Earning a cryptocurrency certification is a great way to transition or boost a career. Cryptocurrencies are a new technology within the fintech field, so cryptocurrency certification programs are emerging to help professionals learn and demonstrate new skills.
Getting a Cryptocurrency Certificate
Advancements in technology and online transactions have led to the development of digital currency, known as cryptocurrency. This digital cash is used to buy goods and services, but they are also traded. More than 10,000 different cryptocurrencies are traded on the public market. Some popular currencies include Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Several cryptocurrency certifications are available today, offered mainly by professional or nonprofit organizations. While cryptocurrency certifications are obtained solely for personal growth and understanding, some certifications are used to help individuals become familiar with cryptocurrency trading processes and strategies and other systems and technologies that would benefit them in their careers.
In addition to cryptocurrency trading, certifications can lead to expertise in cryptocurrency technology, transaction investigations, regulations, and compliance.
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Besides cryptocurrency enthusiasts, the following professionals could be interested in or benefit from cryptocurrency certifications:
- IT professionals
- Financial traders
- Financial analysts
- Software engineers
- Application architects
- Blockchain engineers
- Cybersecurity professionals
- Information systems auditors
- Sales and marketing professionals
Of course, anyone involved in cryptocurrency businesses as regulators, compliance analysts or officers, investigators, business developers, and auditors, could use certifications to assist them in career advancement or development.
Where to Find Cryptocurrency Certifications
Cryptocurrency certifications are designed to meet the standards established by the Cryptocurrency Certification Consortium (C4); these standards seek to strike a balance between such areas as privacy and openness and security and usability. C4 is a non-profit organization offering the following certifications:
- Certified Ethereum Professional (CEP): covers six domains of Ethereum knowledge; leads to expertise in the Ethereum blockchain and transactions and Solidity programming language and its use in understanding smart contracts on the Ethereum network. Exam cost: $99.99
- Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP): covers 33 topics of six domains of Bitcoin knowledge; leads to a demonstration of expert understanding of the Bitcoin blockchain, transactions, and network. Topics addressed include buying and selling bitcoin, bitcoin address and keys, bitcoin denominations, and blockchain explorers. Exam cost: $99.99
- CryptoCurrency Security Standard Auditor (CCSSA): asserts a working knowledge of all 33 aspects of the CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS), which is a set of requirements for all information systems making use of processes relating to cryptocurrencies
All three of these certification exams are delivered online. For the CEP and CBP certifications, an application must be submitted following the passing of the examination to obtain the credential. Application fees of $39.99 apply.
The advanced-level Certified Cryptocurrency Expert™ (CCE) could be obtained from the Blockchain Council, self-described as an “authoritative group of subject experts and enthusiasts” bringing awareness of and education about the Blockchain space to businesses, developers, and other professionals and non-professionals.
The CCE designation results from completing a 9-hour course in the subject matter and passing an exam. The session and exam are given online for a total of $129.
Other cryptocurrency certifications that can be obtained from the Blockchain Council are:
- Certified Bitcoin Expert™ (CBIE): 6 hours ($179)
- Certified Ethereum Expert™ (CEE): 5 hours ($179)
- Certified Cryptocurrency Trader™ (CCT): two days, six hours in duration ($249)
- Certified Cryptocurrency Auditor™: two days, six hours in duration ($299)
A blockchain analysis company called Chainalysis offers the following four cryptocurrency certifications:
Chainalysis Cryptocurrency Fundamentals Certification (CCFC)
Do you know your altcoins from your bitcoins? If you’re starting in the crypto industry or work for a financial institution that deals with cryptocurrencies and need to build a fundamental understanding of blockchain technology, blockchain analysis approaches, and key factors of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, then you would complete this course live or online and pass the exam (1.75 hours to complete, 80 multiple-choice questions).
Chainalysis Reactor Certification (CRC)
This 2-day, in-person training covers the fundamentals of bitcoin transactions, transaction analysis methodologies, open-source intelligence (OSINT), categories of actors in the bitcoin ecosystem, bitcoin origin tracing, and Bitcoin service identification techniques. The 2.5-hour exam is open-book and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.
