Blockchain skills are certainly in demand right now. In fact, LinkedIn’s latest report shows that Blockchain is in fact on top of the roster of the most in-demand skills for 2021. With that being said, building blockchain skills should be a top priority compared to mastering other technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and the like.
Today, apps are exploding and blockchain is evolving which creates a ton of opportunities for developers who are experts in blockchain technology. Should you jump into the Blockchain bandwagon? Read on.
Blockchain – Not Another Bitcoin
Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that is popularly known as the backbone of major digital cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which have been generating incredible hype over the last decade. After Bitcoin, Blockchain has evolved into a growing technology that has amassed attention and hype from many people all over the world.
People who are new to the concept of blockchain technology would often think it’s another cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. They would often confuse the terminology with bitcoin. However, bitcoin is actually the application that introduced the world to Blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology is a growing giant and has a lot of uses in different industries today. The potential is limitless at this point. You don’t really need to learn blockchain in order to start using it just like you don’t need to know the complexities of car mechanisms to start driving. However, drilling into the nitty-gritty basics about Blockchain or perhaps going through some advanced steps is a good idea if you want to build a career out of it.
What is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain was combined with other innovative technologies to generate cryptocurrencies, which started with the introduction of Bitcoin. That was the event that gave birth to Blockchain as we know it today. Mr. Alex of Blockchain Research Institute, who authored Blockchain Revolution 2016, states that “Blockchain is a trustworthy digital ledger or a distributed database that keeps track of transactions and can be programmed to record not only financial transactions but also everything else that has worth.”
In layman’s terms, Blockchain is an encoded, dispersed database that records data similar to a computerized record of any exchanges, transactions, or contracts. One of Blockchain’s major highlights is that it’s an automated record that’s widely available widely over a large number of computers. This means that Blockchain is accessible across a plethora of computer systems and doesn’t need to be tied down to a single place.
Many companies are now using blockchain technology in different transactions which provides a versatile avenue for many businesses to thrive. Blockchain has started impacting the financial and technical sectors drastically by utilizing digital currency like Bitcoin, smart contracts, and other innovative and revolutionary applications.
Vantage Point – Not a Hype
If you’re seeing a lot of brands or businesses accepting digital cash now, it’s because of the increasing popularity of blockchain technology.
Blockchain is extremely beneficial for transactions that require protected and secure transfer of items like property, money, contracts, etc. without any third-party intermediary like a bank, financial, or government agencies. Once the information is recorded inside a Blockchain, it is impossible to change anything because of its secure and stable features.
All the information in it is chronologically stored and typically is not handled by any of the central authorized organizations. Blockchain technology becomes a valuable tool in the economic sector as the users directly access and carry on transactions without the involvement of any third party. Such transactions are carried out securely by encrypting user information. The primary benefit of Blockchain technology is that it seldom faces the issues of a data breach.
Claims have been made about its ability to aid in increasing transparency in the health and manufacturing sectors, as well as reducing fraud for enterprise applications such as financial systems or for that matter, any system involving centralized control.
Blockchain has given innovation a new name especially as it thrives now even in a shared economy. Blockchain focuses on the simplicity and immutability of the process of accessing and acquiring information. The potential for smart contracts, as well as the opportunity to make new business models, should inspire business heads to review the fundamental aspects of their business in the context of Blockchain.
A lot of celebrities and businesses now are talking about blockchain tech and looking for experts on the subject. Features like trust, immutability, privacy, and reliability make Blockchain the best match for every industry.
How Blockchain Technology Works
You should think of Blockchain as a Google document shared by a wide number of systems all over the world. The document is connected to the internet, so every time a transaction takes place, the information would be recorded without missing any detail.
Basically, anyone with a computer or mobile device can access the document after connecting via the internet. More so, anyone who can access the document can also view or add transactions but are unable to edit any of it.
Important Points to Master on Blockchain Technology
The system is immutable and cheat-proof because every single block of the transaction is faultless and recorded on a consistent basis. Blockchain technology maintains a record of entire data exchanges. In the world of cryptocurrency, the transfer of each information, property, etc. is called a ‘transaction,’ while the data where all transactional records are stored is called a ‘shared ledger.’ Each completed transaction is included as a “block” in the ledger.
Each transaction is verified or validated before it becomes a legitimate part of the blockchain. In effect, every single transaction is confirmed using a distributed system or referred to as a peer-to-peer network of nodes. Once the digital transaction happens, and it is added to the distributed ledger, it becomes almost impossible to alter the data at a later time.
To get started, you need to unlock the theory of “keys.” Basically, you are provided with a set of cryptographic keys for your identity. One set of keys pertain to the public key and the other one is called the private key. When combined, this provides users a unique digital signature.
