For understandable reasons, most media coverage about cryptocurrency tends to focus on the daily ups and downs of the price. Behind the scenes, however, there is an entire ecosystem of companies driving demand, building new solutions, and solving technological challenges. The cryptocurrency industry is rapidly becoming one of the most important and innovative parts of the financial technology industry, even if it tends to get overshadowed by the daily price ticker.
In this post, we’re taking a look at four major stories from the business side of cryptocurrency.
1. Demand for cryptocurrency workers surges by 26%. According to new research published by Indeed.com’s Seen blog, “employer demand has skyrocketed” for workers with cryptocurrency, blockchain, and bitcoin skills. The report notes that “[During] the four-year period between September 2015 and September 2019, the share of these jobs per million grew by 1,457%.” Not surprisingly, most of these jobs are on the development side, with Deloitte, IBM, and Cisco being among those firms with the greatest demand. Demand for these workers has risen by 26% in 2019 alone.
2. Searches for cryptocurrency jobs down by 53%. In that same Indeed.com report, the researchers noted that job searches within the cryptocurrency and blockchain field fell significantly in 2018 and 2019. The reasons for this trend are unclear, although the paper notes that the trend roughly correlates with cryptocurrency’s price volatility. It’s possible that many blockchain devs and engineers are already employed due to the high demand within the industry, and are less likely to search for work.
3. Square claims number of first-time BTC buyers doubled in Q3 2019. According to the payment company’s Q3 2019 shareholder letter, Square’s cryptocurrency-sales experiment through their Cash App is booming. The company saw $148 million in sales of bitcoin, and that the number of “first-time bitcoin buyers [has] approximately doubled.” The increase represents 244% year-over-year growth in the bitcoin side of Square’s business. The company’s profit margin from the initiative remains low, however, with Square reporting just $2 million in profit from bitcoin sales in Q3. Not surprisingly, Square recently announced plans to increase BTC purchasing fees to as much as 1.7%.
4. Square’s Cash App could purchase up to 16% of new bitcoin in 2020. One interesting side effect of Square’s Q3 report is that it has allowed analysts to estimate the mobile app’s impact on overall bitcoin demand. According to at least one analysis, Square purchased around 8% of the new bitcoin supply in Q3. (This would equate to around 144 BTC, or $1.2 million, sold per day via the Cash App.) Should BTC’s demand and price remain stable during the next “halving” event in May of 2020, Square’s app would be responsible for the purchase of 16% of all newly mined BTC. Some observers are even using Square’s reporting as proof that, as one analyst put it, “The halvening is NOT priced in!”