Blockchain is popularly associated with Bitcoin and other cyptocurrencies; however, the technology is also expected to play a major role in tech security of the future.
At its most basic, blockchain is a device used to keep track of digital transactions. It relies heavily on trusted users, often depending on how many transactions they make. A good analogy is a small restaurant that has regular customers; the more they go to the restaurant, the more the staff learn their names and eating habits. As time passes, a regular becomes a known quantity.
While blockchain transactions are strongly connected to cryptocurrency, the technology is useful for any transfer of information. Essentially, blockchain permits trusted users and devices to swap packets of data based on a foundation of crowdsourced trust.
Security and accountability
One smart feature of blockchain is that each linked device has its own database that must be reconciled whenever a transaction is initiated. If data across the block chain cannot be reconciled, the transaction is stopped. This is an effective feature because there isn’t a singular point to corrupt, and one breakdown in the chain means the entire sequence is interrupted. A hacker would need to control half the machines on a network or more to infect the blockchain.
Blockchain holds each stakeholder to a high degree of accountability, eliminating missed transactions, human errors and transactions done without the consent of all parties involved. Blockchain helps guarantee the legitimacy of a transaction by documenting it on an interconnected, dispersed system of registers, which are linked by way of a secure mechanism.
Because blockchain is pushing the envelope in terms of cryptography and secure protocols, developers are more likely to get experience with cutting-edge technology that will later be adopted by other segments of the digital economy.
Developers who want to work on blockchain can help implement the technology in existing industries. For instance, the financial services industry is trying to incorporate it to make their backend processes more efficient.
Because the pool of candidates who fully understand blockchain is relatively small, blockchain companies often hire software engineers from tech firms that may not focus on the technology at all. Although a lack of expertise might not disqualify a job candidate, those seeking blockchain opportunities should brush up on their credentials by plugging into open-source projects.
Skills and qualifications
The first thing someone needs when looking for blockchain opportunities is a background in computer science or engineering. With this background, it is possible to take training courses in blockchain, but with the technology being so new, it’s hard to find these courses.
Large corporations have been known to build a team around a cluster of blockchain experts. In this situation, strong software development or engineering abilities, and a strong knowledge of the principles around blockchain systems is essential.
Engineers that have knowledge in networking or security can play a crucial role together with those who have core software development abilities.
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