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lary mak
lary mak

Posted on • Originally published at larymak.hashnode.dev

What is Blockchain Development - Blockchain Definition for Beginners

Now, if you are a big fan of social media, Twitter to be precise chances are that you have come across terms like blockchain, web3, cryptocurrency, etc... It not a lot of people who are able to explain what they mean or even what they are all about. I was in the same position and will try to share what I was able to learn in the simplest way possible.

We have all come across stories of how people have made millions of dollars through cryptocurrency, right? We have also heard claims that cryptocurrencies are taking over meaning there won't be a need to have physical banks in the near future, well that might be true with the direction everything is headed. To keep you in the loop, let's understand all this.

In this guide, we are going to talk about Blockchain development and some of the applications running on this technology.

Let's get started:

What is Blockchain Development

In simple English, a blockchain is a database that is distributed across multiple computers at the same time.

In technical terms, a blockchain is a decentralized consistently evolving public ledger of digital records. By Decentralized we mean it is a system of interconnected systems where no single entity is the authority.

A good example of a decentralized system in Blockchain technology includes both Bitcoin and Ethereum.

In the past few years, Blockchain technology has gained popularity because it brings trust among networks and also offers genuine privacy connections among systems.

As the tech industry continues to evolve, this means it will continue to open up opportunities for developers in different domains more so in the blockchain field. Its growth has been seen taking shape in different fields like finance, real estate, health care, etc...

History of Blockchain

As a growing developer, I have always been fascinated to learn about the events that came before a particular technology came into existence, and that won't be any different with Blockchain.

As Laura Linney,
History is a resource.

It all began with the concept of distributed ledger which dates back to the 90s when Stuart Haber and Scott Stometta wanted to implement a system where document timestamps could not be tampered with. With the help of a third person Dave, they were able to incorporate Merkle trees into the design, which improved its efficiency by allowing several document certificates to be collected into one block.

First forward to 2009, when the first decentralized blockchain was conceptualized by Satoshi Nakamoto, by his building Bitcoin which officially introduced Blockchain to the world.

A few years later, the technology was widely accepted and it opened ways for cryptocurrency deployment on applications like online wallets. This allowed it to be used in digital payments systems too.

Through this popularity, financial markets & applications started using Blockchain beyond cash transactions. This allowed people to conduct transactions globally without needing banks.

Blockchain technology has taken shape across three major phases, that is:

  • Blockchain 1.0 - Bitcoin Development
    This is when Bitcoin came into existence, this led to more organizations joining the digital revolution hence adopting the technology

  • Blockchain 2.0 - Ethereum Development
    It was developed to leverage the full capabilities of blockchain technology. Its developer Vitalik Buterin started working on what he felt would be a blockchain that can perform various functions in addition to being a peer-to-peer network.

It was officially launched in 2015 making it one of the biggest applications of blockchain technology. This is due to its capability to support smart contracts.

  • Blockchain 3.0 - The future It will be fair to say that, Blockchain does not stop with Bitcoin and Ethereum. There have been a couple of new projects trying to leverage the whole system.

With the involvement of big tech companies, we hope to see more development taking full advantage of blockchain development.

How Blockchain Works

A good example that can explain the workflow of how blockchain operates is a bank scenario. One of the major systems that have seen the full effect of blockchain in the banking system.

Let's break it down with the help of an example, take a scenario where we have two people trying to conduct a transaction. Person A is based in Canada and person B is based in Kenya. Initially how this will work in order for the money to be sent to person B in Kenya is:

Person A would need to physically go to the bank, where he will then initiate the transaction via the bank teller, instructing him/her to send a certain amount of money to person B's bank details. After this process person B will have to wait two to three days before the transaction reflects in their bank.

This whole process will have some issues associated with it:

  • The process is costly because both the sender and receiver will incur charges.
  • Account hacking Hackers might hack banks hence disrupting and loss of funds.
  • Financial crisis may also occur.

What if the same transaction was to happen over blockchain technology, how would the process be:

Person A wouldn't have to leave home since all the transactions can be done from anywhere on the smartphone or the computer. All that would be needed is a bitcoin wallet of the receiver to initiate the transaction and in a matter of a few seconds, it will reflect the receiver's wallet in Kenya.

What blockchain is doing in the banking system, is trying to resolve issues of the old banking methods by introducing:

  • A decentralized system.
  • Distributed ledger
  • Incentives validation
  • Consensus algorithm
  • Cryptography algorithm.

