Skills Intelligence Publication

The European Union aims to be a leader in development and applications of blockchain technology by supporting and guiding different blockchain stakeholders via appropriate policy, legal and regulatory framework, and funding. Since blockchain is an advanced form of technology it requires specific expertise and experience in its development and applications. As adoptability of blockchain technology increases, it puts pressure on the current EU labour market to satisfy the demand for blockchain-related skills.

Although to date the principal use of blockchain technologies has been around cryptocurrencies, there has been a rapid expansion in its application in other important areas, such as finance and banking, supply chain management, and healthcare technology. Therefore, the demand for blockchain skills is likely to grow as the technology continues to develop and adoption spreads across sectors. This report aims to estimate anticipated demand for blockchain skills as well as blockchain skills supply to provide evidence and address blockchain skills mismatches.

Firstly, a key concern is the lack of information on the current size of the blockchain labour market or the number of people working on blockchain development or applications in the EU. Therefore, CHAISE estimates that there were approximately 361,767 blockchain-related workers in the EU-26 in 2021. This equates to approximately 0.2% of all employment in the EU-26 in 2021. The related occupations, in general, are:

  • Software and Applications Developer and Analyst;
  • Database and Network Professional;
  • Information and Communications Technology Services Manager;
  • Business Services and Administration Manager;
  • Legal Professional occupations.

Central problems in planning skills policy for any emerging technology are that:

  • little is known on the type of jobs across which the skills are being demanded;
  • the jobs related to the technology have not been linked to the formal occupational framework that is used for forecasting purposes;
  • the occupational distribution of the skills area is likely to become quickly outdated as the emerging technology is adopted across and expanding range of sectors and business operations.

In response to these challenges, this report from the EU-funded project CHAISE outlines a unique methodological framework that estimates the current demand for blockchain skills by using data scraping technologies. CHAISE parters located blockchain related jobs within the occupational classification framework and produced forecasts for both total blockchain professionals and newly qualified blockchain graduates for the 2021 to 2026 period.

As part of the CHAISE forecasting framework, additional information on sectoral developments, education, and training provision, and economic, societal and employment development trends was gathered. Industry experts within the CHAISE consortium expect the sector to experience further growth in the future and that there is an increased interest in blockchain activities and applications within different sectors and governments. Interviews with education and training providers suggest that provision of blockchain education and training is likely to improve due to the sectoral and industry demand for skills in this technology and growing public interest. Information on economic, societal and employment trends indicate that rapid expansion of new digital technologies across Europe will increase the demand for digital skills and growth in the high-tech work.