Everyone is talking about Bitcoin or Blockchain but what is it? The best analogy I’ve read is from Sally Davies, FT Technology Reporter who said “[Blockchain] is to Bitcoin, what the internet is to email. A big electronic system, on top of which you can build applications. Currency is just one.”
The idea of Blockchain revolves around “decentralization” instead of one entity owning everything or a single point of failure,. At the very least, it will change the way we handle transactions but the potential is much greater than that. More and more people are taking the time to learn about blockchain and how to develop on the platform. Just recently, a software development platform called “ethereum” was recently that utilizes a cryptocurrency called “ether” to incentivize development.
While cryptocurrency is the most popular thing we associate with blockchain, there is a wide range of interesting uses coming up. Below, I’ve listed some but you can read a nice beginner's guide to blockchain on blockgeeks.com.
- Smart Contracts
- File Storage
- Protecting Intellectual property
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Identity management
So, as a programmer or coder why should you even care? Blockchain is said to have the potential to change the world in a better way like the internet did when it first came out. This aligns perfectly with our mantra “learn to code. Change the world.”
You can lay the foundation for becoming a blockchain developer by learning languages like Python. “Serpent” is a language on the Ethereum platform that is made to be similar to Python.
For more detailed info mixed in with some tech, here's an amazing article that explains the technology behind blockchain and bitcoin (and a bit of history to boot!).