In today’s tech market, there are hundreds of buzzwords that fly around every day. Some you may have a good understanding of, like UX design, while others like blockchain development often fly over most people’s heads. When you couple this with the prominence of Bitcoin in the current tech conversation, this does doubly so.

However, Bitcoin is actually just a small part of blockchain development and the capabilities it presents for the future of tech, data, and the way we live our lives. In this article, we are going to give a quick beginner’s guide to blockchain development, as well as the benefits of blockchain and future uses. By having a better understanding of this emerging technology, you can plan for the future and get involved early in the latest tech revolution. Let’s get started

blockchain development

What is Blockchain?

First thing’s first: what is blockchain? According to the authors of Blockchain Revolution, blockchain is defined as “an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” In layman’s terms, blockchain is a series of blocks that hold data, with each block working off of the previous one to form a tightly secured chain.

As that definition states, blockchain is more than just financial transactions. Blockchain development can be used to house all forms of data that is secure due to the fact that it isn’t housed in a centralized location, but on every device that participates in the blockchain. For a better idea of how this works, let’s look at an example.

GoogleDocs example

Picture a spreadsheet or a GoogleDoc of some nature. Now, imagine that this document is duplicated hundreds, if not thousands of times across a network of computers. Not only that, but the document is regularly update across every device it is found on. This, in simple terms, is how the blockchain works.

Now, at this point, you might be wondering, “OK, so what?” Well, in the traditional way of sharing information, one person would put together a document and send it to the person they want to look it over. They would then add or change the document and send it back for review. With blockchain development, those two individuals could work on the document and watch it update at the same time.

On top of that, blockchain works by power of majority, so that if someone were to try and go back and change something early in the process, it would not change the data for everyone. For the data to be changed, everyone on the chain must agree, creating a secure and more democratic form of data management.

Overview of Blockchain development

Now that you have a better understanding of what blockchain is and how it works, lt’s look at an overview of blockchain development and how blockchain technology can be used in the real world. Keep in mind that blockchain is just over a decade old and the true potential of this technology may be far from realized. However, that only makes getting involved in blockchain development now more important than ever.

blockchain network

Public vs. Private

Blockchain networks can be divided into two categories: public and private. We will address both, but let’s first talk about what you are likely more familiar with which is public. Public blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum allow users to join for a cost. With Bitcoin, users sacrifice their computers to ‘mine’ and are rewarded with Bitcoin for their efforts.

Ethereum, on the other hand, simply charges a computational cost and allows you to host you code on their network. This takes the heavy lifting off of your shoulders when you are getting started with blockchain development. Not only that, but Ethereum isn’t limited to currency and can be used for anything, such as a social media network or educational platform.

Private blockchain networks are less popular, but as blockchain development becomes more popular they will soon be more prevalent. Private blockchains allow users with access to set up digital triggers that work with whatever system necessary. For a full description and examples, check out this blog post.

Programming languages

For developers that are interested in getting involved in blockchain development, there are a couple of different options. If you are already experienced in developing in C#, Nicolas Dorier put together a guidebook on getting started. On the other hand, if you have less experience and want to get started with blockchain development, Solidity is Ethereum’s programming language and there are countless guides online for getting started.

Regardless of your approach, without the proper network and backbone, developing your own blockchain can be difficult. This is why open source development has been a huge part of the blockchain movement and will often be the best choice for those who are just getting involved.

Future uses

As you can see, blockchain technology and development are only getting started. Soon, it’s possible that blockchain will power just about everything you do. Below are just a few of our favorite blockchain development ideas and future uses that have potential to make a huge impact:

Smart contracts: through the use of blockchain, smart contracts would allow a level of automation and security that contracts today simply can’t compete with.

Governance: should governments get involved in blockchain development, elections could become fully transparent and automated.

Internet of Things: IoT devices already function at a certain level of intercommunication, but with blockchain this intercommunication could be automated for maximized efficiency between devices.

These are just a few of the future uses of blockchain development, but it’s obvious even from this short list just how widespread the use of blockchain has the potential to become.

blockchain

Final thoughts

Whether were hoping to simply learn more about blockchain development or get involved in the process yourself, we hope this beginner’s guide was helpful and educational. It is through both the spread of knowledge and learning from past mistakes that we can use blockchain and other new technologies to change the world for the better.

Thus, the question becomes: will you?