Let’s be honest, blockchain is confusing. Is it a technology? Is it a currency? Do you even need to use it?
In the past year or so, you might have heard the terms “Blockchain” and “Bitcoin” being bandied around in the media. And they are usually described in some pretty confusing, complicated-sounding ways.
But it turns out, blockchain’s potential uses extend far beyond just digital currencies. What’s more, its admirers today include American business magnates Bill Gates and Richard Branson.
But what exactly is blockchain, and why are Wall Street and Silicon Valley so excited about it? Here’s a refresher on what the technology is all about.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is everywhere these days. Analysts and experts are increasingly churning out articles about blockchain, and banks and insurers are falling over one another to be the first to work out how to use it.
In the simplest of terms, blockchain is a digital, public ledger that records online transactions. As an illustration, “Blocks” are individual pieces of data and “Chains” are the public databases where data is stored. It is also designed with key characteristics such as decentralization, immutability, and full transparency, which are deemed appealing to business sectors and domains across the world. Think of it as a more sophisticated and highly-secured version of the worldwide online payments system, PayPal.
It is also the core technology for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Where is blockchain used?
But now you might be wondering: How is this technology relevant to you? And most importantly, is blockchain here to stay or go?
While most individuals do not require the encryption strength and accuracy of a blockchain system, more financial institutions are gradually finding unlimited benefits from blockchain. With blockchain, it is offering incumbents such as banks far more security, efficiency and improved customer service. However, for new disruptive players in Fintech the technology offers them the opportunity to disrupt the entire financial system. Giving anyone using this technology the ability to move money faster and in a secure manner.
Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize several industries over the next few years from, banking, legal healthcare and even politics itself. The technology promises the creation of trust between any party you may seek to transact with – now that is truly revolutionary.
How does it work?
In the context of cryptocurrencies, a blockchain consists of a stable chain of blocks, where each one stores a list of confirmed transactions. And since the blockchain network is maintained by a myriad of computers spread around the world, it functions as a decentralized database (or digital ledger).
Once a transaction is confirmed and validated, a block is formed, which contains a digital signature as well as a timestamp but not the identities involved in that transaction. That block is then transmitted across the blockchain network to all the nodes. This means that each participant maintains a copy of the blockchain data, and they communicate with each other to ensure that they are all on the same page (or block)
Will blockchain technology impact the job market?
Demand for skilled workers in blockchain has increased more than 300 percent. The future of blockchain technology is wide open, and more jobs are being created in the space every day. Workers in Singapore for example are increasingly focused on picking up the skills relevant to blockchain, according to a recent Linkedin survey.
The benefits of getting into the blockchain sector are incredible, including:
- Higher pay: The newer field has a smaller pool of available talent. Professionals in this space can name their salary and receive higher than average salaries.
- Increased flexibility: A lot of blockchain work does not require employees to be physically present in an office. You can work with organizations from all over the world, right from your home.
- Opportunities for innovation: Blockchain technology incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning. Professionals in this space can use their skills on high-level problems and solutions and be at the cutting edge of a new era in the 4th Industrial revolution.
Where are the Women in Blockchain
Blockchain technology is disruptive by nature, so there is no doubt that jobs in blockchain are flourishing. While the traditional tech and financial services industries are typically dominated by men, blockchain offers the opportunity for women to be the leaders and shapers of this revolutionary technology. It seems to be the case check out these women leaders pushing the industry forward. More and more, blockchain-based startups and established companies alike are also being run by women as well.
So, if you want to expand or make a shift into the technology or finance field, blockchain might just be your next call.
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