Technology companies, banks, and real estate brokers have high expectations for the blockchain. The technology underpinning bitcoin could be used to move money, trade stocks, or sell houses more efficiently. One problem is that few programmers have the expertise to work on blockchain projects.
Jeff Garzik, one of about two dozen core bitcoin developers, is capitalizing on the hype by creating a coder-for-hire service specializing in the blockchain. His startup Bloq Inc. charges customers $3,000 to $5,000 a month to develop new features for blockchain software and have access to 24/7 customer support. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has agreed to sell Bloq’s services to its clients, Garzik said. “That opens up a lot of doors for us early in the company’s lifetime,” he said. “Companies know who to call at 3 a.m. if the blockchain is melting down.”
Garzik modeled his startup on Red Hat Inc., which built an $11 billion company out of helping businesses develop and implement Linux and other open-source software. He used to work at Red Hat, and he said his code can be found in every Android phone and in most data centers around the world. Since then, Garzik has been an