Types of Blockchain

Blockchain is one of the technologies that have been on the rise in the recent past, we have had different companies try to formulate a blockchain solution to fill their supply chain needs, this act will have to call as to what type of blockchain is best suited for the project they are trying to solve.

That being said, the blockchain solution will have to rely upon the two main characteristics defining the blockchain types, that is:

  • Permissionless blockchains
  • Permissioned blockchains

It's under these two main categories that four main types of blockchain networks lie within:

  1. Public blockchains It falls under the permissionless category and a good example to explain this concept is the Bitcoin and Ethereum network. Public blockchains are primarily used for exchanging and mining cryptocurrency.
  • Private blockchains

    It is also referred to as managed blockchains, it falls under the permissioned blockchains category where it is controlled by a single organization. Some common examples of private blockchains include; business-to-business virtual currency exchange network Ripple and Hyperledger, which is an umbrella project of open-source blockchain applications.

  • Consortium blockchains

    It falls under the permissioned blockchains category, it is usually governed by a group of organizations meaning they get to enjoy more decentralization compared to private blockchains.

    One of its applications can be linked to the supply chain sector where companies like CargoSmart have developed the Global Shipping Business Network Consortium, which is a not-for-profit blockchain consortium that aims to digitalize the shipping industry and allow maritime.

  • Hybrid blockchains

    They are controlled by a single organization but also deal with permissionless processes. A good example explaining this concept is the IBM Food Trust, which was developed to improve efficiency throughout the whole food supply chain. Read more about it here.

Applications of Blockchain

When we think of Blockchain, our minds should go beyond cryptocurrency, NFTs, and bitcoin. Despite its ability to create more transparency and fairness, it has also helped businesses save time and money.

We have seen the impact of the technology in various departments and sectors meaning its effect is being recognized as we move on.

Some of the common applications where blockchain is implemented include:

  • NFT marketplaces
  • Music royalties tracking
  • Cross-border payments
  • Personal identity security
  • Anti-money laundering tracking system
  • Supply chain and logistics monitoring
  • Voting mechanism
  • Advertising insights
  • Original content creation
  • Cryptocurrency exchange
  • Real estate processing platform

Now by this point, you have an understanding of what blockchain development is all about, perhaps you might wonder how do I get to recognize myself as a blockchain developer? What are some of the skills that I might require? well let's talk about that now, but first, let's understand Who is a Blockchain Developer?

Who is a Blockchain Developer

A Blockchain Developer is a person who is responsible for developing and enhancing Blockchain-related applications which are commonly known as dApps, Smart Contacts, architecture, and protocols.

We have two main types of developers under this category, that is:

  • Core blockchain developers

    They design protocols required to run a blockchain solution. They use Low-level programming languages.

  • Software/App developers

    They implement the designs by the core developers to create a realistic blockchain. That includes implementing smart contracts and developing decentralized applications.

Skills Needed to Be a Blockchain Developer

It is obvious that in order to get the title of a Blockchain developer you will need a variety of skills. Some of the most essential include:

  • Have an understanding of Blockchain Architecture.
  • Have the knowledge of Data Structures and Coding
  • Learn how to build and develop smart contracts
  • Basics of Cryptography
  • Web development

Responsibilities of a Blockchain Developer

Depending on the type of developer you are, your responsibilities will vary from the other.

Roles of a Core Blockchain Developer

  1. They understand and implement the features and functionalities of the blockchain.
  2. Design blockchain protocols.
  3. They make sure the blockchain network functions smoothly.

Roles of a Software/App Blockchain Developer

  1. They design and implement Smart Contracts
  2. Development and deployment of interactive front-end designs for Dapps.
  3. Deal with integration with other applications and services.

Advantages of being a Blockchain Developer

One of the major advantages that you will get in this field is the high level of job demand. As a blockchain developer, this is your time to shine because opportunities are thriving. Many fortune 500 companies like IBM, Accenture, Openledger, and Capgemini are on the hunt for eligible blockchain developers.

That's not all there is, we have endless opportunities for blockchain developers in the current age, and accompanying the job title is a handsome salary.

A core blockchain developer on average would make around $150,000 annually while blockchain software developers make $100,000 per annum.

How to Get Started with Blockchain Development

In order to learn all that we have discussed here, you'll probably want some guidance. Luckily, you won't have to search for the resources yourself because I did that for you. All you need is to pick one and get started learning.

Online Courses

YouTube Courser

Wrap Up

So, folks, that is all that there is to know about blockchain development and how to become a blockchain developer. Now go ahead and master the skills mentioned above to get into blockchain development.

If you have read this far I really appreciate it.

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