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The language for coding smart contracts has declined in popularity.

How the Solidity developers on $500k fell out of fashion

The Ethereum blockchain is not what it was. In November 2021, the value of one Ether (ETH), the token associated with Ethereum, stood at $4.8k. Today, one ETH is worth just $1.2k.

Given that the value of Ether is a proxy for the popularity of the blockchain, it's hardly surprising that demand for people who can create smart contracts on the Ethereum platform has also plummeted. Those people code in Solidity. Four months ago, they were all the rage and were receiving job offers in the range of $300k-$500k. Now, they are far less feted.

"There's been a sharp drop-off in Solidity jobs, unfortunately," says Rob Lycett, director of recruitment firm The M-Wek Company. "I'd expect Solidity developers to be brushing up on other languages for the foreseeable future." 

In place of Solidity, Lycett suggest developers focus on learning less crypto-focused programming languages like Java, Go or Python, where demand has held up more strongly. 

Dean Looney, founder of search firm Rupert Dean Associates confirms that demand for Solidity expertise has foundered, but says demand for back-end crypto developers, particularly in Node.js is still very strong. Solidity has been partly undone by its data structures, says Looney: "In Javascript, it's much more simple."

While some crypto firms (Coinbase, Gemini) have been cutting staff, elsewhere the industry is still hiring. FTX and Binance have, for example, avowed their intention to keep on adding heads. 

Jamie Newton, an Ethereum blockchain developer and CEO of zk-SPARK, a company working on ZK-Rollups (which take contracts off Ethereum and bundle them into a single transaction), says there's demand for Solidity developers: it's just that they're paid less than before. 

"I haven’t noticed a drop-off in demand for developers," says Newton. "A lot of well capitalized projects are using this period to double down on building and development."

Blockchain developers leaving college have experienced some of the biggest salary falls, says Newton. This doesn't really matter, he adds: "Since many were earning up to $500,000 annually prior to the market crash, starting salaries are still handsome for most."

Photo by Kanchanara on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
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