Hola! You would have heard or read about cryptocurrency at some point, right? Either your techie friend would have been talking about how awesome that currency is, or probably in the news a few months ago when it had a massive downfall. But have you thought about the technology that powers this incredible collection of binary data? It’s none other than another much-discussed technology – Blockchain. So now, let’s delve into the world of Blockchain and how this massive technology can help you.
What is BlockChain?
As the word defines, Blockchain technology is simply a type of database where each block contains data and information. A Blockchain is a decentralized ledger for all the transactions in a peer-to-peer network. Multiple blocks are stacked or chained together to create this technology. This cryptographically secure technology was first described in the year 1991 and has picked up momentum since. Finally, in 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto used this technology as a public ledger for bitcoin transactions.
Unlike normal databases, Blockchain collects and stores information in groups in multiple blocks. So whenever a block’s storage capacity is reached, it is chained to the previous block, thereby making a chain of blocks or Blockchain. Several users must confirm a transaction, and they can do this without the need for a central authority. One of the main advantages of this is increased transparency. Since all the transactions and data are stored in a network that is available to all the users, everyone can verify and track every transaction that was ever made.
A block consists of three elements: Data, Hash, Previous Hash.
Data: The data in the block contains the amount of money transferred, the sender’s and receiver’s names. Thus, in each block, you will have the data regarding all the previous Bitcoin transactions.
Hash: A Hash is more like a fingerprint to each block; it’s unique. The hash is generated using SHA-256, a cryptographic hash algorithm, and its unique hash refers to each block.
Previous Hash: In addition to the unique hash of each block, it also stores the hash of the previous block, a.k.a, the parent block.
The previous hash is one of the elements that ensure that the block can’t be tampered with. If anyone tries to change the data in a particular block, the hash of that block immediately changes. So if the parent’s hash is changed, you would have to change the child’s hash, the grandchildren’s hash, and thousands of computers in the connected network’s hash must also be changed simultaneously. Since such a massive change can’t be executed quite easily and requires lots of computational power, this becomes one of the critical security features of Blockchain, making it immutable.
Another concept that is essential for adding new blocks is Proof-of-work. Unlike digital currencies, there’s no bank or central authority to track regularly how much money each person has. Hence, Proof-of-work is an algorithm that acts as a consensus mechanism in the decentralized network of peers. If this were not to exist, the users could spend their coins or money more than once, making the currency worthless.
Must have skills for a BlockChain developer
Blockchain is one of the fields that grew exponentially in the last decade and boomed enormously. If you are thinking about being one blockchain developer, these are the essential skills you need.
Since Blockchain is a database, you need to have ample knowledge about data structures. A Blockchain developer should know and excel in various data structures such as Linked Lists, hash maps, search trees, graph algorithms, and much more.
Programming for developing
Java, an OOP language, is the most commonly used programming language by developers worldwide, is also the favorite for blockchain developers. Java is used to build web pages and also create immutable blocks. Java is highly portable and can be ported across most devices. Java is used in Ethereum, NEO’s contracts, NEM, and Hyperledger contracts.
Bitcoin was initially written in C++, hence why C++ is another most widely used programming language for Blockchain development. C++’s various OOP properties, such as encapsulation, abstraction, and other binding properties, give the developers the chance to bind the data and implement various methods to handle them.
Python is one of the easiest languages to comprehend due to its simplicity and multiple libraries. Python is famous in the Blockchain community due to its ability to handle data and numbers efficiently, visualizations, and writing smart contracts. Python is used in Blockchain for implementing Ethereum and creating contracts.
Systems and Networking
Blockchain is a distributed ledger system where multiple computers are connected to form a network. Therefore, a good understanding of the networking system, various network topologies, and routing should be enough for you to start.
Well, coders, these are the basic skill that you need to get started on BlockChain and build your career around it. If you are a newbie to the programming world, now is the time for you to start working on your skills. Solve your first problem in the above-said languages with us.