A blockchain is a technology that enables records of monetary transactions (called “blocks”) to be transferred across many computers, which cannot be altered retroactively without altering the subsequent blocks. They are typically managed by a peer-to-peer network that decides by consensus to alter a block, making blockchains secure by design.
Blockchains were invented in 2008 to serve as a public transaction ledger of Bitcoin. For learners interested in cryptocurrencies, blockchains are important to learn about due to their role in solving the need for a trusted authority or central server to manage flaws in digital cash transactions.
Though a relatively recent technology, organizations are actively seeking Blockchain professionals. In December of 2018, a report by LinkedIn showed that “Blockchain Developer” was the most rapidly growing emerging job in the United States. Various industries and sectors are looking for specialists in cryptocurrency, including banking, accountancy, oil and gas, insurance, retailers, with particular growth in media, logistics, and legal compliance.
Specific to blockchain, this opens up opportunities for roles as Blockchain Developer, Blockchain Solution Architect, Blockchain Project Manager, Blockchain UX Designer, Blockchain Quality Engineer, Blockchain Legal Consultant, and more that are related.
Blockchain courses offered through Coursera enable learners to gain knowledge on foundational blockchain concepts; skill sets for designing and implementing smart contracts; methods for developing decentralized applications on the blockchain; and information about ongoing specific industry-wide blockchain frameworks. Learners also gain access to courses led by world-renowned experts in blockchain technology, with discussions on design principles, the top 10 challenges of blockchains, and other engaging lessons.
Lessons on Blockchain are taught by instructors specializing in Computer Science, Cryptocurrencies, and more, and are administered via video lectures, readings, quizzes, and more.
To learn about blockchain, it's helpful to already have certain skills and experience that include knowledge of data systems, distributed systems, financial technology, and peer-to-peer protocols. You may gain exposure to these concepts by joining online blockchain communities, participating in blockchain web forums and discussion groups, or viewing online courses, webinars, and videos.
The kind of people who are best suited for work that involves blockchain are programmers and developers. These are the types of people who have the quantitative insights and computer skills to comprehend blockchain development. Many people compare the beginnings of the internet as a transfer process of information to today’s blockchain, which many see as a transfer process for data, finance, and value. People who understand these concepts are well suited for roles that involve blockchain.
You might know if learning blockchain is right for you if you're passionate about helping to redefine the ways our society may soon share ideas, manage workflows, and do online transactions. These things may be done via the blockchain with cryptocurrencies, ethereum protocols, decentralized finance, and more. You may even trade some cryptocurrencies on an exchange that is run on the blockchain. There is still a misunderstanding about blockchain, where people think it means bitcoin. That’s not quite right, as blockchain may eventually be used in many industries to offer a seamless, transparent methodology of moving finances, contracts, and data across the blockchain. If these high-level fintech activities interest you and keep you up at night, then you might be a perfect fit for learning the blockchain. Also, if you're pursuing a role as a blockchain solutions architect—who is usually accountable for designing, assigning, and connecting components in a blockchain project with UX designers, blockchain developers, and network administrators—then learning blockchain is right for you.