This is the second post in a 5-part series geared toward business professionals exploring a career in bitcoin. I tell my own story, from knowing nothing about bitcoin to becoming a Certified Bitcoin Professional, as an anecdote from which others in similar situations can draw lessons and insight to make their own decisions about getting involved in this exciting space.
In part 1, I describe the circumstances that led me to explore a career in bitcoin. Here, I discuss various ways to make money in the bitcoin ecosystem and why I decided to pursue a professional certification.
This series is powered by Urkel Labs.
How can I make money in the bitcoin ecosystem?
Short answer: however you want, you’re the master of your own destiny. But I’m not a guru and I’m not Tony Robbins, so let’s consider some of the more obvious ways to make money in the bitcoin ecosystem.
On any jobsite search keywords such as “bitcoin”, “crypto”, and “blockchain”, and you’ll find the vast majority of job postings have “developer” or “engineer” in the title. The fact of the matter is bitcoin is still a highly technical space. The industry is largely in build mode and devs are in high demand by necessity. If you’re a business professional who also happens to have coding skills, maybe these roles are for you. If, like me, you lack this technical training, fear not - there are still plenty of opportunities out there.
Bitcoin mining has become big industry and big money. In short, miners (think computers, not people) are the backbone of the bitcoin network. They use their computing power to keep track of bitcoin’s transaction history and, in return for all their hard work, get rewarded in BTC (bitcoin’s cryptocurrency). A detailed description of mining is outside of the scope of this post, so, if you’re unfamiliar with it I recommend checking out this video from 99Bitcoins - it’s awesome.
Unless you have specialized, powerful computers with access to relatively cheap energy, becoming a miner probably isn’t for you. However, joining a mining pool might be. That’s when a group of individuals agree to “pool” together their computational power and get rewarded proportionately to the amount they put in.
Play the market
Large sums stand to be gained (and lost) trading and investing in cryptocurrencies. With a highly volatile market that’s open 24/7, day trading on exchanges such as Binance and BitMax, can be a profitable endeavour with a winning strategy and good ole’ fashioned luck. Just remember that, even with a winning strategy, trading profits are never guaranteed. Alternatively, if you’re not ready to trade but you want to get involved in the markets, think about longer term buy-and-hold (or HODL) crypto investments.
Sell products and services
Maybe you already own a company. Maybe you write or make videos. You don’t necessarily have to change your business to get into the bitcoin game. In fact, it can be as simple offering BTC as an alternative payment option. bitcoin.org offers a number of helpful resources for merchants interested in allowing their customers to use BTC as an alternative to US dollars or other currencies.
What if I’m not a developer or trader and don’t have products or services to sell?
Welcome to the club. After deciding to reorient my career toward bitcoin, a faint feeling of bummer-ness set in when I started looking for jobs in the space. Without a strong technical foundation and zero industry experience or connections, I didn’t stand out from the 100s or 1000s of other applications to business-oriented roles. I couldn’t trade (I had no money) and mining was out of the question with my 2016 Macbook. I’m not an entrepreneur by nature so starting my own venture sounded too risky.
Still, I knew I wanted to get into the space so I asked myself: what can I do to further educate and differentiate myself from the rest of the crowd?
My answer: start with a certification.