Emerging blockchain networks and the rise of cryptocurrencies provide a secondary avenue for organizations to measure financial success. Over 2,300 businesses in the United States report using Bitcoin either as a primary or secondary currency, and that number is expected to increase.
Remaining competitive, even in traditionally static industry frameworks like hospitality, means that business leaders require an understanding of crypto trends. Further, to break into cryptocurrency development, professional expertise is mandatory.
Because the field is relatively new and not fully explored, finding the right talent is not only difficult, but time consuming for both startups and established businesses. Cryptocurrency developer skills are difficult to quantify—it may be challenging to find a developer with the proper qualifications and the optimal mix of technical and soft skills.
What Is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual asset designed to work as a medium of exchange, employing secure cryptography to verify transactions and control the creation of new units.
Essentially, cryptocurrencies are limited entries in a database that no one can change unless specific conditions are fulfilled. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized and not subject to government or financial institution control.
Typically, cryptocurrencies are developed on a blockchain, or a digital ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Blockchain is constantly growing as "completed" blocks are added and recorded with each transaction. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. For instance, Bitcoin nodes use the blockchain to differentiate legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend coins already used elsewhere.
Cryptocurrency developers are sometimes referred to as blockchain developers, though the two have slightly different responsibilities. Blockchain development focuses primarily on the creation and maintenance of underlying blockchain protocols, while cryptocurrency developers build decentralized apps on blockchain networks.
Cryptocurrency Developer Skills to Look For
Crypto app development is a complex project that requires a team of developers with different skills and knowledge. Before hiring cryptocurrency developers, ensure that potential employees have the necessary qualifications for the job through a detailed analysis of past development projects.
Currently, few academic degree programs are available for cryptocurrency developers, though degrees and certifications in blockchain technology are expected to become more prevalent. However, programmers should have some baseline qualifications before beginning development. The following are some essential capabilities for cryptocurrency developers.
The technical skills a developer needs in this role are likely gathered from previous programming experience in addition to self-taught knowledge of crypto-specific coding practices. Because the field is relatively modern, continuous education on emerging concepts and best practices is a necessity for top-level crypto developers. Some requisite technical skills for a cryptocurrency developer include the following:
- Cryptography: Knowledge of concepts such as digital signatures, crypto wallets, keys, and cryptographic hash functions allows developers to deploy specific features during the development cycle.
- Data structures: Implementing efficient algorithms and data structures creates a more streamlined and intuitive experience for developers and users.
- Systems design: Several types of blockchain architecture exist to meet the needs of developers, including Consortium, Hybrid, Public, and Private blockchains.
- Network security: As an understood secure technology, protocols like SSL/TLS ensure strong maintenance of the data security standards of cryptocurrency.
While technical skills are paramount to overall project success, a cryptocurrency developer’s soft skills ensure efficiency and cooperation towards that goal. As the field grows, cryptocurrency development will increasingly demand cross-department collaboration with stakeholders. Some of the most relevant soft skills needed in a cryptocurrency developer role include the following:
- Written and verbal communication: Developers require the ability to regularly collaborate with their peers and non-technical teams throughout the cryptocurrency development cycle.
- Problem-solving skills: As updates are deployed or tools change their capabilities, developers need astute problem-solving capability to continue development without interruption.
- Time management: Deadlines and project requirements dictate that developers need a strong practical background in time management.
- Self-motivation: Constant changes in cryptography and blockchain application technology mean that developers must practice continuous education.
- Financial acumen: Being well-versed in both digital and traditional currency allows developers to communicate issues and create solutions when developing new currencies.
Types of Crypto App Development Skills
Cryptocurrency application development mirrors traditional app development in the frameworks and languages used in the development cycle, though cryptography expertise is needed for more advanced blockchain projects. Major blockchain platforms, including the following, utilize specific programming languages based on the coding requirements for cryptocurrency exchange.
Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts. These are applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of fraud or third-party interference. They operate on a custom-built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent ownership of property. This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, and transfer funds.
Besides crypto app development, Ethereum is also useful for tokenizing art in the form of NFTs. Ethereum applications are expected to grow in the coming years as new subsidiaries of cryptocurrency emerge.
Required Coding Skills
- Ruby: Ruby is also a front-end programming language that helps with smart contract development on Ethereum.
