As more reports of cryptocurrency hackings make the news, the demand for experts in blockchain security has risen, with some of these professionals earning in excess of $430,000 annually. Neil Dundon, the founder of blockchain recruitment company CryptoRecruit, indicated that for a long time, the demand for audit services in the blockchain space has been high. However, the growing number of defi (decentralized finance) protocols has upped the ante and created a soaring demand for experts who can review these protocols and identify any vulnerabilities in the smart contracts upon which these defi systems run.
This emphasis on blockchain security isn’t altogether exaggerated because what we are seeing is that hackers can identify one vulnerability in a system and make off with millions or even billions of dollars in a single cyberattack. And the data backs up how serious such a threat can be. For example, Chainalysis wrote that no less than $2 billion has so far been stolen this year by hackers targeting cross-chain protocols bridging one crypto system to another.
As a result of the gravity of these security threats, it is no longer optional to conduct periodic security audits; those audits are now a must-have activity, and companies are actively budgeting for this proactive process. This is the reason why the salaries of experts in this niche are increasing with demand for talent is at its highest ever.
A look at the job advertisements for crypto-security experts shows that the needed skills and competencies include experience in programming as well as an understanding of cryptography, cybersecurity and blockchain technology. The vast majority of companies pay these professionals between $100,000 and $250,000 annually. However, some companies aren’t shy about forking out as much as $430,000 annually for a crypto-security expert.
For comparison purposes, programmers proficient in the programming language called Solidity are in high demand because this is the language being used to write smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain protocol. These programmers earn approximately 20% less than crypto security experts, and this goes to illustrate how lucrative a career as a crypto auditor can be.
The key vulnerabilities that auditors look out for when analyzing a defi protocol include spelling errors, vulnerability to random number attacks, the likelihood of attacks focused on reentry functions, weaknesses originating in timestamp dependencies and so on. Bloomberg reports that this year alone, companies specialized in conducting cryptocurrency audits have raked in $257 million. The final total for this year could be significantly higher.
As more companies such as RIOT Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) enter the crypto space and grow their footprint, the shortage of security auditors is likely to increase since talent availability is unlikely to grow at the same pace as the demand for these audit services.
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