Blockchain jobs and salaries — 2018 report

Blockchain development has taken the leading position at the most demanded programmer skill. By the results at the end of 2017 through the beginning of 2018 Upwork reports that blockchain engineering was second among the most demanded skills in labor market (specialists in robotics was in first place) in the world (here is more in-depth blockchain developer salaries report). Such agiotage is easily explainable. The popularity of blockchain technology gains steam in the field of business and finance, and the number of such companies grows as well. Besides, the implementation of blockchain technology in the classic companies of the financial sector, like Bank of America, Visa, and others, also grows significantly.

Large companies and startups alike are looking for developers and architects in the field of blockchain development in the US, Europe, and all over the world, but finding a true professional is often a big challenge. During the last quarter of 2017 the rough splash of openings for blockchain technologists continued, and the growth of its publications doubled.

Non-staff specialists offer freelance services from $150 per hour. Blockchain developers in the US earn up to $130k a year, by estimates of Computerworld. At the same time, software developers earn up to $105k a year. Such data was published by Matt Siegelman, the CEO of the data analysis campaign of the Burning Glass Technologies company performance.

In hi-tech regions of the US, such as Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston, the average annual wage of blockchain developers is $158k, and software developers get about $140k. We are speaking about full-time employees in American companies. We will provide examples of such companies below, and we will separately specify freelance pricings.

In prosperous Switzerland blockchain developers get even more than in the USA — from $120 thousand to $180 thousand a year thanks to active development of ICO and cryptocurrencies.

In Great Britain, startups will pay a new blockchain developer no more than 50–60 thousand dollars a year, and the large companies pay from $90k to $140k.

Blockchain development engineer consultants earn anywhere from $50 to $100 per hour in freelance markets.

Matt Siegelman’s research on Burning Glass Technologies in regards to blockchain developer demand has led him to conclude, “Five years ago, in 2012, we could find only a few vacancies demanding blockchain skills. By 2016 this number grew up to 1,838 messages, and 3,958 messages were made in the middle of 2017. It is 115% more than in 2016.”

The number of the vacancies connected with the blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and ICOs increased at least at four times in 2017, according to LinkedIn. Over 1,500 thousand vacancies on the blockchain were published only on Linkedin in the US at the time of writing of the article. Moreover, there are positions for CEOs, software developers, co-founders, technology directors, and founders among these vacancies.

2. Specializations

The web developer must have experience with projects using open source code in order to get a job in a blockchain project. Having work experience with Github is a good example, and profound knowledge of C ++ is important as well. Solidity is also desirable.

C/C ++ is important for blockchain developers since a majority of projects are written on it. But since a number of projects are also written in Java, knowledge of that code is necessary as well. Although many claim that a professional blockchain developer can construct a blockchain in any programming language.

A developer’s chances of finding a good place increase if they can code in a native language without frameworks. A basic knowledge of mathematics and algorithms is necessary. Pay attention to the section with the company overview as it is often necessary to show a diploma in mathematics or computer science in order to be employed in American companies.

Blockchain developers: C ++/Go

Skills: development of a web application, development of the Android/iOS mobile applications, object-oriented programming, knowledge of C/C ++, Java/C #, Bitcoin Core, Blockchain App, understanding of Bitcoin, altcoins, the blockchain

Freelance: from $35 per hour.

Full-time employment — up to $100k a year.

Payment for the project: from $2k.

Example of the CV:

Ethereum developers: Solidity

Skills: work experience in the blockchain, ICOs, Ethereum DApps, wallets, Solidity smart contracts, new cryptocurrencies, and cryptocurrency exchanges.

Freelance: from $50 per hour.

Full-time employment — to $110k a year.

Payment for the project: from $3 thousand.

Example of the CV:

Writers of smart contracts for ICO

Skills: Experience in smart contract development, programs based on Bitcoin and Ethereum with tracking and usage of cryptocurrencies. Solidity language skills, and Ethereum for writing smart contracts, and development of the Ethereum structure. Skills in DApps (decentralized applications). Also experience in web programming on Javascript and Python is necessary.

Freelance: from $50 per hour.

Full-time employment –up to $120 a year.

Payment for the project: from $4k

Example of the CV:

Developers for Ripple platforms

Skills: creating tests for Ethereum, technical implementation of skills, and technical knowledge of ICOs: — Python, JavaScript/node.js, PHP/Laravel, OOP, and design patterns — Ethereum, smart contracts, ERC20. Experience in system programming on C/C ++, Go, or Java. An analog from the professional who writes a kernel for Linux.

Freelance: from $50 per hour.

Full-time employment — up to $150k a year.

Payment for the project: from $3k.

Example of the CV:

We are talking about the earnings on international freelance exchanges. With project-based payments, the earnings increase.

