After the Bitcoin 2022 conference, you may be feeling a little crushed by the exhilaration of meeting and spending time with bitcoiners. I’ve also found that attending these events gives you an extra sense of urgency to do something more or get involved in some way. One way to do this is by participating in bitcoin projects or working in a bitcoin job. At Bitcoin 2022, I spent time at the Bitcoiner Jobs booth hanging out with some other Swan employees and Bitcoin job hopefuls. Here are some insights:
First, why are you doing this?
There are a few main reasons people work in a bitcoin job:
- You think Bitcoin is the most important thing and you can’t think of any other industry where working in would be more exciting or stimulating.
- They see a tremendous opportunity to be early in this area.
- Some Bitcoiners are not applicable in other industries due to their attitudes or mindset.
- You HODL a Bitcoin bag and want to do what you can to help more precoiners and newcoiners find their way into Bitcoin.
- Bitcoin companies are generally suited to remote work.
- Bitcoin companies usually give you the option to get paid in Bitcoin.
When you work directly in a bitcoin job, you work with other like-minded people on a common cause. It feels great to have this shared vision of what is wrong in today’s fiat world and to work together to build the new world of tomorrow. When you work with other bitcoiners, you feel less need to censor yourself than you would in a fiat job. You feel more connected and like your work makes a difference.
Working at a bitcoin company can give you an atmosphere similar to attending bitcoin conferences and meetups.
The compromises versus fiat jobs
To be clear, this isn’t for everyone. Some people just make too much money at their fiat job to think about quitting. In these cases it is “chop wood, carry water”. Keep stacking that fiat and converting it into bitcoin whether buying, earning or mining.
Taking a bitcoin job would be an income swap for those with specialized skills. It’s similar to the trade-off between working at a FAANG company for the high pay and stock options and the higher risk of working at a small tech start-up where you get some equity and more benefits when the start-up up arrives sold out.
What are the ways to participate in Bitcoin?
You might find a bitcoin open source project to contribute to, get a job at a bitcoin company, or even start a business serving the industry. If you’re an enthusiast who follows the industry closely, there’s a good chance you see gaps or unmet needs – perhaps you could develop a product or service to help? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a developer to contribute. You could be a writer, work in customer service, have transferable skills from the energy industry, or perhaps work in sales, design, operations, or many other roles.
Bitcoin has a thriving ecosystem, much of which is crying out for the right talent to join. If you want to delve into the development and contribution of Bitcoin, check out organizations like Blockstream, Chaincode Labs, Spiral, MIT DCI, HRF Bitcoin Development Fund, and Brink. Various exchanges and bitcoin companies sponsor developers. There are programs to support and train Bitcoin and Lightning developers, such as Qala (see my interview with Abubakar Nur Khalil) and Summer of Bitcoin. There’s also Base58.info by Blockstream’s Lisa Neigut and Programming Bitcoin by Jimmy Song.
Search for a bitcoin job
So what does it take to find jobs like this? You can search and post your profile on platforms like BitcoinerJobs.com. You can network and meet people at Bitcoin conferences, events and meetups. Open source contributions or previous experience with bitcoin companies would be an advantage.
Building your portfolio of work in this area and becoming known for a specific cause will help with any application process, and it might even help jobs find yourself. In some cases, a person does some work in the field “for free” but later gets paid to continue that work, or at least something similar. At other times, I’ve seen people create their own jobs by starting or contributing to a side project that later grows into a full-time business.
For example, some people start out creating educational content about bitcoin, lightning, security, and/or privacy topics and are later hired by a bitcoin company to continue creating that material in-house or to work as tech support for customers. Others begin counseling services to teach these concepts.
Structure of your profile
There are different ways to support bitcoin and open source projects as you can contribute in different ways:
- Help with documentation or writing tutorials
- Suggest new ideas or features and feedback to developers
- Spread the word in meaningful ways
- code or code review
- Research related to the project
If you want to learn more about contributing to bitcoin open source projects and how doing so can dramatically improve your bitcoin career prospects, check out my interview with Rockstar Developer and BTCPay Server’s Pavlenex.
Make the most of Bitcoin conferences and events, especially when you meet Bitcoin company executives or employees and share how your skills or enthusiasm will help in a specific role.
In general, Bitcoin companies benefit from hiring Bitcoiners. You get more passionate and motivated employees who genuinely care about what they do. Sure, there will be some Twitter shit postings as we work, but this is more than offset by the reduced need for Bitcoin training. Bitcoiners as employees also help you attract other Bitcoiners to the team and create the right kind of company culture.
If you’re having that background feeling right now that the fiat job life isn’t for you, you should definitely take a bitcoin job. I know people who have taken a pay cut to work at a bitcoin company and have not regretted their choice. It allowed them to work on something they were really passionate about, with a team that shared a similar goal. Whether you want to contribute to bitcoin open source projects or want to work in a bitcoin company, good luck out there, there’s plenty to do!
This is a guest post by Stephan Livera. The opinions expressed are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.