Chainalysis KYT Certification (CKC)
With a focus on compliance practices and philosophy, this certification covers both Chainalysis Know Your Transaction (KYT) and Reactor tools useful for compliance officers, analysts, and investigators in crypto businesses, financial institutions, and regulatory agencies. The course covers compliance policies for cryptocurrency transactions, risk profiles and alerts, and policy formulation. This one-day course is conducted live or via webcam; the certification exam is a 40-minute, 20-question test in multiple-choice format. The cost is $699 in-person and $399 virtual.
Chainalysis Investigation Specialist Certification (CISC)
For those with at least three months of Reaction experience, the CISC certification is a two-day training discussing advanced Chainalysis Reactor features and workflows; enhanced transaction analysis; investigative processes for CoinJoin mixing, chain hopping, and other obfuscation techniques; wallet identification techniques; and how to move past blockchain analysis limitations. The exam is 2.5 hours and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions; $1,199 virtual $1,499 in-person.
The Blockchain Institute of Technology provides the Certified Blockchain Professional (CBCP) certification, wherein individuals must demonstrate knowledge in the following six areas:
- Smart contracts
- Decentralized applications
- Business application of blockchain technology
A four-course blockchain and cryptocurrency online program is available at the Blockchain Institute of Technology to help prepare for a 60-minute, 90-question online exam. The four courses in this training program are Cryptocurrency Fundamentals (21 lessons, $95); Blockchain and Bitcoin Fundamentals (45 lessons, $195); Bitcoin Advanced Level: Transactions (20 lessons, $150); and Blockchain Advanced Level: Uses Beyond Bitcoin (26 lessons, $150).
The Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) has an online four-week Virtual Currency and Blockchain certificate program as well as the following certifications:
- Certified Know Your Customer Associate (CKYCA)
- Certified Transaction Monitoring Associate (CTMA)
- Certified AML FinTech Compliance Associate (CAFCA)
- Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS)
- Certified Global Sanctions Specialist (CGSS)
Advanced Specialist-Level Certifications
- Advanced CAMS – Audit
- Advanced CAMS – Financial Crimes Investigations
- Advanced CAMS – Risk Management
Interested professionals must join ACAMS and apply for the appropriate certification exam or exams to obtain these credentials. Once an application has been approved and payment made, the individual will receive instructions on preparing for the exam.
Finally, the Blockchain Intelligence Group, a company of forensic investigators, offers a five-module course and exam leading to a Certified Cryptocurrency Investigator (CCI) credential. This 8-hour course covers everyday bitcoin criminal activities, dark web marketplaces, crypto crime investigation processes, and introductory topics regarding how cryptocurrency works and its legal and illegal uses. The five-module program and exam cost $999; a six-hour module for $399 covers advanced techniques and concepts and leads to CCI+ certification.
Cryptocurrency Certification Preparation Programs
As discussed, some certifications result from a training course or program leading to the certification exam. But are other certification training programs available?
Yes. Online course providers like Udemy and Coursera offer online cryptocurrency courses that cover the material addressed in some certifications. The Udemy course is called Certified Bitcoin Professional: Pass The Certification Exam, containing two hours of videos, three articles, and a downloadable resource that discusses topics you would be tested on when taking the CBP certification exam.
Coursera provides 20 free online courses relating to cryptocurrency. Available courses cover the basics and foundations of cryptocurrency and blockchain, payment technologies, and smart contracts. Edureka has a blockchain certification training course covering, among other subjects, the bitcoin platform, and cryptocurrency concepts. Other online course providers with cryptocurrency courses include edX and EDUCBA.
