The shortage of talent in the blockchain space has become a concern for many companies. While this type of shortage is typical in the early phases of every technology there are some differences in this case: many seasoned developers in the crypto community also invested in cryptocurrencies early on and often don’t need your money. Furthermore, many of them might prefer to work on their own startup, raising funds through an ICO, rather than working for someone else.

Over the last weeks we have received many inquiries regarding blockchain talent and therefore decided to write this guide to help you through the discovery process.


Be more specific!

Before you list your job offer, you need to understand what you are looking for exactly. What do you need or want to build? Saying that you are looking for a blockchain developer is like saying that you are looking for an internet developer.

  • Do you want to build a new Blockchain?
    Then you need a Blockchain full stack developer.
  • Do you want to build an application running on top of a Blockchain?
    Then you need dApp developers who understand solidity (Ethereum), sidechains (Bitcoin), etc.
  • Understand the legal challenges that blockchain is facing
    This will influence your infrastructural decision. Depending on the type of service you want to build you might face more or less legal challenges since some industries are heavily regulated. If your venture is in a highly regulated industry, you might want to consider building on a permissioned blockchain. This might also influence your dev decision or limit/enhance talent you can attract.

Before you hire a full stack blockchain developer consider using already existing blockchain infrastructure like Ethereum. The whole point of a blockchain is that we are crowdsourcing infrastructure. Applications get thinner, simpler and cheaper to code. Building entire blockchain from scratch is time-consuming. Unless you want to invent a new type of Blockchain, which is unlikely if you are not a crypto god yourself because you would not even understand how to build it, it is best to build on top of an existing blockchain. In that case, it would make sense to have an idea about what type of blockchain you want to build on: permissionless or permissioned blockchain, public or private blockchain.


Where to look?

Traditional job portals like LinkedIn might not be the best choice for hunting blockchain devs. Start looking in the relevant crypto communities.

  • Reddit
    Note that many people in the cryptocurrency community take their privacy seriously and might not be very active on traditional social media. However many of them are active on Reddit. Look at relevant subgroups on Reddit – This is where many developers discuss their topics of interest and innovation happens. If you approach devs smartly in a way that resonates with their field of interest, you might be lucky to find someone.
  • Gitter
    Consider promoting your project on Gitter. Maybe people will come to you. Gitter is the preferred chat app for developers.
  • Slack/Discord
    Each crypto project runs its own Slack/Discord channel. Some communities have more than 5000 people in their channels.
  • Ethlance
    Gives freelancers, including blockchain devs, the opportunity to offer their services online with the help of the blockchain. In order to access the application and view the listings one would need to install a dApp browser like for example MetaMask.
  • Bitcoin Talk forum
    Bitcointalk forum is a place where new crypto projects get announced. This is also the first Bitcoin forum and it still has a very big community.
  • Meetups
    Many developers go to local blockchain meetups. Join a local blockchain meetup and talk to the people there.
  • Start up Contents & Hackathons
    Organize start-up contests in order to draw the attention of blockchain developers or join conferences like the Ethereum Devcon.


Build in-house experience

The lack of blockchain developers could make it very difficult to find & fund talented people from outside, so your best bet is to foster in-house talent. It will take some time but would benefit you most in the long run. Get outside help to train your existing staff.

Understanding the culture around Blockchain & the Decentralized Web

Early blockchain developers are still part of the bitcoin community which leans towards strong libertarianism. Personal freedom is one of the strongest claims. Traditional methods of hiring might not work (i.e., LinkedIn, vacancy announcement on job portals, etc. ). Demanding fixed work schedule might not be very tempting either. Blockchains are not only tools for storing value, but they also create a whole economy around a new decentralized world order. If your cultures don’t match with that new thinking, or at least, if you don’t acknowledge the fact that blockchain is a whole new way of approaching the economy, and that business logic is changing, you might have problems attracting good talent.