More and more companies are opening up to the blockchain technology. In fact, let’s check this survey by Juniper Research. They asked employees of some big companies (with >20,000 employees) whether they are looking to incorporate the blockchain. This is what they found out in the survey:
57% said “Yes” while only 9% said “No”.
In fact, 76% of the employees quizzed said that blockchain could be ‘very useful’ or ‘quite useful’ for their company.
All signs point toward a great level of adoption.
This is the reason why you should not be left behind when it comes to this area. Face it, sooner or later, most of the companies are going to adopt the blockchain technology. You might as well give yourself a significant advantage by going through enterprise blockchain training.
However, before we do that, you should know why the blockchain is so desirable
There are two features of the blockchain that makes it extremely desirable:
Think of a normal client-server model.
There is a centralized server. And everyone who wants to connect with the server can send a query to get the required information. This is pretty much how the internet works. When you want to Google something, you send a query to the Google server, which comes back with the required results. So, this is a client-server system. Now, what is the problem with this model?
Since everything is dependent on the server, it is critical for the server to be functioning at all times for the system to work. It is a bottleneck. Now suppose, for whatever reason the main server stops working, everyone in the network will be affected.
Plus, there are also security concerns. Since the network is centralized, the server itself handles a lot of sensitive information regarding the clients. This means that anyone can hack the server and get those pieces of information.
Then, there is also the issue of censorship. What if the server decides that a particular item (movie, song, book etc.) is not agreeable and decides not to propagate it in their network?
So, to counter all these issues, a different kind of network architecture came about. It is a network which partitions its entire workload among participants, who are all equally privileged, called “peers”. There is no longer one central server, now there are several distributed and decentralized peers.
This is a peer-to-peer network.
One of the main uses of a peer-to-peer network is file sharing, also called torrenting. If you are to use a client-server model for downloading, then it is usually extremely slow and entirely dependent on the health of the server. Plus, as we said, it is prone to censorship.
However, in a peer-to-peer system, there is no central authority, and hence if even one of the peers in the network goes out of the race, you still have more peers to download from. Plus, it is not subject to the idealistic standards of a central system, hence it is not prone to censorship.
This is how blockchain gains decentralization. This is one of the biggest reasons why the blockchain technology has gained so much attention.
Immutability, in the context of the blockchain, means that once something has been entered into the blockchain, it cannot be tampered with.
Can you imagine how valuable this will be for enterprises?
Imagine how many embezzlement cases can be nipped in the bud if people know that they can’t “work the books” and fiddle around with company accounts.
The reason why the blockchain gets this property is through cryptographic hash functions.
If you want to get into the details and the nitty-gritty, then we recommend that you read our guide on hashing.
For now, just know that because of clever cryptographic implementations, it is impossible to tamper with the data that is inside the blocks of the blockchain. Hence, the blockchain is immutable.
Public vs Private Blockchains
Before we continue, you should understand the differences between public and private blockchain. A lot of people know that Bitcoin and Ethereum are both transparent, and this is the biggest argument that they have against it.
To keep it brief, transparency is the property, via which any data that is kept inside the blockchain and be read and traced by any node in the network.
The detractors say that this is a huge problem because how can a company, which deals with terabytes of confidential data, store all of that in a transparent database?
However, what they fail to realize is that there are two kinds of blockchains:
Public blockchains are open and anyone can become a node in their network. However, they are impractical for use by enterprises because of the following reasons:
Firstly, as has been extremely well documented, the blocks in bitcoin and ethereum have a storage issue. Bitcoin has a little over 1mb of space per block which is simply not enough to run the kind of transactions and store the kind of data that enterprises require.
Then we have the throughput problems which have been pretty well-documented. Bitcoin can barely manage 7-8 transactions per second. The block confirmation time is 10 mins which just adds to the latency. Big enterprises need to deal with millions of transactions per day with near 0 latency.
Public blockchains, especially the ones that follow the proof-of-work protocol like Bitcoin require an immense amount of computational power to solve hard puzzles.
Finally, the openness of the public chains is itself a detriment. Think about it. If you have a company which runs on a blockchain which can be accessed by malicious actors and trolls, would you really want to integrate a system like that?
As opposed to the public blockchains, private blockchain is not open for everyone. People who want to participate in a private chain must gain permission. This is the reason why these kinda blockchains are also referred to as “permission blockchains.”