Some colleges and universities offer cryptocurrency courses or certificate programs that could prove helpful in preparing for certifications. These courses/programs are available online:
- eCornell: Blockchain Essentials Certificate Program (four courses, two months in duration, 3-5 hours per week)
- NYU: Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies course offered through the School of Professional Studies; students earn three continuing education credits
- Columbia Business School: Blockchain in Business (Online): Beyond the Hype program (six modules, two months in duration, 4-6 hours per week; $1,950 program fee)
- Princeton Online: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies course
- Wharton Online: Fintech Certificate Program (four courses, 4-6 weeks per course, 2-4 hours per week; $79 per month)
Since these programs are typically offered through continuing education departments, are non-degree programs, or are individual courses, financial aid does not usually apply. However, students could explore loans to pay for costs associated with these studies.
As stated, many cryptocurrency certificate programs, courses, certification training, and certification exams are all offered online. This format allows professionals or enthusiasts to pursue these studies and certifications at their own pace while they adhere to work or personal schedules.
Cryptocurrency Certification and Career Paths
Cryptocurrency certification could help professionals in various technical, financial, or business areas demonstrate mastery and knowledge important for career advancement or enhancement. An increase in the popularity of blockchain usage in business operations is one of the reasons that obtaining a cryptocurrency certification can be beneficial for professionals. A May 2020 MarketsandMarkets report stated that the blockchain market will grow from $3 billion in 2020 to more than $39 billion by 2025.
Software engineers, financial analysts, and network architects are among those professionals who might seek cryptocurrency certifications as a means to further their careers.
In May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that software developers in the top industries earned between $102,380 and $124,050 annually; financial analysts earned a median annual wage of $83,660, and computer network architects in the management of companies and enterprises earned $116,130.
Certification in blockchain and cryptocurrency could help these professionals earn at the top of their professions. The BLS reports that job growth is expected to be 22 percent, 5 percent, and 5 percent, respectively, over the next decade. This increase will be expected growth in the demand for knowledge of blockchain and related technologies as their use rises.
Some specific career titles for those obtaining a cryptocurrency certification include:
- Blockchain expert
- Blockchain architect
- Blockchain developer
- Ethereum developer
- Smart contract engineer
- Smart contract developer
- Fintech app developer
- Cryptocurrency analyst
The ability to display expertise in the technologies used within these career titles could help individuals meet the increasing demand for sought-after skills in the IT field.
Though details have been supplied about various cryptocurrency certifications currently available, some information might not have been addressed. Chances are you might still have some questions regarding these certifications. General questions about exams, recertifications, and other details are found below.
- Do I have a limited amount of time to take a cryptocurrency certification exam?
- For some certifications, yes; for others, no. C4, for instance, does not impose any time limit on when you can take one of their cryptocurrency certification exams after paying the exam fee. At the same time, the Blockchain Intelligence Group requires that the CCI exam be taken within one year of purchasing the modules. You will have three attempts to pass a Blockchain Council certification exam.
- Do I have to re-certify once I possess a cryptocurrency certification?
- For most certifications, yes. The Chainalysis certifications last for one year and must be renewed by taking a one-hour online exam. CBP and CEP certifications last for two years, then must be renewed every two years. For ACAMS cryptocurrency certifications, renewal guidelines vary; associate-level certifications require one-year recertification, while specialist- and advanced specialist-level certifications require three-year recertification.
- Blockchain Council certifications last a lifetime and do not need to be renewed.
- Are there prerequisites for taking a cryptocurrency certification exam?
- While there are no academic or professional prerequisites, in some cases, you must be a member of the organization offering the certification to take the exam.
- What grade do I need to pass a cryptocurrency certification exam?
- Passing grades vary based on the specific certification. Passing grades for some cryptocurrency exams are reflected below:
- CEP: 70 percent
- CBP: 70 percent
- CCFC: 75 percent
- CRC: 75 percent
- CKC: 75 percent
- CISC: 75 percent
- CBCP: 75 percent
- CCI: 80 percent
- Blockchain Council certifications require at least a 60 percent passing grade.
- Passing grades vary based on the specific certification. Passing grades for some cryptocurrency exams are reflected below: