There is so much you hear and see regarding blockchain in the media, nowadays it is basically everywhere, and everyone wants to be a part of the new shiny thing the internet brought to life. But what is that hype all about? And if you somehow have not heard about blockchain you surely have about the most commonly known use case of this technology in modern society, cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.
I also did not look into this topic before starting my new position as a software engineer doing all of the good stuff you could possibly imagine Bitcoins are being used for – making payments easy and money transfers in and of themselves more transparent, while giving everyone the chance to use a digital payment option.
While carefully wading into the new and unknown, big, and distributed technology, I straight up got caught by the next and the next information wave and within heartbeats I got addicted to surfing them. That being said, I did stumble upon a ton of surprises while doing so, use cases and fields of interest I never knew where of concern.
The three key strengths
When it comes to blockchain most people only link this technology to cryptocurrencies, mainly Bitcoin or some souls to Ethereum, and although this use case is one of the most common and well known, with more than 5,000 currencies in existence today, there is so much more on our globally served plate.
There are three categories the use cases of Blockchains could be broken down into:
- Blockchain 1.0: currency
- Blockchain 2.0: contracts
- Blockchain 3.0: applications beyond the other two categories
It all comes down to code
Yes, code. How else did anyone expect it to be? But not just to the not tech-savvy also to the nerd next door, at first glance it seems like magic flowing through your ethernet cable into the internet. This gigantic concept of distributed ledgers and its concrete implementations – the blockchain for example – is a topic you must be able to wrap your poor head around first before taking any further steps. There is a ton of awesome and palatable literature and hands-on tutorials all around the web, which can get you started instantly and path your way into an interesting and promising future.
The concept of decentralization, after all, is not some easily digestible afterwork snack, this concept requires some old school “out-of-the-box-thinking”.
The more you begin to understand and find your way around in the field of distributed ledgers and all its powerful implementations, the more you also begin to trip over even newer and more complex sounding terms and expressions like “sidechains” or “implemented on top of the blockchain of x”.
There is much to see, do and learn. As I see it, it is the perfect playground for every curious developer.
(Image Credits: https://www.pexels.com/de-de/foto/fliegen-kreativ-bau-haus-1427370)