If you’re reading this article, I’m sure you’re wondering whether blockchain development is for you. This could be because you would possibly be having no prior coding experience or because you would possibly not be quite technologically savvy. Or it’d be simply overwhelming to seek out a start line.
I felt an equivalent way some few years back.
While I used to be introduced to technology at a young age, I felt overwhelmed by the method to become a software developer. I struggled to find out initially. But in hindsight, what it took was continuous perseverance and eventually, it paid off.
This is an equivalent case with blockchain development. it’d seem daunting but once you get the hang of the concepts which I’ll mention during this article, you’ll have some clarity.
Let’s get started!
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Who may be a Blockchain Developer?
There are two sorts of blockchain developers:
- Core blockchain developers
These developers are mainly liable for building the back-end (main engine) of Decentralized Applications (Dapps). Examples include the Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Cardano Blockchains.
These developers typically write code using C++, Go, and Haskell.
- Blockchain software developers
These developers are mainly liable for designing and building the front-end of Dapps. the online and mobile interfaces that users interact with. Most blockchain developers fall into this category.
Let’s use an example to elucidate the excellence between blockchain core developers and software developers.
Web developers build web applications on top of web browsers. But, they don’t build web browsers. The “Mozillas” of this world build the online browsers (main engine). Similarly, core blockchain developers build the “browser” (main blockchain network) while blockchain software developers build apps on top of the blockchain.
Which blockchain should I use?
- Bitcoin blockchain
This is the distributed ledger powering the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. This blockchain uses Proof-of-Work (PoW) as its consensus mechanism. Recently, this consensus mechanism has been a bone of contention as PoW uses tons of energy. you’ll read more about it here.
The Bitcoin blockchain doesn’t have other usages aside from powering the cryptocurrency.
- Ethereum blockchain
The Ethereum blockchain may be a decentralized and open-source smart contracts platform. The smart contract functionality that permits Dapps to be built thereon has made it the foremost actively used blockchain platform.
It currently uses PoW as its consensus mechanism but getting to replace it with Proof-of-Stake (PoS) thanks to the high energy consumption of PoW.
It is also the blockchain technology that powers the favored cryptocurrency, Ether (ETH).
Learn more about it here.
- Cardano blockchain
It is a decentralized and open-source blockchain platform that utilizes Proof-of-Stake (PoS) as its consensus mechanism. it’s the blockchain platform that powers the favored cryptocurrency referred to as Ada.
Unlike the Ethereum blockchain, Cardano is developed through evidence-based methods and peer-reviewed research. this suggests that proposed methods need to undergo academic-type research before being implemented.
This blockchain technology is made on the Haskell programing language commonly utilized in the banking and financial industry.
Unless you actually need to use a special blockchain for development, I like to recommend that you simply use the Ethereum blockchain. it’s the most important developer community for building blockchain-based applications. As a developer, you actually wouldn’t want to urge stuck and not have a community for support.
Libraries and frameworks for blockchain development
This is a set of libraries that permits you to interact with the Ethereum node either remotely or locally using HTTP, Websocket, or IPC.
It is a set of libraries that permits you to interact with the Ethereum blockchain and its ecosystem.
It is a cryptocurrency wallet and a browser extension that permits a user to shop for, store, and swap tokens on the Ethereum blockchain or the other blockchain.
It is a library developers can use for Ethereum blockchain development. It enables developers to develop, deploy, and test decentralized applications during a safe and deterministic environment without interacting with the most Ethereum blockchain.
Which programming languages for blockchain?
This is the programing language that’s used for creating Ethereum smart contracts.
It is used primarily for creating user interfaces.
This is the programing language employed by core blockchain developers in building the Cardano blockchain.
Solidity remains currently the foremost popular programing language of choice for several developers. this is often thanks to its large developer community. Unless you’ve got a selected use case or you’re a blockchain core developer, I suggest you persist with Solidity.
