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Blockchain Technology – The New High Tide You Need to Surf

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Ever since it was first introduced in 2008 by one Satoshi Nakamoto, Blockchain Technologyhas been making waves in the IT world. The interest in the technology has only been risen over the years and amusingly, the technology has lured both technical and non-technical minds alike because of its features like –

  • Decentralization
  • Transparency and trust
  • Peer-to-peer network
  • Immutability
  • High availability
  • Highly secure
  • Faster dealings
  • Cost saving

It is also interesting to note that when the technology was first introduced it was cited as the future of IT world, however, after few years down the line, the Research and Consulting firms like Gartner and McKinsey feel that Blockchain Technology is far from being production ready at the moment.

So is the path headed to disillusionment with regards to this new kid on the block? Or is there some midway to realistic expectations? Whatever the case – let’s first understand what is Blockchain, why it showed signs of being ‘the technology’ and what happened in the midway?

So what is blockchain?

In a layman’s language – Blockchain is an ever-growing secure, shared record keeping system in which each user of the data holds a copy of the records, which can only be updated if all parties involved in a transaction agree to the update.

Now let’s understand this definition in technical terms. Blockchain in technical terms is nothing but a peer-to-peer, distributed ledger that is cryptographically secure, append only, immutable, and updateable only via consensus or agreement among peers.

With these definitions clear, let’s understand why it became the technology. The main reason Blockchain technology found favor with everyone was due to its key features like – decentralization, transparency of transactions and immutability. Here are few reasons why Blockchain technology became so popular

  • It is a decentralized system – it means no one particular person owns it.
  • It cuts out the middlemen – through its peer-to-peer network there is no need for third party.
  • It can help prevent payment scams – through its transparency of transactions
  • It has reduced the transaction time – through its speed and autonomous transactions.
  • You can store the important documents.

However, soon the limitations of the technology caught up and industries were forced to slow their blockchain technology adoption. The limitations included but were not restricted to –

  • Scalability
  • Adaptability
  • Regulation
  • Privacy – as everyone involved in the transaction can see what has been entered.
  • Quite expensive

Where does it stand today… the current status of Blockchain Technology?

In the current state – Blockchain technology has been shifting standards in various industries like education, healthcare, finance, Real Estate, supply chain, manufacturing, digitizing land records among others.

While these industries realized the benefits of blockchain technology, here are some of the practical uses of Blockchain technology, which made it one of the favored technologies.

  1. Contract management and smart contracts
  2. Payment processing and currency transfers
  3. Supply chain management
  4. Asset protection
  5. Identification, personal record systems and passwords management
  6. Real estate, land and auto title transfers
  7. Retail loyalty rewards programs – Blockchain technology is revolutionizing the retail experience by becoming the go-to for loyalty rewards
  8. Digital IDs (another practical use of blockchain technology – though in nascent stage)
  9. Copyright and royalty programs

There are others as well including but not limiting to food safety, immutable data backup and tax regulation and compliance among other things. And these are just a few of the practical uses of this disruptive technology that has been making all the right noises.

So while the technology world is debating in the profitability of adopting blockchain technology, there are others who are waiting to adopt Blockchain technology. In fact, the challenge begins here. Since the technology is relatively new there are no programs where one can learn about Blockchain technology. In addition, recruiters around the world seek skilled blockchain professionals.

But before that, let’s understand how can businesses benefit from this new kid on the block called Blockchain technology –

  • Blockchain technology helps in eliminating the middle layer by enabling the peer to peer network.
  • Blockchain enables organizations – within the network) to share and maintain the same database thus enabling direct transactions as well.

Other business-related benefits of blockchain technology include –

  1. Efficiency
  2. Auditability
  3. Traceability
  4. Transparency
  5. Security
  6. Easy feedback

With all these benefits looming in front of business houses, it was obvious that recruiters seek skilled blockchain professionals.

 Learning Blockchain Technology for Bright Future

When seeking a career in something relatively new, it is better to understand the demands of the industry, and what are the programs available in the market. In this, let’s see how can one learn Blockchain technology.

  1. The good way to start is by reading the books on Blockchain technology by the industry experts. The books will give the reader an idea about the technology.
  2. YouTube tutorials on the technology are another way to gain knowledge. With these tutorials, one can start with their own blockchain as well to gain knowledge and know where they are missing.
  3. There are some universities as well that teach the basics of blockchain technology to the beginners. Universities like – Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, University of California – Berkeley offer extensive programs.

While these are the basics to learn the technology, if one needs to make his/her presence felt in the world of Blockchain technology then certifications in Blockchain are the best way to go.

Blockchain certifications from reputed certification bodies like Blockchain Council, Central Blockchain Council of America (CBCA) and Blockchain Training Alliance. These bodies offer state-of-the-art certification programs to its applicants. The programs offered are based on the robust standards set by the industry expert and test the participants on their – skills, knowledge and quest to learn something new.

We have seen how Blockchain technology steadily making its presence felt in various industries. We have also seen how it can benefit the businesses globally and it will just be a matter of time before the technology is ready for production. According to Gartner’s expectation – the technology will reach production readiness in about 5 to 10 years. Till then keep yourself abreast with all the latest inventions, trends and practices in Blockchain technology because remember that –

Blockchain will disrupt the technology, the way Internet disrupted the communication!

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