- Python: Since Python is a universal programming language, developers can use it to create crypto apps with fewer lines of code.
- Solidity: Specifically designed for the Ethereum Virtual Machine, developers use this popular language to create smart contracts that generate transaction chains in the blockchain and implement business logic.
Bitcoin is a blockchain platform that uses the Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm. Moreover, the blockchain has a public distributed ledger based on the principle of hashing encryption.
Every block on Bitcoin has a hash value. It forms the digital signature for the block. The developers should also know how to use different hashing algorithms like SHA-256 and RIPEMD-160.
Required Coding Skills
- Script: A simple Bitcoin programming language, Script is used to generate addresses, create contracts, and send transactions. Developers use it to adjust the parameters for spending and transferring Bitcoins.
- C++: This is a powerful object-oriented programming language used in Bitcoin for developing wallets, mining software, and other applications.
- Qt: Qt is a cross-platform application development framework allowing developers to create user interfaces for Bitcoin applications.
- Bitcoin Core: As the reference client of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Core implements the original Bitcoin protocol and provides a full node implementation of the Bitcoin network.
Solana is an open-source, public blockchain that supports smart contracts., NFTs, and many decentralized applications. The SOL token is the platform's native coin that offers networking security via its transferring value and staking. Solana is known to be the most efficient blockchain solution and hence the fastest ecosystem in the world of cryptocurrency.
Required Coding Skills
The cryptocurrency developer skills needed for Solana are Rust C, C++, Phantom, and React. The platform uses the Anchor framework, which makes it simple for developers to build applications. Here are the coding skills a Solana crypto app developer must have:
- Rust: This is a multi-paradigm programming language that focuses on performance and security. Rust is used for low-level development, such as system programming and network programming.
- C/C++: As mentioned, C/C++ are powerful object-oriented programming languages used for developing high-performance applications.
Avalanche is a time-to-finality-based blockchain that improves upon the scalability, security, and decentralization of existing protocols. The Avalanche consensus protocol is a secure, fast, and flexible open-source platform that supports multiple virtual machines, smart contracts, and decentralized applications. Like Ethereum, every subnet in Avalanche is independent, meaning it can process transactions and reach a consensus without depending on other subnets.
Required Coding Skills
Since Avalanche runs the Ethereum Virtual Machine, hiring teams should look for developers with the coding skills for Ethereum cryptocurrency development. Moreover, an Avalanche developer should also be familiar with TypeScript and Vue.
- Solidity: AVAX also uses Solidity for writing smart contracts.
Polkadot has gained popularity due to its support for cross-blockchain transfers. Users can transfer any asset type across blockchains, including tokens and NFTs.
Since the Polkadot protocol connects blockchains, it's used to build decentralized applications (dApps). The DOT taken forms the basis for governance and staking on the platform.
Required Coding Skills
The development of apps on Polkadot requires specific coding skills, such as familiarity with Truffle, Waffle, and WebAssembly. For Polkadot, hire crypto developers who are proficient in:
- WebAssembly: The programming language is used for developing smart contracts and dApps. Developers can use it for both front-end and back-end code.
- Truffle: Truffle is a development framework for dedicated blockchain engineers using the Ethereum Virtual Machine, helping build, test, and deploy dApps.
- Waffle: As a development framework for Polkadot, Waffle allows developers to test smart contracts. The Windows Authentication Framework has two Java and C# libraries that perform all relevant smart contract testing functions.
Cosmos is another scalable, relatively new ecosystem providing solutions to the previous blockchains' problems, such as high transaction costs and limited scalability. The ATOM cryptocurrency can power a blockchain ecosystem that interoperates and scales together. In essence, it facilitates communication between blockchains.
Required Coding Skills
A developer with considerable expertise in EVM or Rust-based smart contracts can work with Cosmos due to the extensiveness of the Cosmos SDK.
- Rust: Developers use Rust to write smart contracts using the Cosmos SDK by using a WebAssembly module called CosmWasm.
- Solidity: Programmers write EVM-based smart contracts in Solidity and run them on Cosmos blockchains by using a module called Ethermint.
