Why Cryptocurrency and Talent Development Go Hand in Hand Author: Last Updated: 20 May 2018 The tech world moves at a breakneck pace, which means that talent development is a constant concern in Silicon Valley and other innovation hubs. Skills that may be relevant one day are obsolete the next. Though different sources disagree on the size of the tech worker shortage, everyone agrees that one exists, particularly in specialized skill areas. Plenty of people aspire to fill these roles, but they often lack the education or connections to do so. Could cryptocurrency help tech workers and educators close the skill development gap? An increasing number of Silicon Valley companies say yes. Attracting New Talent A recent survey of Bitcoin investors found that over 50% are between 18 and 34 years old. The same young people who are involved with or interested in the cryptocurrency world could provide a valuable recruiting pool for tech companies looking to attract and help develop new talent. Young blockchain enthusiasts are open to new ideas in the tech space and ready to learn new concepts. Companies and tech education platforms who smartly integrate crypto components are more likely to attract this pool of innovative workers and learners. Cryptocurrency can also increase accessibility to virtual education opportunities. Decentralized, digital educational platforms such as SuccessLife (a cryptocurrency venture from personal development company Success Resources) are using cryptocurrency to provide secure, verifiable remote educational opportunities. E-learning allows anyone in the world with an internet connection to develop their skills. Cryptocurrency offers an increase of e-learning’s utility and accessibility by providing transactions between learners and education providers with a new level of transparency and reliability. Cryptocurrency e-learning transactions could even automatically register newly earned credentials on a blockchain resume. Securing Credentials Many people take classes and other skill development opportunities to bulk up their resumes. But resumes have long been a source of headaches in the tech recruiting world. The rise of digital job search platforms means that many tech companies who post an opening get flooded with resumes, many of them from unqualified or inappropriate candidates. Hirers must read hundreds of resume PDFs to sort out genuinely qualified candidates. Contacting references is a tedious yet necessary step for checking that job candidates were truthful on their application. Job applicants must worry about condensing what might be a long list of credentials and accomplishments into one readable page. A diverse array of companies are already using blockchain’s immutable transaction ledger to keep track of credentials and records, such as voting records. Blockchain transaction ledgers could allow a new kind of resume, one that automatically records educational credentials and professional accomplishments. Job seekers could instantly share blockchain resumes with recruiters and hirers, and hirers could use blockchain’s accessible format to filter out candidates lacking specific credentials immediately. Blockchain resumes needn’t stick to one page, and they’re also far more difficult to falsify than credentials on a traditional paper or PDF resume. Crowdsourcing Solutions and Micropayments Crowdsourcing isn’t just a powerful tool for solving big problems. Companies such as AI Gaming show that it can also incentivize education and collaboration. Their platform allows users who have a certain level of Artificial Intelligence and coding experience (proven through the platform’s blockchain resumes) to participate in crowdsource challenges based on designing bots to solve AI problems generated by partner companies. All participants who participate in designing a successful solution, even if they only contributed to a small part of it (e.g., designing one member of a network of bots who work together), receive a crypto payment. While the logistics of remotely paying a contributor who designed a tiny fraction of the solution would be practically impossible using fiat currency, cryptocurrency provides an ideal technological framework for reliable micropayments. Blockchain ledgers help AI Gaming keep accurate attribution records of which users contributed to successful solutions in the AI Gaming crowdsourcing environment, even if they did so in such an incremental way that they wouldn’t be sure themselves how their design work helped contribute to the solution. These immutable and automatically recorded blockchain records, in turn, facilitate automatic blockchain payments in proportion to contribution levels. Micropayments are vital to encouraging participation, growth, and learning in the AI community and other talent-hungry tech spheres. Companies looking to hire one developer for tackling an AI problem must take an all-or-nothing approach to recruiting: because they can’t afford to hire multiple full-time staff who all know incremental portions of the knowledge base required to solve the problem, they must hire one person who already has a robust knowledge base. This can create the “you need experience to get experience” job-searching conundrum so familiar to Millennials: companies trying to solve problems quickly and cost-efficiently are often reluctant to hire untested candidates and provide them with on-the-job training. Crowdsourcing and the crypto micropayments that effectively incentivize crowdsourcing participation allow even beginners to make small contributions to tackling tech companies’ problems, receiving valuable professional experience, a new credential for their resume, and a crypto payment in return. Crypto-enabled crowdsourcing makes participation in tech solutions, and the professional and educational benefits that go along with them, accessible to anyone with drive and talent. There are plenty of learners out there who want to acquire the skills they need to work in innovative tech companies and make essential connections with tech recruiters. Cryptocurrency provides tools for them to educate themselves and join the tech workforce. How do you see cryptocurrency helping tech workers and educators close the skill development gap? Let us know in the comments below. 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