The Blockchain originally started out as a financial ledger for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency as a way for transactions to be recorded and tracked using encryption methods. Satoshi Nakamoto’s idea for a decentralized ledger using blocks of data was so ingenious that it is being adopted in many industries today.
The Blockchain is now moving away from just crypto transactions into a wide range of uses as startups worldwide are tapping into its potential. Blockchain consulting is a great way to learn about how it works in-depth, its potential and how to form ideas around it. Software development using Blockchain tech is a great way to make a splash in the tech world today.
Blockchain Briefly Explained
In its simplest form, the Blockchain works somewhat similar to a file-sharing peer-to-peer (P2P) network. In P2P, users worldwide share files through a decentralized network. When another user starts downloading the file, all of the users in that network that have that file share bits of it to the user requesting it. Thus, the user that is downloading the file gets bits from a lot of nodes, instead of getting the entire file from one node or server.
Blockchain is similar to this in that it is also decentralized and the transactions between individuals or companies are logged in the ledger. These transactions are recorded using blocks and the information is shared across a decentralized network of computers and users similar to a P2P network.
However, that’s where the similarities end. Blockchain has unrivaled advanced security when compared with other digital ledgers. The chain is encrypted between nodes or computers sharing bits of the blocks.
What makes the Blockchain truly stand out is that is not controlled by a single institution or entity. Its decentralized nature makes it attractive for individuals and companies of all sizes to tap into. There are no control or ownership rights and this gives great flexibility to its robust and cryptic nature of record keeping.
Because there is no single entity controlling it nor anyone in charge of the ledger, there is no middleman to take a cut out of transactions that take place. This makes it a great alternative for traditional financial transactions done for decades using agreements and middlemen taking a cut, such as it happens in the real estate or banking industries.
Cryptocurrency & Beyond
The Blockchain started out as a ledger for Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies. However, today it is often used in various Ethereum projects including the creation of smart contracts that offer businesses the ability to make deals using secure digital agreements.
Let us take a look at two cryptocurrencies to see how they rely on the Blockchain for various purposes and show what the ledger is capable of:
– 1. Bitcoin
The Blockchain was created with Bitcoin in mind. Bitcoins are p2p digital currency that uses the Blockchain to track the ownership of digital currency and record ownership when that ownership changes hands.
– 2. Ethereum
Ethereum is another cryptocurrency that relies on the Blockchain but has a different nature from Bitcoin. Ethereum is actually an open software platform enabling software developers to deploy decentralized apps. It uses the Blockchain extensively for this.
Both of these technologies are immersive and show how powerful the Blockchain is. Their nature shows how even software development as a whole can change when using the ledger. The Blockchain has an immense influence on today’s software development as a whole.
However, because Blockchain records transactions in secure blocks on a ledger, there are many innovative examples of startups coming out with product ideas not related to crypto assets.
An example of a non-crypto Blockchain project includes a work-in-progress signalling system that detects and prevents DDoS attacks using a coordinated and distributed defense. It is unique because the project aims to use hardware and software combined to create a system for this purpose.
It uses specific hardware tailor-built for this purpose, including a tinker board Ethernet card alongside various circuitry. Multiple laptops are used to mine Ethereum and serve as the node.
This hardware is used alongside software-defined networking and the Blockchain to achieve its results. The overall system aims to reduce the complexity of existing distributed protocols and architectures to intercept DDoS attacks information.
Another example of what the Blockchain is capable of includes a smart contract project for the Internet of Things (IoT). This project relies on inexpensive Raspberry Pi hardware alongside AT&T’s IoT kit to create a smart contract platform for roads, cities and various computerized hardware.
Traditional financial industries like insurance, real estate, and banking can also benefit from Blockchain ideas. This includes electronic digitally-recorded property assets, regulatory compliance contracts and much more.
The Blockchain is a really disruptive technology. According to a SAP poll of business leaders, here are four industries that the Blockchain is disrupting or influencing the most:
– Supply chain and IoT
– Legal and regulatory
Why Become a Blockchain Dev?
If you are a developer interested in cryptography and distributed systems with a decentralized nature, Blockchain is a great fit for you. You will be taking part of a new ecosystem forming and influencing many industries from car sales to banking systems.
The Blockchain is also a safe bet if you want to become familiar with a technology that will not disappear or be replaced tomorrow by something similar. It has already proven itself across multiple projects and will continue to thrive in the years ahead.
There are many reasons to get into Blockchain development. Besides it being a new and exciting technology with huge potential for future growth, salaries are high as well. Computerworld reported that salaries for Blockchain devs are on average 40% higher than for web developers.
Ways to Become a Blockchain Dev
Until recently, to get into Blockchain-based coding, developers had to be experts in cryptography, mathematics and writing code itself. However, Blockchain today is flexible in the types of projects developers can work on with it.
If you are an aspiring Blockchain developer, you should figure out ahead of time what your goals are. Do you want to launch your own project and startup or join already-existing projects? Either way, learning about the Blockchain and how developers make use of it is a great start to enter this field.
Once you become familiar with the way the Blockchain functions and get a taste or the various projects it powers, you should think of ideas on how to implement Blockchain into existing software you have under your belt.
Finally, you may start coming up with your own idea or even creating a Blockchain project yourself to showcase your skills and understanding of the underlying technology.
Joining a startup or another company creating Blockchain apps or using the Blockchain somehow is also a good idea.
The Blockchain is quite flexible in terms of development languages, tools, and frameworks that can be used to code Blockchain software. Here is a list of some of the recommended languages and they include C++ as one of the most recommended alongside Java, Python and Ruby.
If you are familiar with at least a couple of these languages, you should be fine, but the more you know the better. The Blockchain is not tied to a single framework or language and there are many ideas, both software- and hardware-based, that can make use of it.
If you are a software developer wanting to get into an exciting field and looking for new project ideas, Blockchain is a great option. Now is a great time to learn about what it offers and start developing Blockchain-based projects as its influence may be felt for years and inspire other projects as this ecosystem grows.