Blockchain is an immutable and unhackable system that ensures safe transactions. Imagine some blocks that hold data and information in them are tied by a chain (hence the name) and are so secured that they are foolproof. In 1991, this name was propounded because these blocks of information were used like digital timestamps so that the data could be readily accessed, not forgotten, and safe. Today when cryptocurrency is becoming a mainstream transnational form, blockchain is gaining rapid popularity worldwide.
Cryptocurrency, commonly called crypto, is nothing but a digital currency used to make an online transaction instead of real money. Let’s assume you are playing a video game and need to buy a weapon. You would buy your choice of weapon by using the coins you’ve earned in that game, right? Crypto works the same way, except in the real world, and genuine transactions occur, and instead of cash or real money, you use crypto. The biggest example of cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, which was created in 2009.
Acting like a distributed ledger, a blockchain can be regarded as a diary that holds all the information regarding a transaction, but once entered, the details become permanent. Here’s a simple example to help you understand how blockchain technology works.
Imagine a cube on a table. You see three sides of it, right? Take one side to be data, one to be the hash, and the third one to be the previous block's hash.
Data: Data is the information of the transaction. Like in Bitcoin, the data would contain information regarding the sender, the receiver, and the number of coins used.
Hash: Hash is the unique identity of every block, which retains all the information about the block itself.
Previous block hash: This is simply what the name suggests - each block also contains the hash of its previous block, which makes the chain system
The first block is unique because it cannot contain the previous block's hash. This is termed the Genesis block - the block from which the chain system starts (like in Bitcoin). Who owns this first block? The genesis block of Bitcoin is owned by Satoshi Nakamoto, who was the creator of the same.
Proof-of-Work is the method by which blockchain technology ensures absolute safety. The calculations that were just mentioned? This mechanism ensures that one takes quite some time to calculate the second block’s hash of the previous block if one decides to make some changes like it takes 10 minutes to calculate the change that will occur in block two if block 1’s hash gets tampered. This makes it physically impossible for anyone to hack the system.
Thus with the hash and proof-of-work, blockchains become safe, containing permanent records that are never subject to change.
Banking serves to benefit the most from the blockchain. Imagine that you have to withdraw some money and buy your favorite book before it sells out. Banks remain closed on Sundays, and you have lost your opportunity to buy them. With blockchain, such a physical transaction and its difficulties can be completely eliminated - you can opt for a transaction at any given point in time and it will be done in the blink of an eye. This also allows banking hours to be a lot more flexible, which is advantageous for both the customers and the employees.
Take yourself back to purchasing movie tickets for your family online - how many times have you encountered internet handling fees? Blockchain mitigates any third-party involvement, and crypto allows you to save up on such transaction fees. Operating with cryptocurrency and maintaining a crypto wallet is a great use that blockchain has been put to. This online mode of easy exchanges is beneficial to people who lack state identification (struggle with VISA for a non-native person or citizenship problems) who can comfortably buy what they need with the help of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Besides the significant two usages, here are many other ways blockchain technology can help:
Transactions are exceedingly simple in Blockchain. Cryptocurrency typically allows smooth exchange of money, and once you understand how a blockchain works, transactions become clear as day.
The first step toward a transaction is the request of the same and its consequent authentication.
Since blockchain, cryptocurrency and other digital agencies have two things available to the user- cryptographic keys and a string of data that has the passwords and other things alike. These two allow the user access to what we call their “wallet”. Users have access to cryptographic keys. There’s a public key visible to everyone, and a private key.
This allows the user to create a secure and unique digital identity that helps them to perform their required transaction. Just imagine creating a Netflix account to watch your favorite show. Your email and password are your string of data, and your username becomes your key with which you unlock Netflix and are ready to watch away!
After the authentication is done, a block that represents that transaction is created.
Remember that since blockchain had decentralized authority, they have multiple nodes. Now, the newly created block is sent to every node present in the network. Then the process can only go further via authorization.
To understand who can access Blockchain, you must first be accustomed to the three types of blockchain- private, public, and permissioned (hybrid) blockchain.
