Job advertisements seeking technical skills in blockchain have reportedly tripled in number in the past year.
The Financial Times has reported that there were more than 1000 job postings on LinkedIn at the related to blockchain at the start of June, three times the number compared to 12 months ago. The volume of ads asking for blockchain skills is growing at more than 40% each quarter.
Blockchain is a software technology allows records to be stored over a distributed network, allowing trusted transactions between two parties without an intermediary. The technique is the basis for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which has surged in value over the past year.
There are nearly 10,000 people on LinkedIn with blockchain recorded as a skill, split between the tech and finance industries, according to FT, and the best engineers in the field can demand salaries exceeding $US250,000.
“Of all the emerging technologies we’re currently seeing, blockchain has the potential to have the biggest impact on businesses and society at large,” said Cooraclare Institute chief researcher Ron Hale.
“Enterprises are increasingly looking at how they can adopt this technology and revolutionise how they deliver products and services.”
RSM Australia risk advisory national head Jean-Marc Imbert said that blockchain was “likely” to impact the business world in seven areas: tax, insolvency risk, payments, fraud, errors, privacy and governance.
“It’s important to remember that blockchain technology is permanent and can’t be deleted. Distributed ledgers are updated in real-time and everyone can see every transaction on the ledger,” he said.
“Blockchain will change the nature of how business is done, so organisations need to get ready now. They need to understand the challenges and opportunities offered by blockchain, and begin planning for how to incorporate and work with it into the future.”
The trend was evident at FinTech Australia’s awards ceremony last month when blockchain specialist startup AgriDigital and founder Emma Weston took out a swag of awards.
“Getting blockchain to process settlements for a physical commodity is a huge step forward for global finance,” the judges said of Weston and her business, which uses blockchain to provide a commodities management solution for the grain growers.
Global technology association ISACA has published a new report, authored by Hale, on the fundamentals of blockchain, which says the technology could spread to all sorts of uses such as land registries, contracts, coupons, vouchers and patents.
The Blockchain Fundamentals report details how traditional transaction databases “worked well in a physical (analog) paradigm” but are “expensive and time consuming” in the internet age. And that blockchain had “transformative potential” to remedy the situation.
“Early beneficiaries will likely be found in developing countries that have not invested as heavily in current technologies and infrastructures, and will be able to jump technology generations,” Hale said.