Your public key is like a notice, with which others in the blockchain would be able to recognize you. The purpose of the private key is to give you a digital identity to authorize a transaction. However, to authorize any complete blockchain transaction, you have to use both private and public keys jointly.
In the cryptocurrency world, the wallet address or public key is attributed to you, and your private key helps you to authorize transfers, withdrawals, or carry on other actions with your digital property such as cryptocurrencies. Hence, it is imperative to protect your private key or else anyone who can access it would have complete authority to corrupt any of your r digital assets that are associated with the public key.
Whenever a transaction happens, it is by default authorized by a person who has a private key. This transaction is updated in the Blockchain ledger and it is given a unique ID number and timestamp to indicate the time the transaction occurred. As this transaction occurs, it’s transmitted to a peer-to-peer network of nodes, essentially other digital entities that acknowledge that the transaction has occurred and thus it should be added to the ledger This alerts other digital entities to the completed transaction and suggests the same be updated in the digital ledger.
Learning the Ropes of Blockchain
Learning the ropes of blockchain seems daunting but the complexities of it all would prove to be worth it once you adopt this new technology. A better approach to learning Blockchain is to start with the basics which prove to be the driving force behind this global phenomenon. Not just another technology that passes through, blockchain is perceived as revolutionary enough to change people’s lives significantly, and entering the world of Blockchain technology can render long-term gains. But still, one has to be very cautious about it.
By now, you might be thinking of the easiest way to dive into the intricacies of the Blockchain space. Well, if you are a beginner, there are specific basic terms that you need to know, such as the following :
Blockchain pertains to a set or chain of blocks. Each block contains data that is cryptographically stored in it without any central supervision from any entity.
This pertains to a system that is not governed by any central authority. The decision-making power is dispersed or distributed to a wide network and isn’t contained in a single entity.
This is a method in which a decentralized network comes to an agreement on specific objectives.
Users who mine and authorize blocks.
Cryptography refers to the study of finding ways to establish secure communication between computer systems. To know the magnitude of cryptography, here’s a stat – a piece of information in Bitcoin cryptography can secure a value as high as $300,000,000,000. This digital trend will continue to surpass the more traditional methods of how our society makes safe the information or properties that we consider valuable.
Cryptography is an essential part of Blockchain, because the private and public keys are cryptographically encrypted, making it nearly impossible for anyone to hack them. This creates extra layers of security for the blockchain system making it impenetrable and unassailable. Therefore it is recommended that you learn cryptography before learning Blockchain.
Bitcoin designed the first useful distributed trusted network across the world by introducing techniques like digital signatures, one-way functions, distributed computing, mechanism design, etc.
Before the release of bitcoin, torrenting websites were the only thing that could be considered comparable to globally distributed peer-to-peer network nodes. Although many of these websites were fairly good, they missed rendering proper incentives for people to work ethically and accurately within the network.
Anyone could post anything without any consequences, things such as malicious software or subject matter that violated copyrights. Also, there were no rewards for uploading quality information.
Mechanism design sounds too technical but is extremely important in understanding how blockchain technology works. A cryptographer alone may protect the information, but there has to be some incentive for owning that information. For it to be considered valuable and validated as a distributed computing engineer might connect a network of computers to spread information.
However, if there is an imbalance in the incentives created, it makes for a lesser safe network. It’s the function of its mechanical design to eliminate these issues and provides a safe working space for Blockchains.
Rise of Blockchain Careers
Although Blockchain is a decentralized technology, the advent of miners, mining, and building blocks has challenged the basic idea that Blockchain is a decentralized network. This is where the nature of mechanism design can help in securing the digital assets and can provide you with a great platform needed to learn and be an expert in Blockchain.
There are plenty of claims regarding Blockchain’s actual potential. It could really be bigger than how it’s perceived today. Who knows how it will evolve over time?
It’s exciting to know how blockchain tech is being embraced and also creating a lot of career opportunities for today’s generation. It’s a skill that’s too technical or ambiguous compared to traditional skills and careers but this is exactly the quality that makes blockchain technology a sought-after skill in today’s tech-driven world.
The distributed ledger database has been seen as a game-changer in varied economies, especially with the increase of businesses and even well-famed individuals or celebrities vouching for its power. The sudden shift to the digital space has also been a claim to the throne for blockchain technology. So, if you’re looking for that career shift or upgrade, it’s high time to look into the potential of blockchain technology.
Blockchain has is now seen as a top business solution by the giants. Companies like Amazon, IBM, American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Oracle, and Microsoft are all seeking candidates with blockchain expertise and experience. With that being said, the rise of blockchain-related job opportunities will continue way beyond 2021.