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Riding the mania over Bitcoin, crypto-currency specialists — from developers to technical writers — have emerged as the hottest new field in the United States, according to Upwork, the freelance job listing site.

Expand chart
Data: Upwork Skills Index; Table: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Quick take: Every quarter, Upwork measures newly demanded skills, and that makes its index exceedingly volatile. As you see in this chart, there is no overlap between the top five paid skills last quarter and those about two years ago. But one thread running through the quarterly index is the fevers in our midst — Bitcoin, mobile apps, artificial intelligence and visualization.

In addition to crypto-currency skills, the market last quarter saw a surge of demand for those with skills in:

  • Amazon DynamoDB, a database program that functions with Amazon's cloud service.
  • React Native, which can make mobile apps that work on both iPhones and Androids.
  • Robotics generally.
  • Google's Go, a programming language popular with developers.

How it works: The Upwork Skills Index calculates the year-over-year growth of freelancer billings in skills categories. The objective, says Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel, is to be the "canary in the coal mine" for emerging new skills linked to the technological disruption.

  • According to a survey last year by Edelman Intelligence, 57 million Americans, or 36% of the workforce, did at least some freelance work last year.

What they're not saying: how much the current plunge in Bitcoin prices is affecting the jobs demand. Bitcoin fell below $6,000 yesterday, down 62% from a peak of $19,666 in December.

Go deeper

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.

Kamala Harris resigns from Senate seat ahead of inauguration

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris submitted her resignation from her seat in the U.S. Senate on Monday, two days before she will be sworn into her new role.

What's next: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve out the rest of Harris' term, which ends in 2022.

3 hours ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.