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How to take you first steps in Blockchain

The financial markets’ panic around cryptocurrencies since the end of 2020, has reached record highs. Since peaking in December 2017, crypto currencies have exceeded expectations! For example, Bitcoin has exceeded the 40,000 U.S. dollar per unit mark for three months.

At the root of the success of these cryptocurrencies, the Blockchain.

What is the Blockchain?

The blockchain is a technology for archiving and executing contracts that uses cryptography. More concretely, it is a shared, confidential, secure, and transparent database aiming at authenticating transactions in a fast and secure way.

Several types of cryptography and levels of encryption can be used to make it extremely difficult to alter transaction historyand identify the account holder.

It allows blockchain participants to share workflows (financial transactions in the case of cryptocurrencies); tracking changes on a shared ledger.

Implementing a secure data sharing solution can be difficult in an enterprise. Indeed, the security of the exchange is conditioned by the trust attributed to the data coming from the stakeholders.

In most cases, companies use a central database or other means to ensure data synchronization. The data is stored in a single location identified as a “trusted source. The company that manages the database must be known to be trusted.

What does blockchain mean?

Blockchain enables a “business process” where the company needsto trust the data and participants withoutusing a central database but trusting the integrity and reliability of the workflow.

Blockchain technology results in a decentralized digital ledger that records workflows or transactions for a cryptocurrency on multiple physical media regardless of location in the world.

These are recorded in such a way as to prevent their subsequent modification.

The benefits of using blockchain

Blockchain technology increases securityand speeds up the exchange of information in a cost-effective and more transparent manner. It also dispenses with third parties whose primary role was to provide an element of trust and certification in the workflow (the nodes).

Nodes can be any type of device (primarily computers, laptops or even larger servers).

Nodes form the infrastructure of a blockchain. All nodes are connected to each other and constantly exchange the latest data from the blockchain so that all nodes stay current. They store, distribute, and preserve the data. Theoretically, the blockchain relies primarily on nodes.

The great importance of blockchain technology has attracted the attention of organizations from different sectors; the banking sector being the most active.

This technology has enabled the development of thousands of new jobs and startups ranging from mobile payment solutions to healthcare applications and even electoral voting.

BLOCKCHAIN IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS

Blockchain technology can simplify and streamline the entire business process. Moreover, it can provide an automated lifecycle where all parties related to the transaction have access to the same exact data about a transaction.

In this scenario, blockchain technology would significantly reduce infrastructure costs, enable efficient data management, add more transparency, reduce processing cycles, enable minimal reconciliation, and even eliminate some intermediaries such as brokers.

Since 2015, NASDAQ has created several solutions for the financial markets recently including an electronic voting solution for shareholders of listed companies ref. evoting technology.

BLOCKCHAIN FOR INTERNATIONAL PAYMENTS

Blockchain can therefore improve cross-border payments by speeding up and simplifying the process, while significantly reducing costs and cutting out many traditional intermediaries.

At the same time, it would make remittances more affordable and faster. Until now, the cost of sending money has been between 5 and 20% of the transaction amount. Blockchain technology could reduce costs to 2-3% of the total amount and provide guaranteed, real-time transactions across borders.

Since 2017, 12 European banks and IBM have partnered on a project to simplify domestic and international trade. Previously named Digital Trade Chain, this project led to the creation in February 2018 of the joint venture We.trade.

BLOCKCHAIN TO IMPROVE DIGITAL IDENTITY

When identifying in a blockchain-enabled infrastructure, users can choose how they identify themselves and with whom their identity is shared. Users are still required to register their identity on a blockchain, but once they do, they do not need to re-register for each service provider, provided those providers are also connected to the blockchain.

This application of blockchain technology can be used for example for now-your-customer purposes where a single digital source of credentials could allow for more seamless account opening, reduced resources, and costs, while maintaining data privacy.

The most interesting standard to date is the ERC-725 Ethereum Identity Standard.

HOW TO GET STARTED IN BLOCKCHAIN DEVELOPMENT

There are several options available to you, depending on the technologies and languages you master:

  • For Microsoft and for various programming languages including C# you can base yourself on the tutorial on Blockchain and Azure development.
  • For JavaScript based on Node.JS, an interesting framework to start the blockchain Lick SDK.
  • For Ethereum multiple languages are available including C++, Python, Ruby, Go, and Java.
  • C++ is the main programming language for EOS. Preferred for its flexibility to run extended applications on top of the blockchain.
    EOS also supports all Web Assembly compiled languages (WASM)

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