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Bitcoin, Blockchain Jobs Openings Are Booming Hitting 18-Month High

The Bitcoin and Blockchain jobs industry is booming despite price deflation, a new survey from Glassdoor has revealed.

1775 Bitcoin, Blockchain Jobs In August

The findings, which originally appeared in mid-October, covered an 18-month period from April 2017 through August 2018.

In that time, the number of job openings “related” to both Bitcoin and Blockchain grew almost every month – even as the Bitcoin price began to fall after December last year.

Most came from cryptocurrency names, with Ethereum cofounder Joseph Lubin’s ConsenSys and exchange Coinbase among the top players.

Contrary to expectations, as of August 2018, there were more vacancies in the two sectors than ever before, even as BTC/USD 00 fell lower and lower.

“As more employers become interested and invest in the technology, the professionalization of the space has accelerated as well,” Glassdoor researchers wrote expounding the data.

Cryptocurrency prices began rising across the board around May 2017. In that month, just 234 jobs were on offer in the US.

Fast forward a year and a half and the Bitcoin price was circling $6500 – around three times higher – yet the number of jobs had multiplied well beyond that figure, reaching 1775 this August.

Glassdoor also lists the top markets for the job openings with New York City and Silicon Valley (unsurprisingly) in the top three.

Rapid Growth ‘Set To Continue’

“The surge in open jobs has well outpaced the 200 percent increase in value that cryptocurrencies have undergone since August 2017,” Glassdoor noted.

Despite the price volatility over the last year, continued growth in job openings suggests that blockchain employers remain confident in the market opportunity and continue to make long-term investments in their teams.

The survey was not the only one to identify the increasing trend. In September, analysts found the number of Asian opportunities had increased 50 percent since 2017.

Going forward, despite the blockchain industry, in particular, attracting mixed publicity recently, its longer-term growth seems somewhat more assured, says Glassdoor, adding:

While the ultimate staying power of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies remains to be seen, the blockchain job market seems primed to continue its rapid growth into the near future.

What do you think about the rise in Bitcoin and Blockchain jobs? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Glassdoor

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Deloitte Announces Growing Blockchain Initiative and Services

Source: bitcoin

Deloitte Announces Growing Blockchain Initiative and Services

On Tuesday at the Consensus Conference in New York City, Deloitte announced a number of partnerships with companies in the blockchain space to develop 20 ongoing blockchain initiatives and prototypes, thereby signaling a commitment towards becoming an early mover in blockchain consulting services.

Also read: Craig Wright Exits The Bitcoin Stage With Weird Blog Post

Deloitte Making Big Industry Moves

The “Big 4” firm is scoping and leading development for blockchain-related solutions that span across digital identity, digital banking, cross-border payments, loyalty and rewards, investment management and insurance sectors. The timing of Deloitte’s announcement coincides with a rising interest and research from banks towards implementing blockchain technology. Given the emerging nature of these services, Deloitte is hoping to learn best practices quickly in hopes of generating increased revenue.

Speaking to the initiative, Joe Guastella, a principal with Deloitte Consulting and U.S. and global leader of the financial services practice, remarked, “Blockchain is proving to be a major disruptive force in financial services. The industry prototypes and pilots have shown this, and we continue to focus on helping our clients to make blockchain a reality for their businesses.”

An eye-catching component of Deloitte’s announcement is the partnerships with blockchain companies BlockCypher, Bloq, ConsenSys, Loyyal (formerly known as and the Stellar Development Foundation. Due to a steep learning curve and relative shortage of blockchain developers at Deloitte and beyond to meet the growing demand from clients, such partnerships with industry players are mutually beneficial and will shorten the timeframe towards the implementation of these projects for Deloitte’s clientele.

The traditional nature of Deloitte’s client base means that the solutions being developed are not specifically limited to blockchains. Rather, blockchain equivalents such as permissioned or private blockchains appear to be on the forefront of development efforts. For example, the Press Release claims “BlockCypher’s platform runs Ethereum, Bitcoin and custom private chains at-scale.” Additionally, “Deloitte and Bloq are working together to deliver blockchain-enabled technology designed to improve integrity and security, and reduce costs in the $1.1 trillion insurance industry.” With strict regulatory requirements around the banking, investment, and insurance spaces, fully public and open blockchains are not in alignment with the regulatory frameworks, data accessibility, and consumer protection goals. Therefore alternative, privatized solutions are being developed.

Work seems to be ongoing with clients outside of the United States, too. This is encouraging as globally spanning projects leverage the global nature inherent within blockchain technology. Remarking on the partnerships, Mr. Guastella added, “These five blockchain companies are collaborating with Deloitte’s teams not just in the U.S., but across key geographies as well. Each complements our deep industry experience and, together, we are harvesting the benefits of blockchain technologies — developing new revenue models, improving cost efficiencies and creating innovative solutions across the globe.”

