Coinality, an online jobs board advertising roles paid in various digital currencies, has gained 850 registered users since it launched in September.
Coinality lets users post vacancies that pay in bitcoin and litecoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies. The site's founder, Daniel Roseman, believes this will contribute to bitcoin's viability as a currency. He said:
"Coinality provides a way to acquire bitcoins, not by mining or purchase, but by working or offering a service. The overwhelming number of job applications suggests that people really want to work for bitcoin."
Roseman said his site has received 611 applications for 313 advertisements since its launch. At the time of writing, Coinality has 850 registered users and 69 active job ads.
By contrast, Indeed, a website advertising fiat-paying jobs, has uploaded 292,631 new vacancies in the last seven days, and employers on the site can choose from 156,000 applicants in London alone. Although Coinality's figures look meagre in comparison, they still show that jobseeker interest in the fledgling currency is increasing.
A large number of jobs listed on Coinality are with bitcoin miners and exchanges. Positions include: Chief Compliance Officer at Coinsetter, Outside Sales Executive at The Bitcoin Investment Trust and a Mandarin-speaking Engineer at Butterfly Labs.
Currently, the highest paying job on Coinality is a developer position at a bitcoin startup being run by Trace Mayer and Kevin Bombino, in 'stealth' mode. The advertised pay is 51 BTC - 100 BTC, or $55,000 - $109,000 (US dollars) per year, with equity in the startup as additional compensation.
Coinality has a few jobs listed that are not directly related to mining or exchanging bitcoin. One posting advertises a one-time fee of 0.1 BTC for solving a cryptographic puzzle. Another advert seeks a guest house manager in Austria. A third is a vacancy for a safety officer aboard a ship in the Philippines.
But how many users are willing to stake their livelihoods on a bitcoin salary, given the currency's volatility? According to Roseman, no one has raised these concerns yet:
"I don't believe many users are earning income exclusively in bitcoin. Most users are seeking to increase their bitcoin holdings through labour or services, or are interested in acquiring bitcoin for the first time."
Coinality is a free service for employers and job-seekers. Users can also upload their resumes for potential employers to find. Additionally, the site has an RSS feed of bitcoin-related jobs on larger job sites like oDesk, Careerjet and SimplyHired.
According to Roseman, job ads on Coinality are reviewed by "humans of reasonably sound judgment". However, some job ads (including the ship's safety officer) appear dubious. For example, the employer's website on that listing doesn't exist, and further searches don't reveal anything more promising. Emails seeking comment sent to four employers and individuals who advertised on Coinality have not been returned.
Existing job boards
Many other platforms exist for job-seekers who want to be paid in bitcoin. The subreddit /r/Jobs4Bitcoins is a popular destination. Platforms like oDesk and Elance, which let freelancers find specific work, feature jobs connected to bitcoin mining and exchanges - some of which can be compensated in bitcoin.
Unlike Coinality, oDesk and Elance charge for their services. Odesk takes a 10% cut on a freelancer's fee while eLance extracts 8.75%. Roseman said that while these services have more users, charging is against bitcoin's ethos.
"Coinality keeps its services completely free, and aligns itself with the 'frictionless' and 'free use' nature of bitcoin," he added.
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