How to Become a Cryptocurrency Trader

In the rapidly growing economy surrounding cryptocurrency, some individuals may be well suited to a career trading in that currency. Read on to learn about the required skills, possible educational paths, and the career outlook for this burgeoning industry.

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Career Definition of a Cryptocurrency Trader

Cryptocurrencies are a digital form of currency which rely on levels of encryption to both generate and transfer funds without the need for a centralized bank. A career as a cryptocurrency trader could involve self-funded investment strategies, or, more likely, working as part of a team creating and implementing trading strategies on behalf of clients or an institutional portfolio.

Because of the relative infancy of the cryptocurrency markets, it may be difficult to find larger institutions that invest and trade actively in cryptocurrency. However, there are smaller financial firms and start-ups that currently offer or even specialize in cryptocurrency portfolio management and trading advice.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Attention to detail, research and critical thinking skills, math aptitude, analysis and forward planning
Median Salary (2017)* $63,780 (securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents)
Job Outlook (2016-26)* 6% (securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics

Required Education

Many cryptocurrency trading positions will require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in areas like computer science or electrical engineering. More traditional industry degrees, such as finance or economics, could also be beneficial for individuals interested in trading and cryptocurrency, as the general understanding of supply and demand, price fluctuations and more could be easily transferable to other financial assets or currency products. A master's degree may be required for advancement in this field.

Required Skills

A cryptocurrency trader will need excellent analysis skills, to create and implement profitable trading strategies. Some moderate programming skills may be required, as the development of automatic trading software becomes the norm. Also, in the fast-paced environment of a trading desk, attention to detail and focus is imperative. If traders are responsible for direct contact with clients and communicating trade details and recommendations, they may need good customer service and even sales skills. A great deal of market knowledge will likely be gained from personal experience, and prospective employers may look for individuals who have actively traded cryptocurrency or participated in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), for example.

Career Outlook & Salary

Given the variable nature of the cryptocurrency environment, it is difficult to accurately predict a career outlook in this volatile industry. Some institutions believe cryptocurrency as a whole will become completely worthless, while other analysts see large potential. With that said, the degrees and skills obtained to pursue a career in cryptocurrency trading may prove relatively transferrable to other positions in the technology or financial industry.

The median salary of securities and commodities sales agents as a whole was $63,780 in 2017, as reported by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The BLS also predicts employment to grow in this sector by 6% from 2016-2026.

Related Careers

Here are some links to related careers in the field of cryptocurrency and financial trading:

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