Binance Coin (BNB)
BNB is a very popular utility token that runs the BNB chain ecosystem. The Binance Coin is the native currency of the popular Binance exchange. It's used to trade various cryptocurrencies on the Binance platform. The currency is also used to pay transaction fees on the exchange. Meanwhile, the Binance smart chain is a high-performance blockchain that uses a DeFi-optimized consensus protocol.
Required Coding Skills
Near Protocol (NEAR)
The NEAR protocol is a decentralized application platform that is secure, scalable, and easy to use. It enables developers to build and deploy applications with the speed and efficiency of the centralized web while still maintaining the security and decentralization of the blockchain.
The protocol is based on a consensus algorithm called "Proof of Stake," which allows for fast and cheap transactions while maintaining a high degree of security. Since it's scalable, the protocol can support many applications and users without compromising performance or protection.
Required Coding Skills
The NEAR Protocol uses the Rust programming language. Rust is a user-friendly language that shows error messages to help developers write fast and safe code.
The NEAR Protocol has three main parts: the account model, the sharding protocol, and the consensus protocol. The account model is a simple way to represent accounts and their balances. It also allows for different account development, such as regular, staking, and contracts.
The sharding protocol is responsible for dividing the network into shards. It's designed to be scalable so that the network can grow as more users join. The consensus protocol is responsible for approving transactions and keeping the network secure.
Cardano is a decentralized public blockchain and cryptocurrency project. It's fully open-source and the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach.
The platform's mining process is environment-friendly and efficient. The two-layer core architecture allows for a separation of transaction settlement and computation. The latter gets done through a unique custom-built Proof-of-Stake algorithm called Ouroboros.
Required Coding Skills
Developers working with Cardano should know how to write smart contracts in Solidity. They should also be familiar with Truffle, a tool used to test smart contracts. If organizations want to work with Cardano's test nets, hires must understand two programming languages:
- Marlowe: It's a domain-specific language used to express contracts for financial instruments. Marlowe requires developers to have banking knowledge, business modeling experience, and financial product handling expertise.
- Plutus: This is a smart contract programming language that allows developers to write programs that interact with both off-chain and on-chain code.
Terra is 'Internet money' available for the top blockchains, such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, Solana, etc. With it, users can buy things online without worrying about exchange rates or fees. It's an essential component of crypto apps since it provides a way to monetize and sustain them. For Terra to function as intended, it needs a 'liquidity network.'
The liquidity network is made from exchanges and other financial institutions that help convert money into Terra. These institutions hold reserves of various fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies, which they use to offer liquidity to users.
Required Coding Skills
How to Find a Crypto Developer
Most companies still opt for traditional recruiting, doing everything manually and from scratch. Startups and established companies may not always have the time, resources, or recruiting talent necessary to execute a full-scale hire, but there are several other methods to secure cryptocurrency experts.
Crypto Job Boards
Most companies resort to crypto job boards to find full-time employees. Crypto-specific boards provide great resources for finding skilled professionals across industries if an organization has the resources to commit to a full in-house candidate search.
Still, candidate filtering is not always a simple task. Job boards only let organizations publish job posts and view impression analytics. They usually don't perform meaningful pre-screening of candidates or provide any support during the recruitment process.
As the top professional platform for uniting employers and potential employees, LinkedIn is a great place to start the hiring process. Candidates and recruiters can join groups, browse networks, post jobs, and find well-suited candidates from a vast pool of applicants. However, the volume of applicants may deter top talent from applying to open positions.
Those who prefer more support in their hiring process may want to partner with talent marketplaces. These services help recruit individuals according to specific needs and requirements. Talent marketplaces also often provide other benefits, such as pre-screening candidates so hiring teams can interview the top picks—saving time and money.
Revelo is a talent marketplace with a vast base of candidates from various backgrounds and experiences. We connect top tech talent from Latin America with US-based companies, helping businesses save time, effort, and money when scaling and growing their teams.
10 Steps to Hire Cryptocurrency Developers
Crafting a solid job description and performing proper testing helps to ensure a strong pool of applicants for an open crypto developer role. The following talent acquisition steps not only create a repeatable template for the crypto developer hiring process, but also establish a timeline to help streamline future hires.
- Define Cryptocurrency Project Requirements
It's essential for hiring teams and leadership to gain a comprehensive understanding of ongoing project needs and the specific area of crypto development requiring expertise. Defining baseline requirements enhances hiring efficiency and reduces the risk of making the wrong hire—saving organizations valuable time and resources.
