The hype around blockchain has now reached fever pitch. Now the Bitcoin bubble has all but burst, it would seem that the tech world – and beyond – is starting to think more creatively about how blockchain can be applied. We’ve started to see blockchain being applied in a huge range of areas; that’s likely to grow over the next year or so.
We certainly weren’t surprised to see blockchain rated highly by many developers working in a variety of fields in this year’s Skill Up survey. Around 70% of all respondents believe that blockchain is going to prove to be revolutionary.
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To help us make sense of the global enthusiasm and hype for blockchain, we spoke to blockchain expert Imran Bashir. Imran is the author of Mastering blockchain, so we thought he could offer some useful insights into where blockchain is going next. He didn’t disappoint.
Respondents to the Skill Up survey said that blockchain would be revolutionary. Do you agree? Why?
I agree. The fundamental issue that blockchain solves is that of trust. It enables two or more mutually distrusting parties to transact with each other without the need of establishing trust and a trusted third party. This phenomenon alone is enough to start a revolution. Generally, we perform transactions in a centralised and trusted environment, which is a norm and works reasonably well but think about a system where you do not need trust or a central trusted third party to do business. This paradigm fundamentally changes the way we conduct business and results in significant improvements such as cost saving, security and transparency.
Why should developers learn blockchain?
Do you think blockchain technology is something the average developer should be learning? Why?
Any developer should learn blockchain technology because in the next year or so there will be a high demand for skilled blockchain developers/engineers. Even now there are many unfilled jobs, it is said that there are 14 jobs open for every blockchain developer.
The future will be built on blockchain; every developer/technologist should strive to learn it.
What most excites you about blockchain technology?
It is the concept of decentralisation and its application in almost every industry ranging from finance and government to medical and law. We will see applications of this technology everywhere. It will change our lives; just the way Internet did in the 1990s. Also, smart contracts constitute a significant part of blockchain technology, and it allows you to implement Contracts that are automatically executable an enforceable. This ability of blockchain allows you drastically reduce the amount of time it takes for contract enforcement and eliminates the need for third parties and manual processes that can take a long time to come into action. Enforcement in the real world takes a long time, in blockchain world, it is reduced to few minutes, if not seconds, depending on the application and requirements.
What tools do you need to learn to take advantage of blockchain?
What tools do you think are essential to master in order to take advantage of blockchain?
Currently, I think there are some options available. blockchain platforms such as Ethereum and Hyperledger fabric are the most commonly used for development. As such, developers should focus on at least one of these platforms. It is best to start with necessary tools and features available in a blockchain, and once you have mastered the concepts, you can move to using frameworks and APIs, which will ease the development and deployment of decentralised applications.
What do you think will be the most important thing for developers to learn in the next 12 months?
Learn blockchain technology and at least one related platform. Also explore how to implement business solutions using blockchain which results in bringing about benefits of blockchain such as security, cost-saving and transparency.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Imran! You can find Imran’s book on the Packt store.