The blockchain is a new and exciting world of opportunities. Entrepreneurs, developers, and investors are still trying to figure out the rules. In some ways, everyone is a novice in the blockchain world.
If you are a total newbie, you might feel intimidated by all the talks about cryptography, signatures, digital wallets, mining, and a thousand other things. You don’t need to overwhelm yourself. Think of it like any other business opportunity. Even though shoes are not high-tech products, if you go into the shoe business, you’ll have to spend a lot of time learning about shoes. Similarly, if you are new to the blockchain business, you’ll have to spend time, energy and money learning the particulars of the blockchain technology.
Here are a few skills that you will need to develop to become proficient in the blockchain business.
1. Understand Business Drivers and Outcomes
Blockchain business models are technology-driven. In order to become a master of the industry, you need to understand what are the motivators of the blockchain technology and what people are expecting as results. Blockchain started during the last financial crisis after a collapse of the financial system.
A lot of the practitioners of blockchain are here due to ideological reasons. There are others who are looking at blockchain as just an investment opportunity. Understanding the key factors of motivation and drive will help you figure out what your strategy should be. And understanding how to produce outcomes or results will make you successful in this industry.
2. Learn to Create Blockchain Services
The industry is electrified with energy. People are proactively trying to implement new ideas. Some of these ideas will need support from other services. For example, when the internet was becoming popular in the 90s, anyone who could provide a reliable HTML service was highly valued for their expertise. Blockchain will go through similar development cycles.
Look for areas where you can develop proof-of-concept services. These services can blossom into business opportunities.
3. Mastering Interoperability
With the proliferation of different cryptocurrencies and distributed applications, the complexity of communication will increase. So interoperability between the various blockchains will become an important component of the ecosystem. As an entrepreneur or business owner, you need to develop systems with an open source model.
It will give you the most versatility. If you are working for a large-scale business, you need to learn the ropes on how to integrate your current systems with blockchain applications.
4. Mastering Smart Contracts
Smart contracts are one of the ways you can create blockchain-based businesses. But not all blockchains have smart contracts. Also, different blockchains like Ethereum and Hyperledger have different ways, languages, and philosophies.
Through understanding the requirements for the various blockchains, you will develop an expertise that will be in high demand.
5. Develop T-Shaped Expertise
You will need both vertical and horizontal skills to gain traction in the blockchain industry. Most distributed applications use blockchain to solve a problem. In order to solve a problem, you will need the ability to acquire cross-disciplinary skills. You might have to integrate IoT or AI with blockchain to create a solution. You might develop a manufacturing application on the blockchain. To create solutions like these, you need knowledge and expertise in broad areas. You also need the ability to see an application from inception to deployment.
You can’t just concentrate on blockchain as it doesn’t achieve anything on its own. Blockchain only makes sense when you attach it to some other business or technology.
6. Accumulate Platform Knowledge
More projects are creating platforms that can help you build businesses. Ethereum, Hyperledger, BigChainDB, Corda, Openchain, Quorum, Stellar, and more are creating a rich set of options. But it also means you have to understand the pros and cons of each platform.
Your knowledge will help you select the best-suited solution for the problem at hand. Selecting the right platform or framework can make a huge difference in making your venture a success or failure.
7. Understand Blockchain Security
Blockchains run as decentralized and distributed ledgers. Most blockchain code bases are maintained as open source repositories. So the security concerns regarding identity, data, and infrastructure differ from general software applications. Blockchain security solutions might be counterintuitive to what you have learned from previous experiences.
So look into how blockchain implements security policies and prevents cyber attacks. Learn about cryptography, hashes, digital signatures, and architectures to develop a deep understanding of blockchain security.
8. Use Blockchain for Simplification
Blockchain was designed for certain types of problems. It’s not a magic solution to everything. Understand the strengths that blockchain can provide. One of the strengths of blockchain is that it can help with complex processes through distribution. You can use blockchain to simplify cross-border transactions. On the other hand, its weakness is the transaction speed.
So it might not be still ready for time-critical high-volume transactions like retail store point-of-sale systems. Use blockchain to create solutions that simplify processes.
9. Understand the Architectural Patterns
Gaining knowledge of different blockchain architectures will give you the expertise to develop more informed cost-benefit analytics. You will be able to analyze blockchain-based applications using performance, security and cost metrics.
You can then help others select the right architectures to suit their application needs.
10. Learn the Standards
As the blockchain industry expands, the growing complexity requires standardization. Initiatives like ISO/TC 3017 is already looking into standardization of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.
These standards will play an important role in the maturity of the blockchain ecosystem. Understanding these standards will help you stay competitive in the field.
Most people delve into blockchains due to cryptocurrencies but discover a brave new world underneath. Cryptocurrency markets are speculative and volatile. But the underlying blockchain technology is solid and revolutionary. So if you master the blockchain skills listed above you should have great prospects, whether you want to start a business, find a job or invest in startups.
If you are looking for blockchain experts for your small business, our engineers and analysts at IoTCoreSoft are ready to help. Contact us today