3. Employers, examples of openings

The volume of work shows big perspectives for the increasing demand of blockchain specialists in 2018, as Catherine Griffith Hill, the leading recruiter of Blockchain Developers (the recruitment agency specializing in the blockchain), pointed out. Big companies often hire blockchain specialists for internal projects whose work is like those of startups. The chief employers for blockchain developers are in the industry of the software development and the financial services industry.

Mastercard started its own network on a blockchain basis in Autumn 2017. The project objective was the acceleration and increase in safety of cross-border payments for clients and partnering banks.

In October 2017, JP Morgan Chase also started its pilot blockchain program for global payments to increase the speed of transactions from several weeks to several hours.

These two examples tell us about the rapid growth in the number of areas where blockchain developers are necessary.

Classic companies

IBM Global Business Services

For IBM, one of the first steps on the way to blockchain development was the creation of the new financial service for use as the new cross-border currency exchange by several banks.

IBM had over 400 blockchain projects in 2017 where more than 1,600 employees worked, and in October of that year more than 150 vacancies related to blockchain were created.

IBM has a lot of openings in blockchain development on recruiting websites this year as well.

IBM Global Business Services is looking for a blockchain architect with CISSP certification for implementing blockchain technology as well as safety, supporting infrastructure, integration, and the development and deployment of project ideas. The salary is between $94–145k.

IBM also has a vacancy for a blockchain security consultant in the financial markets. The salary ranging from $69–119k.

There is a vacancy for af senior managing consultants on blockchain projects within the financial market. The salary is $122–179k. Requirements: 3 years of experience in development, 5 years of experience in programming, at least half a year of work experience with blockchain technologies, including practical programming of Ethereum smart contracts in Solidity, or another proprietary language. Experience in applications programming with Javascript, HTML5, CSS, Python, or Go. At least a year of experience in applications programming with a usage of platforms based on cloud computing or microservices, technologies of MongoDB/SQL databases, and also two years of work experience in a bank or insurance company is also required.

Matchpoint Solutions

Matchpoint Solutions is looking for a blockchain developer for full-time employment and offers $85–130k.

The applicant needs to know C ++, Rust, or Python. He or she must have work experience with the Solidity, SCRIPT, or RSK languages. Skills ing launching program prototypes, connected with hardware testing for large-scale distributed systems are also necessary. He must understand such blockchain technologies as Plasma/Raiden, MAST, Lightning Network, RootStock, and have work experience with smart contracts.

Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen Hamilton is looking for a blockchain developer offering a salary of about $99k a year. The knowledge of cryptographic programming, work experience with C/C ++ and Java or Python is also necessary. Must have experience with JSON or XML. A bachelor’s degree in the field of computer engineering or mathematics alongside five years of experience in an object-oriented programming environment is required.

VISA Global Commercial Payments

VISA is looking for a blockchain engineer for the salary of $110–140k a year. The candidate must have a higher education in computer technology. Two years of work experience in Java or Go. He or she must also have experience in all aspects of software development, including experience with servers and user interfaces, and have an open source background. He must understand the principles of cryptography and be oriented toward simple checked code and scalability.

Cryptocurrency companies

CoinBase exchange

One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, CoinBase is looking for an engineer programmer for maintaining the exchange website, support the functions of safe authentication on it, implement adequate pricing, balancing portfolios, and developing services for bidding. To get a job here, one must have at least two years of experience in development and also have experience in creating, scaling, and supporting production services. Work experience with RoR, or React, and developing a system with financial and safety restrictions is necessary. Unfortunately, a salary is not specified.


BiblePay is a Christian cryptoproject. The vacancy assumes the developer has knowledge of C ++ blockchain. Five years of experience in programming on C ++ and 1 year of experience in programming on the blockchain is necessary. Knowledge in Github checkout and check-in is also necessary. A salary is not specified.

Salt lending

Salt Lending is a blockchain project for cash loans. Salt Lending is looking for a developer with an understanding of integration and modular tests, a capability to cooperate with other developers, and QC channels for fast diagnostics and error correction. Experience in the development of API and databases is necessary as well. Knowledge of Bitcoin and the Ethereum, including scenarios of their work and smart contracts, is also important. The understanding of cryptographic primitives, such as hashing, macs, PK-crypt is also important. Salary is not specified, but it is necessary to be able to work in Denver.

Zeppelin Solutions

Zeppelin Solutions is a company which is ensuring the safety of token sales by providing smart contract analyses. The company also creates tokens and smart contracts for customers. The company is looking for the software engineers to come to Buenos Aires or work from home. The requirements are: a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science or mathematics, a profound knowledge of blockchain protocols, the distributed registries and intellectual programming languages like Solidity. A work experience with P2P and the distributed systems is required. An understanding of the distributed algorithms of PoS, PoW, PoA is necessary. An understanding of cryptography, including asymmetric (pub/priv key) and symmetric ones, hash functions, and enciphering/signatures is required as well. (ECDH, ECDSA, PGP and AES). The salary level is not specified.