Less than 10 years ago very few people were aware of what cryptocurrency was, let alone understand the technology that was driving it, and now it's an industry that is hurtling towards being valued at $400 billion internationally as new "cryptos" are launched each month.
Bitcoin was the trailblazing cryptocurrency which was launched with little fanfare in 2009 and its rapid rise in popularity and price has spawned the birth of more than 1,500 similar businesses.
Bitcoin is just one of many cryptocurrencies that is successfully utilising blockchain technology to disrupt nearly every industry that exists.
Blockchain is a new technology that more and more web systems are now based on. Effectively, blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in Bitcoin, or other blockchain 'tokens', are recorded chronologically and publicly.
The blockchain is typically managed by peer-to-peer nodes, which means the system is entirely decentralised. The digital ledger cannot be found on one single server, it is managed, operated, and exists, thanks to thousands of connected computer systems.
This makes blockchain technologies incredibly hard to dismantle and allows the technologies to grow rapidly and without geographical constraint.
It also means companies like Bitcoin which use blockchain technology are leading a demand for skilled business and IT leaders to lead them through the rapid change in their industry.
Forbes recently revealed that there was a 621 per cent increase in job postings that mention "blockchain", "Bitcoin", or "cryptocurrency" since November 2015. Demand and supply appear to be on the same page with Forbes also reporting that there has been a more than 1,000 per cent growth in job searches that also use these terms and two of the most in-demand jobs in this industry are for mining technicians and cryptocurrency analysts.
Some of the world's biggest companies, including Uber, eBay, Capital One, GEICO and Match.com are reportedly on the hunt for employees with blockchain or cryptocurrency experience while in Australia startups such as CanYa, Shping, Horizon State, DigitalX and Coinstop have all embraced blockchain.
The biggest growth in job opportunities for the industry has emerged with the increasing number of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) which offer an alternative to traditional funding sources. It enables entrepreneurs to start an ICO company, and pre-sell digital funds to backers in exchange for real cash.
What this means is that blockchain/crypto companies are on the lookout for people who can manage ICOs along with project managers and data scientists.
Working in business and IT requires understanding and knowledge in the fast-changing global world of finance. New technologies are just the start and blockchain is one disruptive technology that is creating opportunities and challenges. At Southern Cross University there are courses available in Information Technology Management and Master of Business Administration to help you stay ahead of the curve. Do you want to find out more about gaining your postgraduate qualification? Contact Southern Cross University Online's Student Enrolment Advisors on 1300 589 882.
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