Getting Started with Blockchain
In the year 2008, a pseudonymous author, Satoshi Nakamoto, published a white paper titled ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’. Little did the world know that this unassuming paper published on a mailing list would introduce the world to one of the most important innovations of the 21st century, Blockchain.
This month, we will be demystifying this revolutionary technology, understanding where its use cases lie and how you can get started on your journey into the world of distributed ledgers and decentralization.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain falls prey to the common misconception people have about most new technologies, that it is difficult and complicated. The fact that its initial use case was in the domain of finance further reinforces this misconception.
Although as you delve deeper, you will no doubt encounter challenging concepts, however, this in itself shouldn’t discourage you from learning about blockchain.
So… what is blockchain?
Blockchain is a method of recording information to make it difficult (and ideally impossible) to alter, hack or trick the system. In a blockchain, information is grouped into ‘blocks’ of a certain size such that each block is linked to the previously filled block, thereby forming a chain. Once filled, each block is unalterable and is time-stamped on adding to the chain, creating an irreversible timeline of data.
Blockchain can exist across multiple regions and devices and is a specific type of distributed ledger technology (DLT). This adds a layer of security and transparency to the blockchain.
Since blockchain technology was first introduced in the Bitcoin white paper, it has often been misconstrued as having applications only in the domain of finance. While several features of blockchain such as its capability for decentralization have generated a great deal of excitement in financial and business circles, its financial applications are but the tip of the iceberg.
Enterprise blockchain has applications in a wide array of fields ranging from healthcare to governance and is being used for everything from transaction authentication to ensuring data privacy.
In the healthcare industry, for example, blockchain is being used for vaccine tracking and distribution and also to improve streamlining of clinical data.
Blockchain technology is also helping create a greener world by enabling food traceability which results in reduced food wastage and also by helping reliably issue and track carbon credits, creating more accountability in the carbon market.
With the endless possibilities that it brings to the table, the possible impact of blockchain technology has been likened to that of the internet in the 90s by its enthusiasts.
As the Harvard Business Review puts it, just as TCP/IP unlocked new economic value by dramatically lowering the cost of connections, blockchain could dramatically reduce the cost of transactions. It could even potentially be the medium of all transactions shortly.
Before we move on to discussing how you can get started on your journey to be a blockchain developer, here are some fun trivia for you.
✵ To this day the identity of the inventor of Blockchain is still a mystery. As per reports, he owns 1.1 million Bitcoin shares worth around 10 Billion US dollars.
✵ The numbers of Bitcoin circulated reached approximately 16.95 million in March 2018.
✵ The first Bitcoin transaction occurred in 2010 when two pizzas were bought for 10.000 BTC by a Florida man. Although it might have been a good deal at the time, today a single Bitcoin is worth more than 28 lakhs in Indian Rupees.
As we live in the internet age, the problem is no longer whether you can get information but the sheer volume of information available at your fingertips. Hence, to help you on your learning adventure, we have created a curated list of resources for you.
For those of you who prefer to learn from videos and follow a predefined curriculum, here are some of the best online courses for you to get started.
⮊ Blockchain and Bitcoin Fundamentals From Udemy by George Levy.
⮊ Blockchain specialization from Coursera by Bina Ramamurthy
⮊ Blockchain Architecture Design and Use Cases from NPTEL
You might also want to give the following youtube channels alos a try as you learn blockchain:
⮊ IBM Blockchain
⮊ Blockchain at Berkeley
⮊ Blockchain WTF
However, some of us may still prefer the nostalgic and more traditional approach of learning from a book. We have also prepared a list of suggested books for you guys.
⮊ Mastering Blockchain: A deep dive into distributed ledgers, consensus protocols, smart contracts, DApps, cryptocurrencies, Ethereum, and more, 3rd Edition [https://amzn.to/3oMrABO]
⮊ Basics of Blockchain: A guide for building literacy in the economics, technology, and business of blockchain [https://amzn.to/2QQAnGs]
⮊ Programming Bitcoin: Learn How to Program Bitcoin from Scratch by Jimmy Song [https://www.amazon.in/Programming-Bitcoin-Learn-Program-Scratch-ebook/dp/B07NM32WGH]
With that, we come to the end of our adventure. We hope you have gained some insight into the vast world of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. As always, we wish you the best of luck in your learning endeavors and we can’t wait to see what you guys learn and build.