Because of this, there are restrictions to the kind of people who can actually take part in the consensus. Access for new participants could be given by the following:
The existing participants who are taking part in the ecosystem.
A regulated authority.
Once an entity has joined the ecosystem, they can play a role in network maintenance. The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric is an example of a permission blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation. It has been designed ground up to cater to these enterprise requirements.
These private chains have been specifically designed for enterprise needs and offer a lot of features.
Features of Enterprise Blockchains
Let’s check out some of the features of enterprise blockchains:
1 High Performance
Like we have already said, public chains don’t even approach 100 transactions per second. When you consider the fact that most of the enterprises like telecom and credit processors need 10,000 – 100,000 tps, that’s not really the most ideal of scenarios.
In order to reach those levels of tps, blockchains need to adopt an architectural approach which:
Efficiently compartmentalizes different tasks.
Uses asynchronous flows.
Uses faster consensus protocols.
Executes itself in optimized environments.
Hyperledger Fabric, a Linux Foundation project has already implemented some of these architectural principles. Trusted hardware aka SGX is also another avenue that has been looked into.
There is another thing that enterprise blockchains need to keep in mind. Most of these enterprise PoCs have had just a dozen participants during their test runs. One must keep in mind that a proper permission chain will need to accommodate for 100s of participants. As such, it must have an efficient onboarding process.
2 High Resilience
Enterprise blockchains must be able to come back from downtime and potential failure scenarios. To ensure high availability, they must be able to avoid issues which may lead to major outages. To have that level of resilience, the system should assume that failures are bound to happen and must be prepared to keep the system running during these situations.
Think about how traditional enterprise software survives system failure. They often utilize service replication and redundancy to make sure that they don’t go through low availability. Similarly, enterprise chains should deploy redundant peer nodes, clustered ordering services, and replicate other working blockchain network components to work seamlessly without any glitches.
Privacy and security is obviously a huge need for enterprise-level blockchains. Since these are permission blockchains, all members are known entities and carefully vetted before they enter the ecosystem.
According to this article by Coindesk:
“Digital signatures applied to all network messages enable all nodes and clients to verify the sender and validate message integrity. This is coupled with transport security to authenticate the communications endpoints and encrypt the message traffic.
Further, automatically applying encryption for the stored data completes the best practices for encrypting data in transit and at rest. When this foundation is used transparently and pervasively for all secure communications and stored ledger data, it’s a big step forward in maintaining the integrity and security of the blockchain network, preventing most hacking attacks.”
Alright, so now you know why the blockchain technology is so much in demand. So, how exactly are you going to go about your blockchain education? Well, let’s take a look.
How To Do Enterprise Blockchain Training?
There are two main ways to approach enterprise blockchain training. They are:
Accredited Post-Secondary aka university degree
The first way to do it is to enroll yourself in a proper university blockchain degree. Now you must be wondering, why would universities bother with giving out a degree on the blockchain technology when it is relatively new? Well, looks like they have multiple reasons to do so.
## 1 To Get an Edge
Blockchain technology is still in its infancy. The fact that it is getting adopted by the mainstream at such a rapid rate is a testament to its potential. However, this presents the universities a unique opportunity to become first-comers in the blockchain education field.
Universities have the chance to get their names associated with “blockchain” the same way Harvard has gotten associated with “law” and MIT with “engineering.” Positioning oneself to be the dominant player in space is something that any university would want to do.
2 Upcoming Interoperability
We are on the verge of entering the era of third-generation blockchains. Blockchains like Cardano, ICON, AION identify as the third generation blockchains. One of their most fundamental goals is achieving interoperability.
What is interoperability? In layman’s terms, it will enable interaction among various blockchains AND legacy companies.
That sounds pretty cool, but what does that have to do with universities?
Interoperability will enable more and more companies to incorporate and interact with blockchain companies. As such, they will be looking to hire people who have some basic blockchain knowledge.
As institutes that teach skills to future employees to thrive in their space, it is their duty to give their students an edge over their competitors. One of the ways that they can do so is by training them in skills that they would require in the future. “Blockchain Technology” definitely qualifies as one of these skills.
3 More Job Postings
There is no other way of putting it. “Blockchain Technology” is an extremely hot sector in the job market right now. This article by Tony Zerucha at Bankless Times does an analysis of the surge of blockchain and bitcoin-related jobs in the job portal Indeed’s website.
