Blockchain skills have soared in popularity despite crypto crash

The demand for these blockchain skills raised by 552% in 2022, as per an IT report.
Maia Mulko
Conceptual image: Blockchain skills in demand.
Conceptual image: Blockchain skills in demand.

Interesting Engineering/gorodenkoff/iStock 

  • Report: The demand for blockchain skills increased by 552% in 2022.
  • The price of Bitcoin fell by 64% in the same year.
  • The report is based on 209,249 skills assessments.

In 2022, the crypto market collapsed

The price of Bitcoin fell by 64 percent, and the price of Ethereum —the world's second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization— took a nosedive of 67 percent in comparison to 2021. Other cryptocurrencies followed, and many crypto companies crashed into bankruptcy.

Blockchain skills have soared in popularity despite crypto crash
The price of Bitcoin, the world's first and largest cryptocurrency, started crashing in November 2022.

But even in the middle of this “crypto winter,” the demand for blockchain skills in the job market increased by 552 percent in 2022, according to the DevSkiller Digital & IT Skills Report 2023. Blockchain skills are, therefore, the fastest-growing in-demand IT skills in the assessment. 

The report, which provides annual assessments of digital and IT skill trends, also revealed the specific blockchain skill sets that are most in demand: Solidity (44 percent), Hardhat (22 percent), Smart Contracts (15 percent), Truffle (11 percent), and Chainlink (8 percent).

Blockchain skills have soared in popularity despite crypto crash
The most in-demand blockchain skills, according to the Devskiller Digital & IT Skills Report 2023

Solidity - 44%

Blockchain is not only used in crypto but also in other applications where decentralized, secure databases are required, such as healthcare, record management, and/or supply chain management.

However, the most in-demand blockchain skill is Solidity, an object-oriented, high-level programming language proposed by Gavin Wood, one of the founders of Ethereum, and developed by the Ethereum Network team in 2014. 

Solidity was specifically created for the implementation of smart contracts on private blockchain platforms, such as Ethereum, but it is also used in the open-source proof-of-stake blockchains like Avalanche (whose native cryptocurrency is called AVAX) and TRON (whose native cryptocurrency is Tronix), as well as in Binance Smart Chain (which supports Binance coin) and peer-to-peer Bitcoin-based financial platform Counterparty.

Solidity is influenced by Python, C++, and JavaScript and runs on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). 

In fact, Solidity employs a syntax similar to Javacript’s standard ECMA Script, which means that current web developers should find it relatively easy to learn. 

Hardhat -22%

The second most in-demand blockchain skill, according to the DevSkiller report, is Hardhat.

Hardhat is an Ethereum development environment that enables professional developers to deploy smart contracts, run tests, and debug Solidity code in local machines instead of live environments. 

To allow this, Hardhat uses the Hardhat Network, a pre-built local Ethereum network node specifically created for developers. 

The network helps them find issues with their smart contracts, such as failed calls or failed transactions, and supplies them with JavaScript and Solidity stack traces to help them pick out the reasons for the failure if the network can’t identify them by itself.

Smart contracts -15%

A smart contract is a computer program that contains the terms of an agreement or a transaction between two parties within its code. They run on blockchain networks and are verified automatically. They can’t be changed once deployed in the network.

In the Ethereum network, smart contracts are public, which means that anyone can track asset transfers, but given that Ethereum is based on cryptographic addresses instead of names, they still have a high degree of privacy.

But the most important characteristic of smart contracts is that they are programmed to self-execute when the terms of the contract are met, thus removing the need for trusted intermediaries.  

For example, if a smart contract states that funds in escrow will not be released until after work is delivered, the contract will “wait” for proof of work delivery to send the funds to the other party. And it will do this automatically. 

Blockchain skills have soared in popularity despite crypto crash
Illustration: Financial Technologies.

Smart contracts were first proposed by American computer scientist and cryptographer Nick Szabo in 1994. 

Cryptocurrencies didn’t exist at that time, but electronic commerce was beginning to emerge, and Szabo thought that these automatic, cryptographically secure processes could one day be used to support entire digital marketplaces. 

Ethereum was built based on Szabo’s ideas in 2013.

Since then, developers with experience in smart contract languages can write the lines of code that support the rules of a smart contract. The most common smart contract languages in the Ethereum blockchain are Solidity and Vyper.

However, because of the way they are designed to be used, smart contracts can be applied in a wide variety of areas. They can be used for document preservation, administrative billing, statistical collation, supply chain management, identity management, and even in real estate.

Truffle -11%

Truffle is a development framework for Solidity-based, Javascript-based, and TypeScript-based smart contracts. 

Truffle allows developers to compile, link, deploy, and conduct automated tests on their smart contracts in both JavaScript and Solidity languages before they are launched in the real blockchain network. The platform uses the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), part of the Ethereum blockchain’s ecosystem. 

In this sense, Truffle is similar to Hardhat, but there are some differences between them. For example, Truffle comes with a predetermined set of tools (Ganache, a personal blockchain, and Drizzle, a collection of front-end libraries to write dApps), while Hardhat is more flexible, allowing integrations through plugins.

Chainlink - 8%

Chainlink is a decentralized blockchain network of nodes built on Ethereum that connects off-blockchain data to smart contracts in the blockchain through centralized oracles. 

Oracles are a type of smart contract. They are a way for smart contracts to access data from outside of the blockchain. They collect data from multiple sources outside of the blockchain and then put it into the blockchain for other smart contracts to use.

They are needed because blockchain is isolated from external data, but many smart contracts rely on external data to work. For example, a flight insurance smart contract may have to use flight departure information to execute its commands.

Chainlink enables these contracts to automate the transfer of data between the blockchain and external systems. This way, it allows smart contracts to interact with real-world data and services so that they can determine if they must self-execute or not. 

As you can see, all the blockchain skills that increased in demand in 2022 are related to each other.

Tomasz Nurkiewicz, DevSkiller's CTO, said of the rise in demand for blockchain skills that “either the market still didn’t account for a crypto crash, or enterprises began using blockchains for non-financial use cases.”

As for the most in-demand programming skills, the DevSkiller Digital & IT Skills Report 2023 shows that JavaScript, Java, SQL, and Python lead the list.

The report is based on 209,249 skills assessments sent through the DevSkiller platform to candidates and employees worldwide.

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