This type of blockchain falls under permissioned blockchain and is quite similar to private blockchains. It simply differs because, in a federated blockchain, multiple organizations can govern the blockchain instead of just one organization like in private ones. Its advantage is that it significantly reduces the workload while functioning much faster since the work is distributed among multiple organizations.
As discussed before, blockchain’s unique hashes and Proof-of-Work system make it secure and trustworthy. Proof of Work is used only in Bitcoin now. Whereas, ethereum has updated to Proof of Stake.
But besides that, its use of the P2P (peer-to-peer) strategy is another reason Blockchain is safe. Much like how decentralization works, blockchain allows everyone to join their network, and every time someone joins, they get a complete record of the blockchain. We can call the users who joined ‘nodes’. At the creation of every new block, the nodes must verify that the block is secure enough to be added. This mitigates any block that has been tampered with. Hence, the nodes create a consensus. Thus hacking P2P is nearly impossible, making a blockchain utterly flawless.
To understand this, we’ll consider a traditional database as an example - its architecture is a client-server network style with centralized authority, both of which are absent in blockchain.
In a traditional database, we have CRUD commands: Create, Read, Update, Delete. Whereas, in a blockchain, a user can read the existing data and keep adding more - it is impossible to modify or delete a record that’s stored in a blockchain. But what separates blockchain the most from other technologies is the transparency and the safety it necessitates. A public blockchain is visible to everyone, not just the clients, users, or nodes. Also, the block system, Proof-of-Work, and P2P systems allow blockchain to be super secure and reliable.
Very simply put, smart contracts are programs stored on the blockchain and, under certain conditions, can be used to exchange coins spontaneously.
While striking a deal, we are often required to sign a contract, correct? The word ‘smart’ attached here simply means that smart contracts are just the same but only digitized.
The idea for smart contracts and the term came from Nick Szabo in 1997 when he wanted to use a distributed ledger to store all these contracts. Say you want to donate some books to the NSPCC charity. So, you call Book Trust a leading book-charity organization. You, as a supporter, will be connected to NSPCC, the product team, via Book Trust, where both will have to place their trust in a third party. Smart contracts enable you to connect directly with your desired product team without going through a third party, establishing a direct and safe link.
Blockchain developers are among the highest-paying tech professionals today. Blockchain has spread its presence beyond Bitcoin and is a fast-growing space for various consumer bases.
By this year, Gartner predicts that businesses using blockchain engineering will reach approximately $10 billion.
Judging simply from a business perspective, blockchain will have an estimated business value of around $176 billion because of its increasing demand and advanced yet simple techniques in the coming three years, which in turn is only predicted to increase, straight-lining the acute potential of this technology and the critical position of blockchain developers in the time to come. Why is this? Because the more the world depends on technology and digitization, the more things are expected to be carried out online instead of through physical labor as it assures one of perfection. And what better way to opt for absolute security and seamless transactions than blockchain?
Hence the future of blockchain looks promising. It is a lucrative option for professionals looking to delve into a complex, emerging field replete with numerous opportunities.
The future of blockchain also includes the consensus algorithm. It is a procedure through which all the peers of the network tend to reach the common agreement about the present state of the distributed ledger.
The technology is advancing as the new networks are coming in the market, such as IBM Blockchain, R3 Corda, Hyperledger fabric and more.
Since blockchain is becoming highly dynamic, it offers several valuable benefits.
1. Smart Contracts and Automatic Transactions: Forget the dreadful processes of online and offline transactions that entail any deal - with smart contracts, blockchain ensures an automated transaction process once certain conditions and criteria are fulfilled.
2. Heightened Security: The unique block form helps blockchain to be a very individualistic system that ensures absolute safety. We have already learned the many reasons these blocks are permanent once created and why a blockchain is unfeasible to hack. This allows any transaction made via blockchain or any information stored in the same to be infallible.
3. Speed and efficiency: Since blockchain eliminates paperwork, it promises high speed. The efficiency of the blockchain comes from both its ability to be non-hackable and the accuracy with which it executes every exchange.
