How to earn crypto: Working for crypto

What you'll learn

  • What Microtasking is & the available opportunities
  • The opportunities to earn crypto as a job; skills in demand
  • What can make you more employable
  • How & where to find crypto job opportunities

In our previous articles in this section on how to earn cryptocurrency, we examined the various side-hustles that can be employed to earn small amounts of crypto. Now, we’re going to tackle the challenge head on by considering ways you can derive a regular income by working for cryptocurrency.

As a micro-tasker, freelancer, contractor, or full-time employee of a crypto-friendly company, you can be paid directly in cryptocurrency for the work you do. If you have the sort of skills that are in demand from crypto companies, you can work remotely or in-house and earn all, or a portion of your salary in crypto.

In many ways this is the most sensible way to engage with the cryptocurrency ecosystem

Not only are you building a stack - shorthand for building a crypto portfolio - but you are contributing to the growth of the ecosystem, and learning how crypto can easily replace the functions you may have assumed can only be handled by the traditional financial system.

To begin with, let’s take a look at the crypto economy to understand how it functions, and the skills that are in demand.

What is the cryptoconomy?

The cryptocurrency economy, or cryptoconomy, describes the industry that has formed around cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. 

Though the concepts and technology behind crypto are new, the evolution of projects within the crypto economy into established businesses inevitably mean that they require similar roles to traditional businesses. 

Everything from HR, Marketing, Design, Communications, Accounting and Legal, alongside crypto specific skills such as crypto-specific programming languages, knowledge of cryptography and crypto economics.

The main businesses within the crypto economy are cryptocurrency exchanges, custodians (companies that store cryptocurrency on behalf of clients), wallet developers, blockchain applications, crypto gaming/gambling, crypto insurers, crypto tax firms, fintechs, along with a growing number of organisations that are intersecting with blockchain in some way.

Microtasking - Crypto’s Gig Economy

In the last decade the traditional economy has been disrupted by the emergence of the gig economy - in taxis, food/parcel delivery, and DIY - referring to independent staff that work on demand.

Emerging projects within crypto looking to scale quickly, without hiring large permanent teams, have followed a similar path with services delivered online and on demand. 

Crypto companies often hire freelancers to perform one-off tasks and microtasks i.e small, often repetitive jobs that pay a modest sum based on work completed. 

Microtasks can generally be completed in an hour or two from the comfort of your own home, such as tagging photos, creating banner images, or completing a questionnaire after testing a game or application.

Cryptocurrency projects are often run as community projects, which means there are lots of opportunities for individuals just like you to get involved and receive payment in cryptocurrency in exchange for completing microtasks. 

A step-up from microtasking is freelance work; essentially providing ad-hoc work for crypto-focused businesses that aren’t willing or able to employ full-time staff for non-core functions in areas such as content creation/blog posting, social media, community management and video/image creation and editing.

These informal job opportunities allow you to start earning instantly; provided you have the skills to do the task, and are flexible, you stand a good chance of being hired on the spot – you don’t even require a resume. They also provide a good opportunity to learn about crypto and network, the value of which cannot be overstated.

Rather than using recruiters or agencies, many businesses trying to launch a new crypto project will rely on existing networks to find resources, so put in the time to build your network, whether on LinkedIn, joining Discord Channels, Twitter or WhatsApp groups.

There are also a number of established sites than offering freelance work with payment in cryptocurrency: 

Earning Cryptocurrency As Your Primary Income

If you are looking for something more meaningful than Microstasking or Freelancing, you can find work on a Contract or Full-time basis from employers who are happy to pay you in crypto. 

By the way, it’s not just companies operating within the cryptosphere that pay in crypto necessarily; businesses that don’t interact directly with blockchain have also caught onto the benefits of paying staff in bitcoin. 

If you can find a forward-thinking company that’s willing to pay all or a portion of your salary in crypto, seize the opportunity and make the most of it.

To earn greater amounts of cryptocurrency on a regular basis, you’ll need to have well developed skills in a discipline specific to crypto, or skills that are transferable to crypto, ideally backed by some domain knowledge.

Make sure that your CV or introductory letter prominently mention your specific skills or personal interest in crypto, and even your desire to be paid in crypto.

These sorts of skills are constantly in demand within the cryptoconomy, giving you plenty of opportunities to pick up jobs that will pay you in cryptocurrency.

There are also various sectors within the cryptoconomy that are experiencing rapid growth, and where there is particular demand for professionals with relevant skills. 

For example, if you’re a good artist or graphic designer, you should look into NFTs (non-fungible tokens), an industry centered around digital collectibles and artwork that can be represented as unique tokens. 

NFTs are being bought and sold just like cryptocurrency on a growing number of platforms such as Enjin Marketplace, Rarible, Super Rare, Decentraland and Open Sea.  

Decentralized finance (defi), the disruption of financial services, is one of the fastest growing sectors. If you’re a good front-end designer, community manager, or programmer, you should have no trouble finding work here, while skills within investment banking and derivatives trading should also be transferable.

The list of Defi Projects is enormous, but a good place to look for roles is the job board of Pantera Capital an investment firm focused exclusively on ventures within crypto and blockchain.

Getting paid in crypto grants you a greater degree of privacy than with conventional payment methods. You don’t even need a bank account: crypto is the ultimate borderless currency, available to anyone with a mobile phone and the will and means to earn it.

Despite the benefits of being paid in crypto you cannot and should not avoid the existing rules around income tax that apply in your country. If you are working freelance speak to other freelancers to understand how they manage their tax affairs, or look for an accountant who specialises in crypto - there are a growing number supporting clients within crypto.

How to find a crypto job

If you’ve got a skill set that’s in demand within the cryptoconomy, your next task is to search for a suitable job and apply for the position. A good place to start is by checking out the listings on crypto-friendly freelancing sites such as CryptoJobsList, Crypto.jobs, or Blocklancer.net. Other sites that are frequented by crypto employers and freelancers include Coinality.com, Bitgigs.com, and Anytask.com. The job board of companies within the Pantera Capital network is also worth a look.

Don’t limit yourself to formal job boards, though, in your hunt for a crypto job. In many cases, you’ll have more luck lurking on the Discord and Telegram channels of projects themselves, or going directly to their website. 

Speak to people, understand the projects and crypto verticals where there’s a demand for the skills you possess, and go directly to the source where possible. Crypto is all about removing intermediaries, and the same rule applies when job hunting: often, you’ll be able to find work by interacting with projects and talking to the team.

What to be aware of when crypto job seeking

Crypto is a rapidly evolving industry in which projects can come and go, and use cases can emerge and then wither away surprisingly fast. Initially, you’re probably not going to find a job for life within the cryptoconomy; rather, expect to secure work on an ad hoc basis, in keeping with an industry that is part of the gig economy.

Volunteering your services, such as to design a logo or write an article, is also a great way to prove that you’ve got what it takes, and may lead to an offer of employment. However, don’t let projects take advantage of you, utilising your labor but balking at the prospect of paying you for your time.

Approach your crypto job search with the mindset that it will prove a valuable learning experience, and a stepping stone to greater things. The knowledge you acquire along the way, and the crypto you earn will allow you to build up your professional portfolio, and pave the way for a permanent offer of employment.

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