Use cases for blockchain
Today, there are over 5,000 cryptocurrencies. this is often consistent with CoinMarketCap, a corporation that tracks cryptocurrencies’ market caps, rankings, prices, exchange volumes, and currency conversion. However, the foremost popular cryptocurrencies during this space include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano and Polkadot.
People tend to think that cryptocurrencies are the sole blockchain’s use case. this is often not the case. But, it’s the most important use case for blockchain.
As a blockchain developer, you’ll build and launch a token. you’ll even go all the way and build your own cryptocurrency. But there’s a catch. With the high number of cryptocurrencies and tokens out there, it’s advisable to develop a token (or cryptocurrency if feasible) that tries to unravel real-world problems. Otherwise, it’ll be hard to realize traction or survive within the future.
A good example is Cardano with their Cardano Africa project. They aim to use Ada (name of Cardano’s cryptocurrency) is to undertake and solve a number of the financial problems currently experience in less developed countries like accessibility to loans. this is often a luxury enjoyed by many of us in developed worlds.
It is also important to notice that it’s challenging to make a cryptocurrency. this is often thanks to the vast amount of resources needed and distrust from potential users thanks to the reputation of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
The reputation of ICOs to investors has been dwindling recently thanks to the shortage of transparency of the businesses that run these ICOs. ICOs have also been subjected to an outsized number of scams. Poorly informed investors became victims of those scams which have led to them losing money.
Lastly, as a developer, it’s key to know the difference between a token and a coin when it involves cryptocurrencies. We use tokens and coins interchangeably when talking about cryptocurrencies.
A cryptocurrency coin is assessed as a store or exchange useful. for instance, Bitcoin may be a coin and not a token. you’ll use it as a store or exchange useful, sort of a currency. A token may be a digital representation of an asset which will be exchanged using the blockchain network. Ethereum falls under this category with its ERC-20 tokens. The difference between the 2 may be a bit cloudy but the difference remains there. To understand the differences in depth read this blog post.
As a blockchain developer, you would like to think along those lines.
Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
Currently, the adoption of DeFi is trending within the blockchain world. DeFi aims to exchange the prevailing traditional finance system. It essentially takes financial products and moves them onto the blockchain ecosystem. a couple of samples of these products include savings, loans, and trading.
Taking a glance at the 1-year chart on DeFi Pulse, you’ll notice how the adoption of DeFi has skyrocketed over the previous couple of months.
Currently, most of the DeFi runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Popular DeFi projects within the market today include Maker, Aave, Compound, Polygon, and Uniswap. Maker, Aave, and Compound are used as lending platforms, Polygon (Indian blockchain) as a payment platform and Uniswap for decentralized exchange (DEX).
As a blockchain developer and a techie generally, you ought to be ambitious enough to create such platforms.
2. Supply Chain
The supply chain system involves tracking the movement of products or services from a source to an end-user. Big companies like Walmart use it to extend supply chain transparency. Using blockchain technology helps make sure that distributors across the availability chain are honest and transparent.
3. Digital Identity
Cardano has partnered with Atala Prism to enable the issuance of digital identities and credentials that users own, control, and share easily, both securely, and privately. Building it on Cardano’s blockchain eliminates the necessity for having a 3rd party offers verification services.
They recently secured an effect from the Ethiopian government where they’re getting to issue over 5 million students with digital identities. Learn more about the deal here. As a blockchain developer, you’ll build digital identity systems that secure digital IDs, degrees, certificates, transcripts, examinations, and badges, etc. on the blockchain.
In healthcare, blockchain are often used for record-keeping & medical record tracking, patient & drug identity validation, and to supply direct healthcare service payments.
These are a couple of use cases for blockchain technology. It also can be won’t to secure title deeds in land and to secure voting systems from tamper in democratic countries.
In this article, I even have explained how you’ll become a blockchain developer and take benefit of this lucrative field.
It is wrong to assume that since you’ll haven’t any prior coding experience, this niche isn’t for you. like any skill, blockchain development is mastered over time. This guide gives a start line. However, it’s your responsibility to continuously learn, attempt to practice. As they assert, practice makes perfect.
All the very best!