What is blockchain and why is it important?
Blockchain is a ‘fully decentralised’ database that stores data in blocks that are chained together. All new data that comes in is filled into a new block which is then chained to a previous block, thus arranging the data in chronological order.
Traditional databases, on the other hand, store data as tables, which makes it more cumbersome and easily erasable. Today, blockchain is being widely implemented across different sectors, particularly finance, energy and utilities.
So, why is Blockchain being talked about so much? This is because it has the power to ease financial transactions considerably, particularly because large volumes of data are involved. Also, data stored within a blockchain is permanent and cannot be erased.
However, very few organisations have successfully managed to implement blockchain while many are still in the research phase. The main reason why most blockchain projects don’t take off, is because there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the technology and how it can be scaled up.
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With the right approach, businesses will be able to put in place a successful blockchain strategy without hindering any of their ongoing projects. Let’s look at a few successful steps to implement blockchain technology effectively:
Research shows that many organisations have just a rudimentary understanding of what blockchain is. However, in order to deploy the technology for maximum impact, it is crucial to fully comprehend how it works.
Basically, blockchain makes use of a secure communication channel that collects data and stores them as a ledger in digital form. This integrity of this ledger can be checked by anyone with access to it-thus doing away with expensive third-party verification procedures.
Each block is assigned a unique digital signature that links it with the previous block, making the chain tamper-proof.
For financial transactions, blockchain helps cut costs and speed up processes in vital areas. Perhaps, the best example of this would be eliminating the need to combine company data from departments, because with blockchain, everyone involved will have access to the same digital data. In fact, everyone who is part of the blockchain network is identified by a public-private key pair, which is also called the ID or address.
In fact, the financial sector is considered to be the frontrunner in blockchain applications.
Developing a roadmap for Blockchain use
The key to successfully implementing a successful blockchain solution is to identify the problem you are trying to address and figuring out whether blockchain really is the best way to solve it. Here again, you need to know the technology inside out to be able to identify the holdups and explore other possibilities, if need be.
Questions such as who has access to the data, who updates all the data and how frequently, does the data need verification, can other technologies be combined with blockchain for greater effectiveness, is the data time-sensitive, etc. need to be addressed in the long-term.
Choosing the exact blockchain solution: Here, it is important to remember that blockchain technology is not a universal, one-size-fits all solution. Therefore, choosing the right option for your needs requires you to have a complete understanding of the entire blockchain ecosystem.
Again, it is easy to be carried away by the hype surrounding certain blockchain solutions. This is a dangerous trend because companies may end up choosing the wrong solution or even implementing it without understanding its potential and/or limitations.
Remember that the kind of blockchain you need will differ vastly from that of your competitor, and also from project to project. In order to understand what works best, it becomes crucial to have a blockchain expert in your team, or seek the help of a consultancy firm that provides blockchain solutions.
Building a blockchain community
It is a lesser known fact that blockchain becomes most effective when there are several stakeholders. Creating a niche community of blockchain specialists can help create trust in the technology among clients, since challenges surrounding the technology can be brainstormed and addressed by everyone concerned-it then becomes a collaborative effort.
For instance, the stakeholders within the blockchain community can collectively address issues such as sharing costs and benefits equally, controlling and managing risks, auditing and verification of data, as well as general rules to ensure a smooth and seamless implementation.
Monitoring the regulatory landscape
It must be remembered that blockchain is a relatively new and emerging technology and that the regulations surrounding its implementation are still evolving. Therefore, organisations must constantly monitor the changing rules and in fact, be proactively involved in formulating them.
In fact, blockchain regulations differ from country to country and businesses must work alongside the concerned authorities to identify global best practices and monitor major trends.
In short, blockchain is an emerging technology that has so far been underrated and little understood. While uncertainties still prevail over its implementation and research is still ongoing, there is little doubt that this is a technology, which if understood and implemented well, can help organisations reap multiple benefits.
Then again, successfully implementing blockchain is a meticulous task that requires futuristic vision, long-term planning, expertise and a collaborative mindset that is constantly tuned in to the changing regulatory landscape.
As widely known, Blockchain is an emerging technology and will find its applications in almost all industries in the future. If you understand the blockchain basics and wish to become a blockchain developer or want to learn more about blockchain to make a career in this field, upGrad, in association with IIITB and IMT, provides several courses on Blockchain for working professionals to learn and upgrade their career. If you are interested in blockchain, you can visit these courses:
- Executive Certification in Blockchain from IIITB (upGrad and IIITB)
- Advanced certificate program in blockchain technology(upGrad and IIITB)
Can blockchain be used to encrypt offline data?
Using blockchain technology, it is possible to encrypt offline data. This can be accomplished by hashing the data and storing it on a blockchain. The optimum way to encrypt offline data using blockchain will differ depending on the blockchain platform and the encryption technique utilized. However, there are some guidelines to follow. You may ensure that the data is safe from unauthorized access by using a powerful encryption technique like AES-256 and create a new blockchain account for the encrypted data. The encrypted data can then be uploaded to the blockchain and viewed using a blockchain explorer.
Is it worth learning Blockchain?
There are numerous reasons to pursue a career as a blockchain engineer. The job market for blockchain developers is booming, there is a lot of room for growth and innovation in blockchain technology. It has the potential to revolutionize many industries. Furthermore, because blockchain technology is still relatively new, there is plenty of room for learning and development. Also, blockchain technology is open-source, meaning that developers have the opportunity to work on projects and contribute to the blockchain community.
How are banks different from cryptocurrency?
Banks and cryptocurrency exchanges charge fees, and deposits range from low to high. Option trading Limit and market orders are two types of orders. Limit and market orders, margin trading, and over-the-counter trades are all examples of over-the-counter trades. Customer service is available around the clock. When comparing banks and cryptocurrency exchanges, consider that banks provide a broader range of services than cryptocurrency exchanges alone. Banks, for example, provide credit and debit cards; bitcoin exchanges do not. Cryptocurrency exchanges often charge cheaper costs than banks, but they also offer a limited set of services. Limit and market orders, margin trading and over-the-counter (OTC) trades are available on cryptocurrency exchanges.
What is the future scope of Blockchain technology?
Blockchain technology is in high demand because many businesses want to use it to better their operations and procedures. It is looking for employees who can navigate this new technology because of its wide variety of applications. As a result, blockchain professionals are needed to help organizations turn their goals into actual value by utilizing the technology. The need for a blockchain and cryptosystems developer is increasing as demand develops and more organizations succeed. As Blockchain technology advances, so will professional opportunities. Blockchain knowledge will continue to be in high demand for many years to come since the Blockchain is here to stay.
Why should I become a Blockchain developer?
What do Blockchain Developers do?
Blockchain developers are divided into two groups, each with its own set of tasks. The security and architecture of the proposed Blockchain system are created by core Blockchain developers. To put it another way, the Core Blockchain Developer establishes the foundation on which others can build. A Blockchain software developer's job is to come up with novel ways to solve complex problems, such as command and control and high integrity solutions. In addition, the developer does in-depth analysis, design, development, testing, and debugging of computer software for specific product hardware or corporate technical service lines. Furthermore, they deal with a number of systems and platforms, as well as a variety of programming languages.