4. Transparent exchanges: Blockchain ensures there are no third parties involved, making all transactions direct. Due to the distributed ledger that blockchain maintains, every user can access the records and see clearly what underwent in any given transaction. Public blockchains make the records visible to anyone, which is the greatest example of transparency.
5. Immediate tracing and no fraud: Blockchain obviously never lets fraudulent activity occur due to its numerous safety techniques despite being visible and public to people. Blockchain also maintains an audit string- audit meaning the recordings of any transaction that validates and completes the same. This allows users to trace the origin of the chain and check if everything is authentic. LuxTag, a Malaysian organization uses blockchain to counter fraudulent actvities.
6. Storage: Blockchain can be used to store your personal data or official data, with 24x7 accessibility.
As for listing the pros, there are also cons of blockchain that can’t be ignored- uncertain regulations, limited data storage, and the huge chunk of the cost that goes to maintain this technology. But since the pros significantly outweigh the cons, blockchain strives to eliminate its drawbacks and improve further.
Logically thinking, we encounter different forms of technology every day and in all spheres of our lives. it is fairly evident, the positive ways technology affects our lives and how dependent we are on it. Blockchain is the emerging future in technology- thus we must, care and know about it.
Nowadays we often hear of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Etherium, etc., and they all operate through Blockchain. In the coming years, paper money will have lesser value than crypto. Hence, knowing what blockchain is, adapting its methods, and familiarizing ourselves with the same is the need of the hour.
Given blockchain’s amazing advantages and unerring system, blockchain does not limit itself to only finance and monetary transactions- it is constantly evolving with dynamic use cases and solutions to real-world problems.
Going back to traditional databases or other technologies that work the same way, we seldom find any technology that ensures everything that we look for when we make a transaction: safety, security, record, authenticity, and transparency.
Blockchain offers us exactly that. From a chronologically stored record base, blocks that cannot be changed making permanent records, and utmost protection, to public visibility of the records, systems employed to fully minimize any cheating with maximum speed and efficiency - blockchain always exceeds our expectations. Not just that, companies can use blockchain for reducing concession costs and managing the contracts, tracing the source, and storing data. Blockchain can also be used in voting systems and entertainment sectors. All these reasons qualify to convince anyone why blockchain is significant today.
A database is a storage of data or information that can be modified or accessed through a database management system, much like a diary. On the other hand, blockchain is information stored in permanent blocks that cannot be modified. Listed below are the focal points of difference between a database and a blockchain:
No presence of an administrator is required.
Operates on a decentralized system.
Data once recorded in the blocks cannot be modified.
Contains all the recorded information, including past and present data.
The presence of an administrator is required.
Operates on a centralized system.
Data can be modified with the permission of the administrator.
Contains the latest information related to a particular time
Imagine that you are the college dean who wants to transform the institution’s bus system. However, it’s not a solo call - you must consider multiple people involved in this process.
First, you’ll talk to all the departments in your college and the other existing authorities to see whether they are with you on the same page. Next, the transportation authorities of your college will be informed. The implementation of the change will follow that, finally resulting in the bus drivers being notified, the new changes being tested out, and ultimately passing the notice to the required students.
A blockchain functions similarly. As mentioned before, it is a decentralized system with no single governing authority. The trustees, the departmental authorities, the transportation authorities, etc., all come together to implement changes. Naturally, in a blockchain, the onus of responsibility falls on all the participants present in a network.
In the Proof-of-Work structure, all nodes must solve complex mathematical equations. This process is called blockchain mining where anyone who solves an equation successfully, is rewarded for their efforts.
If the mathematical problem is exceedingly difficult to solve, miners may come together to put all their resources forth to solve a problem and share the reward among themselves - much like a group of friends sharing a treat after passing a difficult exam.
But this creates a slight disadvantage- as more miners join together, the network chain keeps getting distributed among more and more people, and the power to solve the problem lies in the hand of a select few powerful organizations with computer and electronic resources.
This is where Proof of Stake comes into play.
