For new people starting out, this industry can be very unnerving. In all honesty, there’s an awful lot to learn before you can be fully attuned to the blockchain industry. Remember, this is more than this Bitcoin, it’s thousands of cryptocurrencies, it’s investment, it’s politics, it’s computing and it’s futurism. The actual blockchain side of things can be one of the most daunting things to learn, simply because it’s such an advanced technology that is very hard to imagine. Think of it this way, imagine somebody trying to tell someone about the internet in the 1920’s. Yes, the concept sort of makes sense, but the internet in practice would be nothing more than a dream. The blockchain is sort of similar, it’s easy to get the basics, but the more in depth details can’t be fully understood until one experiences the blockchain for oneself. Moreover, a lot of this is just theoretical so you’ll need a great deal of imagination to deploy if you do want to really get to know the blockchain.
If you’re new to this however, there are a few starting blocks that you should consider learning about, these include technology (distributed ledger technology to be precise), tokens and of course, networks.
The technology side is by far the most complex, though the basics are pretty simple to grasp. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is one of the key concepts of the blockchain. The best way to imagine this is that the blockchain is a data storage solution that uses a written ledger to record EVERYTHING that happens. This ledger is within a network that is accessible to all users of that blockchain, therefore, the information written on it is decentralised, and owned by nobody. DLT is a core part of the blockchains software.
Next up; tokens. These play a huge role in blockchain technology and relate to things like cryptocurrencies.These are simply used to authorise movements within the ledger. The token is used to authenticate these recordings and can also be used to give value to them, hence the existence of cryptocurrencies. How tokens work is a little more complex, but the basics of them are is that they allow for a commodity to exist within the blockchain, which in turn allows for trade and the movement of value.
Lastly, networks. According to weforum, one of the key concepts you need to grasp about networks first is the idea of nodes:
“Nodes represent agents or participants on a blockchain network, such as banks, government agencies, individuals, manufacturers or securities firms. Depending on the permissions set in the network, they may be able to approve, validate, send or receive transactions and data.”
Getting to know the blockchain can be taxing. There’s a lot to learn, our advice is to really engage with texts and throw yourself in the deep end. Instead of learning the blockchain, do the blockchain, it’s the fastest way to really knowing your stuff, and once you know that, the rest falls into place pretty quickly… you’ll be a blockchain expert in no time!