- Create a Job Description
A thorough job description, encompassing educational prerequisites, proficiency levels, job responsibilities, and expected compensation offers a glimpse into the organization and sets expectations for the role. Approach the creation of this listing as if it were an advertisement, as top candidates are seasoned and have clear expectations for their roles. A well-crafted listing needs to be both appealing and informative.
- List the Job Posting
Platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed boast vast user bases, but if reach isn't the primary goal in an organization’s recruiting strategy, consider posting the crypto developer position on more tech-specific platforms, such as Dice or CryptocurrencyJobs. While general job boards may yield a higher volume of applications, targeted platforms can connect recruiters with candidates better suited to the specific role.
- Review Resumes and Schedule Interviews
Establishing a systematic approach to resume screening saves time and resources, though the process may vary based on application volume. In cases with hundreds of applications, consider using text-skimming software to conduct keyword analysis on resumes, portfolios, and cover letters.
Once the pool has been narrowed, it's crucial to designate an individual or team to review these documents and gain insights into the applicants. While automated systems assist with the initial screening, it's imperative for the appropriate leadership to review applications and create a shortlist of the top candidates.
- Assess Technical Skills
At this stage, the required technical skills have been identified through defining project requirements and crafting the job description. Assessing candidates' technical aptitude presents a strategic, legally sound method for establishing the shortlist. When designing the assessment, be sure to include existing developer responsibilities as well as potential future skills that might be required as the development team expands or a blockchain development project evolves.
- Assess Soft Skills and Cultural Fit
Although soft skills are more widely understood than specific technical cryptography skills, it's crucial to establish thorough criteria for mandated soft skills and cultural compatibility. Even with extensive technical knowledge, strong candidates who cannot collaborate with their peers or an organization's culture may underperform. Continuously hiring mismatched candidates will eventually lead to a high employee turnover rate.
High-validity assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Gallup Test offer relevant personality insights, but it's essential to engage directly with candidates before extending an offer.
- Check References
Reference checks enable hiring teams to vet candidates based on their interactions with senior professionals and colleagues in the past. When conducting reference checks, develop a standardized set of questions to ensure that a crypto developer's core competencies are discussed in depth.
While references are unlikely to reveal an applicant's behavioral or soft skill deficiencies, it's worthwhile to allocate time to explore these aspects to confirm that the soft skill assessment findings align with an applicant's previous behavior.
- Make an Offer
Before reaching out to the chosen candidate, inform other shortlisted applicants who did not meet the employment criteria. The top choice may decline the offer, so it's vital for hiring teams to maintain a funnel of three to five leading candidates until the preferred choice formally accepts the offer.
Within the constraints of the organizational budget and the long-term talent acquisition plan, extend an employment offer to the top applicant, aligning with the compensation range outlined in the job listing. Provide the candidate with an appropriate timeframe to review and accept the offer before reaching out to other candidates.
- Onboarding and Team Integration
Once the crypto developer has accepted the offer and joined the organization, provide them with the requisite IT and human resources information and initiate the onboarding process. Depending on the size of the existing team, the onboarding strategy may involve a traditional orientation or a more personalized approach.
Typically, team leaders should introduce the new employee to relevant team members, establish daily expectations, and equip the employee with the necessary resources for success in the role.
- Engagement and Retention
As the crypto developer acclimates to their role, implement strategies for engagement and retention to enhance their skills and foster a robust organizational culture. Beyond compensation, strategies such as ongoing education, regular communication, and strategic resource management empower developers to excel in their roles and ultimately boost their engagement.
Hire Cryptocurrency Developers With Revelo
Succeeding in any financial services industry, especially in one growing as quickly as cryptocurrency, means securing top talent. As the demand for cryptocurrency accessibility increases, sourcing the best cryptocurrency developers will become even more difficult. We can help.
Revelo provides scalable talent acquisition solutions to companies of all sizes. With access to our pool of pre-vetted Latin American developers, we match companies with the right candidates, allowing you to focus on core business responsibilities. Additionally, Revelo assists in ongoing administrative tasks like payroll, benefits administration, taxes, and local compliance throughout an employee’s tenure.
Contact us to begin building your cryptocurrency development team.