When you write a check, sign a contract, make a bank deposit or a withdrawal, you’re doing something the same way it’s been done for decades. These are among the most sensitive things we do because they each involve our financial health. We want assurance that the transaction is completed, but we also want complete privacy. You would think, in our age of digital transformation, that we would have found a far better way to use technology to provide these and other assurances.
It’s called blockchain, a term used to describe an open, distributed ledger-like database that records transactions of many different kinds efficiently, reliably, anonymously, in a way that is easily verifiable and utterly permanent. This is why it is the technology that gave us bitcoin and other virtual currencies.
The Basics of Blockchain Operation
Harvard Business Review recently reported on “The Truth About Blockchain” listing five basic principles at the heart of the technology:
“1. Distributed Database
Each party on a blockchain has access to the entire database and its complete history. No single party controls the data or the information. Every party can verify the records of its transaction partners directly, without an intermediary.
- Peer-to-Peer Transmission
Communication occurs directly between peers instead of through a central node. Each node stores and forwards information to all other nodes.
- Transparency with Pseudonymity
Every transaction and its associated value are visible to anyone with access to the system. Each node, or user, on a blockchain has a unique 30-plus-character alphanumeric address that identifies it. Users can choose to remain anonymous or provide proof of their identity to others. Transactions occur between blockchain addresses.
- Irreversibility of Records
Once a transaction is entered in the database and the accounts are updated, the records cannot be altered, because they’re linked to every transaction record that came before them (hence the term “chain”). Various computational algorithms and approaches are deployed to ensure that the recording on the database is permanent, chronologically ordered, and available to all others on the network.
- Computational Logic
The digital nature of the ledger means that blockchain transactions can be tied to computational logic and in essence programmed. So users can set up algorithms and rules that automatically trigger transactions between nodes.”
Where Do I Fit In?
If this all sounds familiar, you’re probably involved in computer networking. The internet is also a distributed platform, with Domain Name Service (DNS) functioning much in the same way as blockchain, without the finality. The DNS database is universally shared just like the blockchain database.
Just as Network Engineers must configure equipment to use DNS to locate destination nodes, Blockchain Engineers must configure organizations to properly access and utilize blockchain. In fact, blockchain is a peer-to-peer network that sits on top of the internet, taking full advantage of its universal secure access and availability.
Those who learn to connect companies to blockchain need to combine technology experience and knowledge with business acumen, developing a superior understanding of how transactions of all kinds are executed, secured, and confirmed. This results in a far deeper relationship between the expert and the operation of the company.
How Do I Learn What I Need to Know?
Just reading through those five underlying principles tells you there’s a lot to learn to master blockchain and become a valuable blockchain resource. Fortunately, your New Horizons Computer Learning Centers Career Counselor has all the answers you need. Call them today to discuss what courses must be completed, how long it will take, what kind of financial assistance is available to you, and where the jobs are.