The crypto industry has spawned a large number of new professions, and demand for some is growing exponentially. However, despite the seeming glitz and glamor of such positions and co-founders, blockchain developers, programmers, and crypto traders, there are some professions that remain in the shadows and serve as the underbelly of the industry. Today, we will take a closer look at the people who have to do some of the dirty work to make the blockchains run and the cryptos flowing.
China, Home of the Crypto Sentinel
China is one of the leading countries in the world in Bitcoin and crypto mining equipment production, as well as the leading host of mining farms. China is home to mining farms that are truly monumental in scale. Most of these farms are usually built in abandoned or industrial warehouses that are outfitted with server racks and stacks of video processing cards that run nonstop under air batteries of air conditioners. Such farms yield millions of dollars in profits to their owners.
But the equipment needs maintenance, and the owners of the farms are not fond of attracting attention as most of the facilities are illegally built. Many Chinese are content with the squalor and abject misery of living inside such warehouses for months on end in ghastly conditions, looking after the equipment and keeping the software up to date. The conditions are appalling, as the warehouses are not equipped with even basic showers or lavatories, and the residents have to live their shifts for months inside, their sustenance consisting mostly of noodles and rice. Many resort to the dismal detail, because it pays rather well and they are quite content with bearing the grim conditions for the chance of saving up for a better life elsewhere.
The Talking Job
The ICO industry relies heavily on amassing large communities of followers. Maintaining such communities in Telegram channels, Medium, and other social networks is the job of community managers, a highly coveted position on the job market as good community managers are far and wide between, considering the novelty of the market. The job of such managers consists of conveying important information to the community about the project and maintaining groups alive through live communication with the subscribers.
Many groups in Telegram are renowned for their activity and heated conversations. However, many of the individuals in such conversations are quite often one and the same person chatting with themselves through various fake or parallel accounts to hype up a project or another. The seemingly schizophrenic job is actually part of marketing campaigns launched by savvy projects that use the strategy to promote their products in the chat rooms of their rivals by employing someone who will enthusiastically talk about the project from many accounts.
Oftentimes, the managers talk to themselves inside the main group to heighten enthusiasm among other participants and encourage others to propagate the project across the internet. The strategy is well known and used in full by rival community managers, who use cross group marketing to detract subscribers. There are even professional agencies that offer such services and employ active techniques to ban competitors. However, even the banning technique is proving to be ineffective as experienced managers are well versed in filtering potential investors among rival community subscribers and send them private messages with offers.
The list of employment misery and gloom would not be complete without the most resented occupation of all that can be found on the internet. Though despised by any law-abiding crypto investor for fear of losing their wallet contents, many hackers are actually employees who are acting based on deadlines and targets in amounts of funds that they have to steal from unsuspecting crypto market participants. Given their tight deadlines and the extreme stress of such unrewarding work, the hackers often end up either in jail or are forced to live in hiding. The job itself is oftentimes unrewarding, as confessed by a defector North Korean hacker who managed to slip across the DMZ into South Korean territory in February.
The hacker confessed that others like him are treated as scum by North Korean society and are not part of the social elite. Instead, many are sent to infiltrate South Korea to earn money for the North Korean regime by any means possible. The hackers are given benchmarks with severe repercussions if they fail to reach them.
"It is beyond imagination what they have already done inside South Korea," said Jang Se-yul, a former North Korean computer expert who defected to the South in 2004. "The North has prepared for a massive cyber attack since the early '90s. They are more than ready to destroy the South’s infrastructure anytime Kim Jong Un gives a green light."
Jang, who runs an NGO helping defectors, claims he has been in touch with his former North Korean colleagues working out of Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province in northern China. He says they were part of the cyber attack units dispatched from Pyongyang to operate out of China, disguised as freelance programmers. However, their aim was to hack national security-related information from Seoul and Washington and earn money for the North Korean regime.
The crypto market is quite often not what it may seem to be from someone not versed in the inner workings of the industry. The seeming opulence of many project founders or affluent Bitcoin holders is often based on the misery of many people who often have no choice to make a living.