To minimize this collaboration of a lot of organizations and miners coming together to solve the problem that keeps getting more and more difficult, blockchain has taken in a new idea - the Proof of Stake. This dictates that the blockchain mining done by the miners can only be allowed if they have stakes in the blockchain, which is basically buying stocks or being the owner of some cryptocurrencies.
Online courses are gaining traction among students and professionals, owing to the flexibility they offer. Here’s why online courses pose a lot of advantages to anyone learning a new course:
1. Online courses are more affordable as it alleviates the commuting cost and are generally less expensive than offline courses.
2. Time management is an important skill that we need to learn. In online courses the onus of time management falls entirely on the student, making them more responsible for their progress.
3. Online courses offer an endless string of resources that can be accessed at any point.
Now, certain courses pertain to different realizations in online and offline courses- certain subjects cannot reach their full potential unless it is taught in a classroom. However, for many tech-specific domains, online courses can better serve the upskilling purpose since everything is done via computers.
In blockchain technology courses, we are made aware of how blockchain works and the process is entirely online - it involves coding and programming which are completely computer-oriented activities. This is why an online blockchain developer course is preferable to an offline one, especially with some brilliant online courses on it out there.
From basics to advanced workings, blockchain technology courses will provide you with a detailed course structure and curriculum that covers everything. The first thing about learning blockchain is to know what set of skills you need to become a blockchain developer.
To become a blockchain developer, you need proficiency with programming languages like C++, Java, Python, and others and you must be familiar with technologies like Parity, Baas, Remix, Solium, Mist, and Truffle, among others.
Here are the prospective skills you are to be equipped with if you go for a blockchain developer course:
The standard syllabus design of blockchain courses, we have divided it into five parts.
Week 1: Video, audio, and reading lectures on the basics of blockchain, how bitcoin works, Ethereum blockchain, and how we can trust the system, complete with practice quizzes for each section.
Week 2: Video, audio, and reading lectures on the operations and structural elements of Ethereum blockchain, its incentive model, what is code execution, the payment model for the same, and the concept of smart contracts, complete with practice quizzes for each section.
Week 3: Video, audio, and reading lectures on what are cryptographic keys, what is the process of hashing, a Merkle tree hash, and the roles hashing and cryptography play in the protection of the blockchain complete with practice quizzes for each section.
Week 4: Video, audio, and reading lectures on the security, authentication, authorization, and consensus of the blockchain, what the consensus algorithm is and how it works as well as the main chain and its robustness, and also a demonstration of transactions along with the concepts of the soft fork and hard fork, complete with practice quizzes for each section.
After completion of the 4-week course, the students also get bonus courses and assignments on Solidity, Permissioned Blockchains, What are Dapps (decentralized apps), What is Truffle Development, Application Models, Challenges, and their Solutions and the Ways one can improve a blockchain.
Now that we have learned the course syllabus that will gift you with a blockchain certification, it is imperative that we learn about the exact steps to achieving the dream of becoming a blockchain developer.
1. Firstly, there are two types of blockchain developers - core blockchain developers and blockchain software developers. The former is associated with developing the security and infrastructure of the required blockchain. Contrarily, the latter is related to the invention of solutions to the problems blockchain may encounter through creative software designs. Step one is to decide which way you want to go.
2. Learning the basics of blockchain are of immense importance. Let’s say you start a course where they teach the basics. If you already know that you can skip ahead, which will put you in a superior position among your peers.
3. Trying to code by yourself and understanding the concept of blockchain cryptocurrency is a great way to prepare yourself for your dream job.
4. Finally, getting in with the times and having all the latest news on blockchain will again put you in a better position (imagine you’re in a position where you need to buy Proof of Stake. Knowing crypto better will guide you in this process).
Since blockchain’s demand in the job sector, especially blockchain engineering is at a growth rate of 517%, it is vital to understand how this job sector works, where you should apply, and what job role you should go for; everything matters to create the most successful job environment.