With PWC’s recent announcement of a Blockchain Practice in Northern Ireland, Accenture’s partnership with Digital Asset Holdings, and EY’s partnership with the Post-Trade Distributed Ledger (PTDL) Group, interest from professional services firms in expanding revenues by offering blockchain related services is rising quickly. As traditional players look to implement solutions, the services provided by professional services firms will likely prove invaluable towards advancing initiatives in the space. In Deloitte’s case, their ability to bridge traditionally oriented clients with blockchain-focused startups is a unique value proposition. Whether or not the private solutions are truly a “blockchain” remains to be seen as projects are completed and technical details are made public.

What are your thoughts on Deloitte’s announcement? Will more professional services firms open a blockchain practice in coming months or years? Share your thoughts below!


Image Source: vtec.filmless.netdna-cdn

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Deloitte Announces Growing Blockchain Initiative and Services

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HYPR CEO: Blockchain Becoming ‘Ubiquitous’ in Banking Sector

Source: bitcoin

HYPR blockchain

HYPR Corp. is a biometric security company that focuses on making the financial world safer for consumers and businesses alike. Led by CEO and blockchain enthusiast George Avetisov, the company recently partnered with blockchain security firm BitGo, producing an alliance that could secure the entire finance industry with blockchain-powered biometrics.

Also read: Bitcoin Price Blunders, Suffers $15 Decline

Combining the Blockchain With Biometric Security

Bitcoinist got the chance to sit down with CEO George Avetisov to discuss his company, its involvement in the blockchain industry, as well as hurdles faced by both biometric and blockchain security.

George Avetisov

Tell me a little bit about HYPR. What kind of biometrics do you do?

Just a little bit about us. We provide a technology called biometric tokenization. It’s a relatively new term. Are you familiar with FIDO, or the FIDO Alliance, or the FIDO protocol — Fast Identity Online?

No, I’m not.

Ok, so it’s an open standard for biometric authentication. When you use your Samsung S5 or S6, or log into your paypal account, you’re using a FIDO-based authentication channel. The purpose of FIDO is to push an open standard that was designed by Google, Microsoft, Bank of America — some of the key players in tech — to decentralize and secure biometric data.

We’re a working group member of FIDO Alliance. Our purpose is to push decentralization and security of biometric data. How we do that is through a platform we call the HYPR suite. I’ll show you how that works in a minute.

Just a little bit about us: we’re based out of New York City. The company is mostly enterprise security veterans. Bojan, the CTO, is the founder of the Bitcoin Security Project. He wrote Aegis Wallet, might’ve heard of this wallet. Bojan is an expert in bank security consulting and blockchain technologies as a whole. When we came together, it was really interesting because we had this idea two years ago for — could we decentralize biometric security? Could we use some of the principles we see in bitcoin — around elliptic curve digital signatures and other aspects of the blockchain — and could we apply that to an authentication protocol? And what was really cool is that FIDO was just getting started, and we started really building a stack of software for enabling this type of architecture.

To make it really short and sweet: Our customer are Fortune 500 enterprises who are basically implementing TouchID or Windows Hello or the Samsung readers. Basically any type of biometric that is available on a mobile device, and our stack is securing that data.

What is the tokenization part? Where does tokenization come in?

How Biometrics used to be done, is you used to do a one-to-many match. You used to take a fingerprint template and you used to match it against a database of fingerprint templates, and you’d get a match. That’s sort of like passwords. Now what’s happened is biometrics have inverted into a one-to-one match on-device. So what you’re doing when you use TouchID, for example, is you’re basically pasting in your password. But in order to do that, you’re authenticating a one to one template. One fingerprint against one fingerprint. And that template never leaves the device. So that’s essentially what a one to one matching protocol looks like.

But where tokenization comes in is a lot of our customers are realizing that simply using TouchID by itself doesn’t actually replace the password. You’re just putting a wall in front of what is essentially a password paste. In order to really replace the password, you need to implement a FIDO-like architecture. That looks like this: when you log in with a HYPR secure system, and you might be doing so through your bank already, what you’re seeing is a login request, during which a cryptographic challenge is sent you your registered device. When you authenticate with your on-device biometric, HYPR signs that cryptographic challenge, send it back up to the server, signature is validated, and you’re logged in.

That’s pretty cool.

Yeah, what’s happening here is instead of simply replacing the password with a biometric to paste the password in, you’re killing the password.

So this is the technology that — is it BitGo — that you partnered with recently?

Yeah, so that’s probably what put us on your radar. BitGo — great company, we’ve known those guys for a long time — a lot of our customers in the banking sectors are adopting blockchain technologies and they would come to us and say, “do you guys have multisig, do you have a blockchain security platform you could help us with?” And at that point we said, “Hey BitGo, do you want to come in and integrate and handle some of these engagements with us?” It’s a two-way street; for BitGo, we improve their using experience with biometric tokenization, and for our customers, we give them blockchain security through BitGo.

