Blockchain technology makes use of a centralized, peer-to-peer (P2P) network of databases, also called nodes, to validate and record digital transactions between individual users located anywhere across the globe. These transactions often take place through the exchange of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins.
The craze for blockchain technology stems from its hack-proof architecture which renders all user transactions transparent, authentic, and authorized. Each node updates its database in real-time as and when transactions occur. The transaction gets authorized only when a majority of the nodes in the network validate the transaction.
Once the verification is complete, a block, consisting of hash and keys, is generated for each new transaction and is linked to previous transactions in every database. Every node updates its database with the new block. A hacker would have to break down every node in the system to commit fraud. Since the nodes are located globally and all the transactions are visible to every user, it is impossible to commit fraud for a digital transaction implementing blockchain technology.
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Industrial Applications of Blockchain Technology:
Financial service demands high security and hackproof technologies. Blockchain fits right in. Cryptocurrencies will allow users to become bankers themselves, lending, borrowing, and exchanging money over a centralized, transparent, and secure framework. The currencies are not regulated by any central agencies. Blockchain technology eliminates the need of a middleman, decreasing chances of hacking, identity theft, and fraud. Every transaction can be digitally stored and verified. Since every transaction is verified, implementation of blockchain in financial institutions and Fintech companies can curb illegal activities such as money laundering.
Cybersecurity attacks and data breaches have been a cause of major concern for individuals. Often hackers steal sensitive information of users such as a PAN/Aadhar number to use it for fraudulent transactions. However, blockchain as mentioned above securely authenticates and authorizes the identity of a user without needing any sort of sensitive information. Even the user’s name is not required. Blockchain could play a major role in maintaining cybersecurity of digital transactions in the future.
Charity in the form of food, clothes, cash, vouchers etc. is vulnerable because they can be stolen. In many cases, it does not reach the intended recipients due to a corrupt administration. Blockchain technology can be implemented to keep an end-to-end digital flow of donated material from the donor to the recipient. The United Nations implemented an iris-based blockchain system in refugee camps in Jordan. Refugees pay for their purchases in supermarkets through iris scanning, which is then recorded in a blockchain platform. The UN gets full access to these transactions and is able to verify the identity of the person and ensures that the food reaches the intended people. This eliminates the need for the UN to deliver cash, vouchers, and supplies through middlemen.
Deploying blockchain technologies in this sector can help verify the academic credentials of a student in a secure manner. Transcripts and related material could be uploaded to an online system which uses blockchain technology. Since it is centrally deployed it is accessible to all concerned party and is easily verifiable. Every modification is recorded and linked to a previous entry. Thus, a student cannot record incorrect/fraudulent data of unearned degrees since it will not pass the blockchain verification processes.
This is an industry where blockchain can radically transform lives. If patient data is uploaded to a centralized server, doctors can access their patient’s real-time medical condition to make the most appropriate diagnoses. This allows timely, efficient, and cost-effective treatment saving lives. It can also help protect the medical records of patients.
Career opportunities in Blockchain:
More and more industries are coming to realize the immense benefits of deploying a blockchain system. Thus, there is a sharp demand for professionals who have the knowledge to develop, manage, implement, and execute this technology.
According to CNBC stats, blockchain developers and managers are the highest-paid professionals among software engineers comparable only to those working on Artificial Intelligence.
The demand for software engineers is expected to maintain an astounding growth rate of 24% up till 2026. Hired, a talent recruitment firm for tech companies, says that there has been a 400 percent increase in demand for talents with blockchain skills in the past one year from its clients. It has been estimated that there are around 1,520 blockchain startups looking to hire experts in this technology.
Accordingly, blockchain developers are paid premium salaries, ranging from $150,000 to $1,75,000 on a yearly average.
Skillsets required for a blockchain engineer
It is essential that professionals know to code in a variety of programming languages, such as Java, C, Python, NodeJs, Apis, database design skills, networking, SQL, .Net, Ajax, Agile Scrum, cryptography computing skills etc.
What the future holds
There is a tremendous demand for blockchain engineers in the market., Industries are recruiting software engineers with the requisite skills and knowledge to help them develop and implement this nascent technology. According to TechCrunch, there are 14 jobs in the market per blockchain engineer. This is an absurd ratio and the future in this field looks exceptionally bright for software engineers. Monetary benefits aside, this is a great opportunity for them to help implement technologies that will make the world a digitally-safer place to live in.
If you are interested to create blockchain applications from scratch, check out upGrad & IIIT-B’s Executive Certification in Blockchain from IIITB.