Binance Blockchain Week #2 – A successful blockchain career

From March 28 to 30, Dubai hosted Binance Blockchain Week. After seeing the recipe for adoption together, we return today with a new theme. How to make a career in Blockchain? Coinpri summarizes the vision of Eric Zhang (DoraHacks), Colin Goltra (YGG), Raullen Chai (IoTeX Network) and Mohammad Alblooshi (Head of Fintech & Innovation at Dubai DIF).

Some information on the Blockchain market before starting

Blockchain, a market on its way to $67 billion

Before presenting the vision of the stakeholders, let’s look at some figures. According to one study, the blockchain market is worth almost $5 billion to date. It is a market with strong growth in recruitment, evidenced by an increase of more than 395% in Blockchain jobs on LinkedIn in 2021.

On the startup side, more than $30 billion was spent to fund startups, a 4-fold increase from 2018.

But then why so much funding all at once? Why such a search for skilled people in the sector? Well because the blockchain market is expected to reach $67 billion by 2026! We are talking about a 13.4 fold increase in less than 5 years!

Now that you understand what is at stake, let’s see the vision of the different speakers at the Binance event. But who are these speakers?

Small tour of the speakers

Eric Zhang (EZ) is the founder of DoraHacks, a community of hackers with the ultimate goal of being a decentralized community. To date the platform is the largest in terms of blockchain incentive for developers. Over 200 projects have already been funded and $15 million in rewards and grants distributed!

Colin Goltra (CG) is the COO of YGG, the largest association for play-to-earn players. In blockchain since 2015, he cut his teeth in Silicon Valley and worked at Binance where he was responsible for business development.

Raullen Chai (RC) is the holder of a PhD in cryptography. After a career at Oracle and Google, he co-founded IOTEX, an IOT-focused blockchain.

Mohammad Alblooshi (MA) is the Head of Fintech and Innovation at Dubai International Financial, an economic zone in the Emirates of Dubai.

With the appetizer over, let’s move on to the main course.

Eric, what do you mean by “hackers”? Why should we decentralize the movement?

EZ: In 1997, Eric Raymond, the co-creator of open-source, published an essay called “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”. This essay outlines the mindset that a hacker should have.

  1. The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved;
  2. No one should ever have to solve a problem twice;
  3. Boredom and drudgery are Evil;
  4. Freedom is Good;
  5. Attitude is no substitute for skill;

In 1997 when it was published, the Internet was not centralized as such. As the Internet has moved towards centralization (Web2), the hacker movement must decentralize to overthrow the monopolies and create a true Web3. Blockchain and DAOs are a first step towards this decentralization.

Colin, can you tell us more about YGG? Are there any career opportunities in blockchain gaming?

CG: YGG is a community gathering people interested in Play-to-Earn and blockchain games. Our movement was born after the Axies Infinity game boom in 2020 and 2021. Following the covid many people lost their jobs. Some people like the Filipinos turned to gaming jobs and Play-to-Earn to get an income.

Aware that the blockchain allows a new form of income, but sometimes difficult to access, we propose to the players to help each other. This help includes renting NFT to play and training in blockchain. For example, we have bus drivers who now know how to use a blockchain, a layer-2 and a bridge. They now live in better conditions thanks to Play-to-Earn.

In the metaverse and gaming sector there are many job opportunities: creating the universe, setting up the economy, training players, designing…

Raullen, what do you think about the evolution of the ecosystem?

RC: I discovered Bitcoin when its whitepaper came out in 2009. I was still a cryptography student at the time. In 2012 when I got my PhD in cryptography, Web3 didn’t exist and the Blockchain industry didn’t exist either, Coinbase must have had 3 employees. I then joined Google in the security and Infra part.

In 2016, the Bull Run made a lot of talents turn to blockchain, it resulted in the creation of projects like Polkadot. On my side I launched IOTEX with the ambition to connect the real world to blockchain via our everyday devices.

We are moving forward, but 2020 and its new bull run has been a very important year for our project, the ecosystem and blockchain jobs. Projects like Polkadot or Cosmos that were just theories on a paper are now concrete.

Mohammad, how do people join the Blockchain? What is DIFC doing to help them?

MA: Blockchain is an ecosystem that is evolving very, very fast. We have more and more companies looking for individuals with crypto and blockchain knowledge.

While this demand is high, companies want people with strong knowledge. You need to know the basics of the ecosystem (wallet, bridge, DeFi, NFT). Fortunately, because of its open source nature, there are many resources to learn like the Binance Academy (ed. note: or Coinpri).

At DIFC we provide courses and training to equip students for the next 5/10 years.

Dubai is really positioning itself as a technology HUB. In the last 18-24 months, we have set up remote and freelancer visas.

Moving to Dubai and enjoying a unique mindset has never been easier. Many companies, especially in Blockchain are taking advantage of this and sometimes relocating thousands of employees here.

Is Web3 redefining professional careers? What are the skills you need to have a good career?

CG: In the traditional industry, it’s very common to have a specific job in mind. With clear job roles and titles, you can make sure you move towards those to build your path.

Today’s Web3 and Blockchain ecosystem is not the same as it was 3 years ago. New jobs are emerging all the time and it’s not because you’re a community manager or a translator that you won’t be a crypto journalist or the founder of a project tomorrow (ed. note: absolutely).

There is no direct line to have a career in crypto and it is normal to feel like you don’t know where you are going at times. You have to know how to adapt and therefore have a lot of skills.

Any tips to share with our audience?

RC: Web3 is still in its infancy, everything will accelerate! Think big! Companies are trying to clear Google, Tesla, and Twitter, be like them, think big!

YGG: Venture out until you meet interesting people or projects. Then determine which skills you need to optimize or acquire. Once done, optimize the most important skill of all: your character.

Never forget that you are unique, that you have your audience and a unique opportunity to bring to the ecosystem.

EZ: Never give up and participate in at least one hackathon in your life.

After these tips, if you’re determined to start your career in Blockchain, you can always take a look at Wallcrypt. Who knows, your first job may be waiting for you there.