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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

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."