The CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4), today announced the world's first Bitcoin certification program aimed at helping solve the skills shortage as it relates to the burgeoning Bitcoin technology adoption. With Bitcoin related start-ups continuing to gain attention from venture capitalists and existing multinational companies now accepting Bitcoin payments, there is a lack of skilled technical experts available to hiring managers and technical recruiters around the world looking to fill Bitcoin roles.
"Over the next few years, several thousand people will be hired in this space. The certification program from C4 will be an important way for startups to evaluate the knowledge and skills of job applicants," said Andreas Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin - Unlocking Digital Crypto-Currencies."
"While it's getting easier to use every day, the fact is that Bitcoin can be difficult to use until you understand it, just like email was in the '80s. However in this case it's digital money instead of digital mail," said Michael Perklin, President, C4. "If your company will be handling cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, you'll need staff and experts who know how Bitcoin works in order to ensure your funds are stored safely."
Over the last few months, C4 has had help from dozens of advisors across the Bitcoin industry in building an exam that tests this knowledge in its applicants. Bitcoin knowledge is divided into six domains - which cover a total of 32 topics - that should be understood by a Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP).
"Building the outline and question set for the exam was quite the effort, and curating it will be an ongoing process to ensure it stays current. Thankfully, our advisory panel covers all areas of expertise within the Bitcoin industry," said Joshua McDougall, Director of Operations, C4.
While C4 is certifying existing professionals now, they are already working with schools and training companies to ensure their courses will cover the necessary material in order to prepare students for C4's exams. Russell Verbeeten, C4's Director of Education says CBP-compliant curriculums will be available soon. Additional certifications such as the Certified Bitcoin Expert (CBX) will be available this winter which will cover advanced technical knowledge required by developers and security professionals. Further certifications for alternative cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, the brainchild of Vitalik Buterin, are also planned for release.
Feedback from the community has been positive to date.
"I thought it was a very reasonable test of Bitcoin knowledge appropriate for the level of a Bitcoin Professional. I’m looking forward to the more in-depth Bitcoin Expert certification. The knowledge is so new that until now we didn't have any way to measure it and that has created questions and doubts regarding security,” said Peter Todd, a Bitcoin Core Developer who recently completed the CBP exam.
Achieving certification is a straight-forward process modelled after other certification services in other industries. You register to write an exam, and upon successful completion you submit your application along with an application fee. Currently, only Bitcoin certifications are available, though certifications for other cryptocurrencies are planned.
C4 is a non-profit based out of Toronto.