Blockchain is defined by IBM as a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in any business network. On a blockchain network, people can track and trade both tangible and intangible forms of assets in a secured virtual environment. Each transaction is recorded as a block of data which can include information such as who, what, when, where, how, etc. Using blockchain technology, transparency, privacy, and security of such information exchange are guaranteed. The Government Blockchain Association addresses blockchain as a rapidly advancing technology that has exploded to become the 7th largest economy in the world.
A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency. Examples include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT). Most of the cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks based on blockchain technology.
A smart contract is a self-executing contract which ensures trusted transactions and agreements among disparate and anonymous parties. The information is in the forms of codes within a blockchain network.
An NFT is a digital asset that represents real-world objects such as photos, videos, art pieces, etc. Buying and selling NFTs happen online using mostly cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain Technology skill has been ranked by LinkedIn as the top hard skills wanted by companies in 2020 before skills such as cloud computing, analytical reasoning, and artificial intelligence. According to a recent report by Markets and Markets, the current blockchain market is $4.9 billion and is projected to grow to $67.4 billion by 2026. The increasing venture capital funding and investment in blockchain technology, extensive use of blockchain solutions in banking and cybersecurity, high adoption of blockchain solutions for payment, smart contracts, and digital identities, and rising government initiatives are reported as the contributors to the high growth rate in this market.
Blockchain developer, engineer, designer, quality manager, and legal consultant are some of the career paths that enthusiasts in this field can follow. Skilled blockchain technology professionals can be hired in public and private sectors including supply chain management, finance, healthcare, industries. Based on the reports, the salary ranges for such career paths can vary between $70,000 to $190,000 annually. Google, Accenture, PayPal, Visa, Venmo, Anthem, Amazon, Apple are some well-known companies that are currently hiring Blockchain professionals.