To realize your dreams of working at a big firm and getting to do what you love sounds like a dream come true. A crucial step to materializing this dream is to give a good job interview and create a good impression. Here are some tips for a great interview:
1. Try to gain a good understanding of the fundamental properties of blockchain tech.
2. Remember your technical and academic skills and people skills - be enthusiastic about managing projects, taking leadership, and be aware of your communication skills and body language.
3. Your knowledge should encompass a lot of different things. Talk about several blockchain platforms and not just Bitcoin and Ethereum.
4. You must clearly express your understanding of decentralized apps, smart contracts, consensus, and the idea of a distributed ledger.
5. You must possess strong business acumen since interviewers look for candidates who know how to leverage technologies to solve real-world business challenges.
6. Before your interview, research the company to understand its goals and expectations from you.
As stated before so as to why Blockchain is expected to grow, the Compound Annual Growth Rate of blockchain for 2022-23 is 42.8% which is estimated to accumulate $19.9 billion, by the end of the next year. This is primarily because of blockchain’s implementation in the BFSI (Business, Financial Services, and Insurance) sectors of the world. And not just that, the blockchain technology is also finding applications across Supply Chain Management, Healthcare Management, Government bodies, social activities, etc.
Because of the transparency and security blockchain promises and its ability to store permanent records, its application in the banking sector is increasing the fastest. It is expected to hit a high rise by 2023.
Along with these, the investment of many FinTech companies will also improve the prospect of blockchain’s growth in 2022-23.
Blockchain technology is fast penetrating across industries. Looking at the global and Indian IT sectors, the demand for digital skills only scales higher. Since blockchain is still relatively a newly emerging technology, it holds immense potential and scope. Naturally, young and mid-level aspirants are willing to learn blockchain and capitalize on the upcoming opportunities. The accelerating demand for blockchain technology courses in India is because of India’s growing IT sector.
A blockchain specialist's salary in India ranges from Rs. 2.2 lakhs to Rs. 20.1 lakhs per annum.
There are a lot of significant factors on which the salary of a blockchain specialist will depend in India. Here are some of the more essential details:
A blockchain specialist’s starting salary in India is approximately estimated at Rs. 2.2 lakhs per year which is around Rs. 18,000 per month.
A blockchain specialist’s salary abroad is around $127,000 in the US for a senior blockchain developer, around 64,500 GBP (pound) in the UK. In comparison, the average pay in Canada is around CAD 95,000.
There are several deciding elements on which a blockchain specialist’s salary is based abroad. Here are some of the more essential details:
Average Salary Hike
Restaurant finder is a basic application that finds restaurants on the basis of their names and shows their details such as timings and menu.
True Value Seller is a static car selling and reselling website. It showcases different promotions and has a ‘Contact Us’ component.
Mobile Cart is a simple frontend application which allows authorised users to add different mobile phones and their respective information on a website which can then be viewed by different users.
The project aims to create a Phone Directory application which allows a user to add subscribers to a service by entering the subscriber’s name and phone number; and delete the subscriber if necessary.
With this application, which is named BookMyMovie, users can browse upcoming and released movies;
HireWheels is a car rental service application.
When the authorization of a transaction happens, all nodes must validate the transaction. When some nodes fail to do that, the BFT comes in to help reach the consensus needed for the transaction to be valid.
Different blockchains work differently despite being built on the same technology - the time in a blockchain refers to the amount of time needed for a block to be created, validated, and added. With its superb efficiency, Ethereum sees new blocks being added every 14 seconds!
The term zk-SNARK stands for zero-knowledge Succinct Non-interactive Argument of Knowledge. But what does this mean and do? This cryptographic system allows private transactions to be validated while maintaining anonymity and not revealing all the details of the transaction that has taken place. This entire process complies with the rules and regulations attributed to that particular blockchain.
While operating blockchain, a soft fork is used to make all existing blocks invalid via required software. On the other hand, a hard fork makes the older blocks invalid. This is important to understand because blockchain contains permanent past and present records and is a dynamic chain.
Familiar with the concept of hash that we talked about? A Merkle tree is nothing but a mathematical structure containing the accumulated data of all the hashes of the blocks in a blockchain and basically sums up all the transactions that have taken place.