Turns out, since November 2015 Indeed has seen a 1065% growth in searches for jobs mentioning “blockchain,” “bitcoin” or “cryptocurrency” on the company’s job search site.
Indeed is not the only website which is seeing this trend. In fact, LinkedIn, the popular business social network has seen the number of blockchain-related postings nearly triple in 2017.
Scott Bittle of Burning Glass Technologies, a job-data analytics firm which found a 115% increase from 2017 in postings for blockchain developers, notes:
“Because of its connection with ‘cryptocurrencies,’ blockchain is associated with finance; and major banks like Liberty Mutual, Capital One, and Bank of America have posted openings. But the demand for blockchain is much broader,” he notes, “including major consulting firms like Accenture and Deloitte and technology companies like IBM and SAP. This is additional evidence that the business world is starting to take blockchain seriously.”
To address these needs, universities are taking different approaches. The University of Edinburgh is doing with IOHK, the company behind Cardano development.
The University of Nicosia in Cyprus has a Master’s degree program on Digital Currencies and attracts names like Andreas Antonopoulos for lectures. In fact, well-known universities like Stanford, Princeton, Duke etc. have also gotten into the blockchain game.
Online Courses aka Certification
However, not everyone may have the time, resources, or eligibility to get a proper university degree. However, there is actually another simpler way of getting your education, certification.
Now, you might be wondering why certification instead of full-blown degree courses?
There are plenty of advantages that certification has over degrees:
An average certification course may last from anywhere around 6 months to 2 years. In some cases, it can be even shorter than that. A degree, on the other hand, will last the minimum of 2 years.
Most certifications are easily available online and can be done at your own time, pace, and location. However, degrees may require you to join classes, and follow the universities schedule.
Certifications are more subject centric than degrees. Eg. if you are doing a certification on C++ programming then you are just going to learn C++. However, if you are doing a degree in Computer Science then you may even need to take up Environmental Studies or Mathematics for a semester.
Obviously, since certifications last for a shorter time, they are a lot cheaper than degrees.
Less age restrictive:
Usually, college going students or people in their late teens to mid ’20s opt for degrees. However, people from all walks of life and age groups apply for certification because of the flexibility it provides schedule and location wise.
According to The Washington Post, the number of people who hold post-baccalaureate certificates has increased significantly. Here are some of the numbers:
Nearly 51,000 people earned the credential in 2010, a 46 percent increase in five years.
For men, having certification adds 25% to their income.
For women, it is a 13% addition to their income, but that’s mostly because they are in less technical fields.
According to research from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, about 3 percent of the workforce i.e. 4 million workers have certificates.
In fact, we polled our followers to know what was the best way to go about blockchain education. As you can see, an overwhelming amount of people chose online courses/certification.
How To Get Your Enterprise Blockchain Training
So, now you know why online courses and certification is the best way to go about it, and you also know why it is important to get started on the basics of enterprise blockchain technology to help you get started.
Now, the question is, where and how should you get started?
We have a 4-week certification program named, “Blockchain for Business Accelerated Program”. Do you know the best part about it? It is for non-developers, so you don’t need any technical knowledge beforehand to take part in it.
This is what you will gain from the program:
Learn about the various applications of blockchains, including DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings)
Learn how blockchain can apply to the Retail, Finance and Healthcare industries
Learn what to look for when hiring a blockchain developer, consultant, or any other kind of expert
Architect an enterprise blockchain solution for your industry
Our curriculum looks something like this:
How blockchains leverage peer-to-peer networks
How economic incentives enable transactions in a trustless environment
How consensus algorithms work to ensure data integrity in a decentralized network
How private and public chains differ
When to use a public vs. private chain
As part of the curriculum, you will get:
A weekly live lesson with our teachers
Direct access to teachers
Weekly homework and projects
Final Blockdegree exam (Score 90% or higher and receive a personal non-fungible ERC-721 token that will identify you as a Blockgeeks Verified Blockchain Professional)
However, there are 2 things that we must let you know.
We only have 20 spots in our program. This is done to make sure that our teachers can give each student the maximum amount of attention, without being spread too thin.
This course is not suitable for developers and programmers who are looking to gain in-depth knowledge of the blockchain technology and smart contracts.