockchain on LinkedIn, with at least half of those describing “Blockchain Developer” or “Blockchain Engineer.”

Burning Glass Technologies released findings in October 2017 confirming a greater than 115% year-on-year increase in the number of job openings for Blockchain roles, with predictions that this growth would continue to be exponential.

…and the fiat is flowing!

Meanwhile, Blockchain startups are far from cash-strapped. The space is white-hot, with Venture Capitalists shoveling in hundreds of millions to those promising crypto-ventures willing to take it. The real money, though, of course is coming in the recently popularized form of Initial Coin Offerings. Blockchain ventures raised around 4 billion in ICOs in 2017 alone. (That’s to say nothing of the capital gains made from crypto-currency appreciation!) With the crypto-coffers of Blockchain competitors filled to the brim, and top Blockchain talent in desperately short supply, there will continue to be upward price pressure on Blockchain developer salaries for some time to come.

Money really isn’t everything…but ideas might be.

If the adage is true in general that “money isn’t everything,” that appears to be doubly true for largely Libertarian-leaning Blockchain pioneers. If your mission is only to make money, you may find yourself struggling considerably to recruit talented Blockchain engineers, many of whom could already retire several times over on the strength of stupendous growth of crypto-currencies in the past year or so. “I don’t know any good Ethereum developer who isn’t a millionaire” quipped decentralized organization platform Aragon founder Luis Cuende memorably.

Many Blockchain engineers are self-styled crypto-anarchists, who believe the Blockchain will make the world more harmonious, rid traders from government interference, cease corruption, shatter borders, and perhaps even end war. “What got me into Blockchain was my prior search for solutions to world problems,” Bitbay founder David Zimbeck told us in January 2018. “money means nought to me. I want to lead a self-sufficient life. After programming, I want to be a builder or have a farm”.

Whether it’s Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple or fiat currency, money is really only one small piece of the puzzle. Of greater import to many Blockchain developers are the unique challenges of your project, and its potential impact on the World. Prominent venture capitalist and Ethereum founding team member Steven Nyerhoff stated “As an advisor to Ethereum, I can personally tell you that people were fighting to get onboard there. They had no problems getting qualified programmers.” It is a far better thing these days to have an under-funded project with real prospects to positively disrupt the World than a forgettable concept whose best feature is a healthy checkbook.  (For more on what Blockchain ventures can do to attract the best Blockchain talent, see our feature article “How to Recruit Blockchain Developers.”)

The bottom line is this: Blockchain developers aren’t cheap. But if you really need a big budget to recruit a Blockchain developer, then you probably can’t afford one, at any cost.

We here at Blockchain Developers, Inc. are world-class at helping you find and hire the talented Blockchain developers you need to grow. Just fill out our contact form, and we’ll be happy to see if we can help!

How to find Bitcoin Developers

Bitcoin developers are rare, numbering only a few thousands really skilled ones. If you want to find and retain the best Bitcoin software engineers, you’ll want to know some tricks to get them.

The A-Z of Bitcoin Developers

First, Bitcoin developers fall into three fields.

There are those who….

  1. Build applications that interact with your blockchain: These are programmers who know web development and popular libraries like ReactJS. They don’t need specialized blockchain knowledge.
  2. Build on an existing framework (usually in the form of smart contracts): These are smart contract developers, with a background in programming, security and software testing. These developers tend to know IPFS/Filecoin, Oracles, token models, state channels, and the like.
  3. These developers build a blockchain from scratch: They are full-stack developers with a strong background in lower-level programming languages (e.g., Java, OCaml, and C#), distributed systems and cryptography.

So, essentially your search boils down to what you want your Bitcoin developer to do. Once you know that, the rest is easy.

Where to Find your Bitcoin Developers

  1. The “regular” Bitcoin engineer who improves your apps

You’ll want programmers who know web development and popular libraries like ReactJS. They don’t need specialized blockchain or Bitcoin knowledge.

Look for such software developers on regular places like TopTal, Guru, Upwork, LinkedIn, ELance, StackExchange, SmashingJobs or maybe even CraigsList.

  1. The “smart contract” builders

You’ll want Solidity developers, with a background in programming, security and software testing. These developers should be familiar with IPFS/Filecoin, Oracles, token models, state channels, and the like.

You may want to search LinkedIn for programmers that have these skills, scour relevant subReddits or place a cheap Reddit ad on crypto-subs.

  1. The highly uncommon Bitcoin blockchain builder

This is the rarest sort of engineer to find. You’ll want a full-stack developer with a strong background in lower-level programming languages (e.g., Java, OCaml, and C#), distributed systems and cryptography.

Here’s How to Motivate Terrific Bitcoin Developers to Work for You

Qualifications for your Bitcoin software engineer include the following:

A solid understanding of code and programming. You’ll want a backend and frontend developer, who knows codebases like Java, C++, Ethereum Solidity, Python and more. You’ll want them to have experience working with these languages in professional settings. Such Bitcoin developers also need to be able to program high-quality code for Ethereum or Bitcoin blockchains (at least), encode smart contracts and digital tokens, and master game theory and economic principles. They’ll need to have experience in areas like fixed income instruments, currencies, and commodities (FICC), equities, payments processing, and wholesale credit.

Your dream Bitcoin developer frequents bitcoin development communities, chats on hackathons, patronizes online and offline meetings, is an excellent multitasker and handles challenges. More so, Bitcoin engineers, as with all blockchain engineers, must be open to change and willing to learn. “You can’t just say ‘I am a highly specialised blockchain guy’ because that actually doesn’t really mean anything, or say ‘I am really good at Eris’,” explains Seamus Cushley, Director of PwC, blockchain consulting services, continuing to explain that, “Eris may not be here tomorrow:  It may become the underpinnings of the globe or they may not. So it is the ability to change which is important.”

Places to Look for the Bitcoin Programmer?

Look for full-time Bitcoin software engineers on online blockchain-related forums like Bitcointalk or relevant Reddit subgroups. You may may also want to consider platforms like Gitter, the preferred chat app for developers, or crypto channels on Slack or Discord. You’ll find blockchain engineers on blockchain meetups and in developer conferences like Ethereum Devcon (i.e., Ethereum Foundation Developers Conference).

Many work on real-world projects through platforms like HackerRank or GitHub. Others participate in podcasts.

Bottom Line

You’ll need to learn the rudiments of Bitcoin technology to find them. And even then you may fail, especially if you’re hiring a Bitcoin software engineer to build a private ledger for a bank – these individuals believe in decentralizing the system! You have to be extremely creative, resourceful, and almost emphatic.

According to former chief information officer at UBS and founder of Bussmann Advisory, Oliver Bussmann, there are only about 20,000 such individuals in existence. William Mougayar, reckoned that there are even less, estimating that there are approximately “5,000 developers dedicated to writing software for cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and blockchain in general.”

Then again:  Look hard enough and try hard enough, and you may find at least one or two great Bitcoin developers who may consider giving your company a try.

We here at Blockchain Developers, Inc. are world-class at helping you find and hire the talented Blockchain developers you need to grow. Just fill out our contact form, and we’ll be happy to see if we can help!