Bitcoin jobs tumble as NFT & Metaverse jobs dominate in Q1 22
Freelancer.com, the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and jobs posted, recently released its quarterly Fast 50 Report for Q1 2022.
The Freelancer Fast 50 index covers trends in online jobs related to industries, technologies, products, and companies. According to the Freelancer Fast 50 quarterly index, which is based off data from 351,000 jobs posted on Freelancer.com during Q1 2022, jobs for Non-fungible Tokens/NFTs (up 37%, to 2,814 jobs), Caricature & Cartoons (up 19%, to 3,205 jobs) and Home Design (up 18%, to 1,518 jobs) rank as the highest growing project category for the quarter.
Metaverse-related projects also saw an increase. Jobs relating to Blockchain (up 109%, to 4,816 jobs), Ethereum (up 31%, to 1,780 jobs), Game Design (up 21%, to 1,780 jobs), and Game Development (up 18%, to 3,041 jobs) also grew significantly in the quarter when compared to Q1 2021.
However, not every job type grew significantly. The top three job types which decreased the most in Q1 2022 include Statistics (down 31%, to 2,160 jobs), Microsoft Office (down 31%, to 1,329 jobs) and Bitcoin (down 31%, to 1,045 jobs).
“In the first quarter, we saw ambitious trading of monkey jpegs suck the volume out of bitcoin-related projects.” said Matt Barrie, Chief Executive at Freelancer.com. “It remains to be seen whether NFTs in their current form are a flash in the pan or whether they become an enduring asset class for investment over speculative trading.”
In-Demand Skills in the Fast 50 Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021
While NFTs started to gain attention at the beginning of 2021, popularity and demand for NFTs exploded in the second half of 2021. According to data from the biggest NFT marketplace OpenSea, sales for NFTs on its platform boomed with over US $3b in transactions in August alone.
Popular NFT collections, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, propelled the hype and continued to make headlines for record-breaking sales and mainstream celebrity involvement. The combination of demand, hype and opportunity in late-2021 continued to drive jobs on Freelancer well into Q1 2022. Jobs for NFTs were the leading growth category, seeing a 37% increase from 2,045 to 2,814 jobs in total.
Not only did NFT jobs spike but jobs associated with the creation of NFTs also increased in Q1. Caricature & Cartoon jobs increased by 19% (from 2,678 to 3,205 jobs), Illustration jobs increased by 10% (from 9,312 to 10,330 jobs) and 3D Design jobsincreased by 6% (from 6,929 to 7,347 jobs).
The most significant decrease for Q1 2022 was jobs relating to Bitcoin. While November 2021 saw Bitcoin reach an all-time high of $68,991 USD, the price crashed more than 50% in the following months due to a number of different factors, including tighter regulations and global government restrictions on trading and mining.
Subsequently, appetite for Bitcoin-related jobs also decreased on Freelancer. In Q1 2022, the platform recorded a 30% decrease in Bitcoin jobs and projects (from 1,518 to 1,045 jobs).
However, while NFT popularity is overtaking Bitcoin, some experts suggest that NFTs and digital collectibles have hit their peak and are steadily declining. A market tracker developed by NonFungible shows how cumulative daily NFT sales decreased significantly from $160 million in January to only $26 million in March 2022. To add to this, Google Trends data also displays declining interest for NFTs globally after hitting a peak in January 2022.
Despite nobody knows exactly what the ‘metaverse’ is, it’s the next big thing
The metaverse received mainstream attention following Facebook’s rebrand to Meta and pivot towards the metaverse in October 2021. This move seems to be only the beginning. Meta’s Reality Lab reportedly invested more than $10 billion into the metaverse, with the market size predicted to reach $800 billion by 2024.
While most people are confused about what the metaverse actually is, many are exploring ways of taking part in what is believed to be the next big thing. As a result, Freelancer observed a booming metaverse related jobs in Q1 2022. Jobs involving Blockchain (up 109%, to 4,816 jobs), Ethereum (up 31%, to 1,780 jobs), Game Design (up 21%, 1,780 jobs), and Game Development (up 18%, 3,041 jobs) all saw a significant increase. Jobs posted to the platform mostly relate to creating metaverse environments, character builders and NFT developers. 2021
Are staff ‘working from home’ or ‘working on the home’?
As the global travel and tourism market is still being impacted by the effects of COVID-19, jobs and projects for home and interior design continue to boom. Many have taken to remodeling or renovating their homes as working from home remains as the most preferred method of working.
In Q1 jobs for Home Design (up 18%, to 1,518 jobs), Interior Design (up 18%, to 3,264 jobs), Building Architecture (up 18%, to 4,929 jobs), and AutoCAD (up 11%, to 5,848 jobs) all increased and featured prominently in the top jobs on the platform.
Design experts suggest that the pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we’re designing our homes as a result of spending time inside due to lockdowns and self-isolation. More and more people are making home offices a high priority, revamping underutilized spaces and focusing on private spaces.
Not only are people looking to redesign their current homes, but also raise the value of their homes. Global house prices have all risen dramatically. Australia recently recorded the strongest annual growth in house prices, US house prices rose by 10% and the UK also recorded a 10% increase.