Are you planning on doing anything else specifically in the blockchain space? Or is BitGo just like a one time thing?

What it is with blockchain technologies is the space has been so fragmented. And that’s sort of the same problem we’re dealing with in biometrics. One thing I always say is: “there’s no money in biometrics, but there’s money in biometric security.” Because there are so many biometrics companies. And we don’t write any biometric software. We don’t write any algorithms, we don’t write any of the matching stuff — there’s a whole ecosystem around this. But the problem is there’s no way to bring that all together in a suite.

So what I like about what we’re doing is handling this problem of fragmentation in the biometric technology space is big enough as it is. And BitGo seems to be doing that for the blockchain space. They now support Ethereum, and there’s a lot of really cool stuff they’re doing. So I think by offloading that to a partner like them, we don’t have to have the headache of going into blockchain use cases.

So you’re working with BitGo, I would assume you’re at least interested in bitcoin and blockchain. Do you have an opinion on how it will change finance? If you do, do you think that change will be as radical as some bitcoin enthusiasts think? Like, they think it’s going to take over the world, everything will be on a blockchain. What do you think about that?

I could talk all day about this. Let me give you a little bit of background. When Bojan and I came together, we originally wanted to build a biometric security stack for the purpose of securing Bitcoin. We assumed early on that the problem with Bitcoin is its irreversible nature. When banks are adopting this technology, they’re going to need a security stack that’s radically different than what they have now. I guess over time with some of our customer engagements we realized, this is so much bigger than just blockchain security — than just securing private keys — this goes beyond what we set out to do. So we really expanded our offering.

But with regards to where bitcoin’s going, I absolutely agree. It’s becoming ubiquitous in the banking sector. I would say 7 out of 10 of our customers are piloting blockchain technologies whether it’s through us or through our partners or through their own — I’m sure you know the big names who are handling this push right now — most of our banking customers are already up to speed with this. Where it’s really interesting are our IoT customers. I don’t know if you know, one of the components of our suite is iot focused firmware. We extend HYPR’s biometric tokenization protocol for manufacturers for door locks, automobiles. What’s really interesting is that we’re starting to see those guys piloting blockchain technologies

So yes, I agree with the sort of Bitcoin radicalists who think it’s going to dominate the world, but not from a currency standpoint. I gotta disagree there. I do not think people are gonna be walking around with coin, aware that they’re using coin. I think that the underlying rails for banks and the underlying rails for the IoT, for smart contracts, will be blockchain-based or sidechain-based, it’s just gonna be really under the hood.,

Do you think the integration of biometric security and blockchain will help push along this advance?

I think what’s great — that’s a really good point you made — because what we’re seeing is companies piloting biometric security and blockchain technologies in parallel. They’re not that different from each other, they’re not that far apart. Biometrics are maybe a year or two ahead in terms of rollout, whereas blockchain technologies are just now sort of the year of the pilot, with nasdaq and these other big firms.

But here’s the problem: you’re pushing out blockchain-based use cases, but the user experience sucks. You’ve gotta have strong authentication on top of that. Strong authentication usually reduces usability. So you have 2FA through text messages or 2FA through additional apps. I’m sure you’ve heard of the various hacks that have happened with 2FA systems on bitcoin wallets. And this is all pretty ABC stuff, me losing some coin through a 2fa hacker, through a breach from my coinbase wallet or something like that.

When you’re talking about using the blockchain –using private keys or cryptographic hashes for IoT use cases — now you’re talking about, can 5 years from now the energy grid be put at risk because we don’t have a good security infrastructure in place around these blockchain systems? And I think that’s why biometrics give a really good parallel to what’s going on with blockchain. If we can grow this around the same time these companies are rolling out bitcoin-based technologies, we’re increasing security and also user experience simultaneously.

Do you think the block size controversy will have any impact on how fast it gets rolled out to the mainstream?

That’s an awesome question. I try to stay clear of r/bitcoin when those things flare up. But I think if block size does not — I don’t know if we’re expecting a hard fork, or if this is just gonna keep going back and forth with the Chinese miners — the longer this takes, the more banks are gonna either start implementing off-chain or sidechain solutions or just their own blockchains. It makes the core blockchain look worse as a whole. It makes it look less desirable. Put yourself in the shoes of a COO at a Fortune 500 company, you’re faced with the decision of going with some side chain or off-chain solution or building it yourself, or going with the solution where 9 guys can’t decide on a protocol for 8 months, like come on.

We would like to thank Mr. Avetisov for taking the time to speak with us. His experience in financial security gives him interesting insight into the state of the blockchain industry, from both a security and business perspective. Bitcoinist will continue to follow HYPR’s work in the blockchain space.

What do you think about George Avetisov’s views on the blockchain and biometric security? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of HYPR Corp., IT Briefcase. 

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HYPR CEO: Blockchain Becoming ‘Ubiquitous’ in Banking Sector