Blockchain Technology For Developers
You could be thinking of joining the trend by utilizing blockchain in your next application project. In this article, we will take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of blockchain technology and how to identify viable blockchain projects.
The blockchain is trending in 2018, as such, we have witnessed an explosive growth of blockchain-based applications that are called decentralized apps (DApps). Developers have realized that they can use blockchain to optimize the functionalities of their applications. However, developers ought to understand the rudiments of the blockchain technology before utilizing it.
What Is A Blockchain?
The original blockchain (i.e the bitcoin protocol) did not exclusively define blockchain neither did it contain the term “blockchain”. The closest term to blockchain in the protocol was “chain of blocks”. However, the term Blockchain has evolved to mean a distributed ledger that contains blocks of data and utilizes cryptography to encrypt and store data.
In addition, blockchain could mean a network that is accessible to many people to read, but difficult for a single entity to update. The blockchain is basically a peer-to-peer network, a stark contrast to the popular client/server network architecture.
What Are Blocks In A Blockchain?
If a blockchain is a ledger, then a block is a page in the ledger. Transactions are recorded on this block and it is added to the existing chain of blocks. Hence, the term “Blockchain”.
What Is A Smart Contract?
It became easy for developers to create DApps when Ethereum introduced a standard token protocol that supported smart contracts. Smart contracts allow users to transact and perform tasks without third parties supervision. They are basically self-executing contracts that help reduce disputes and contract breaches.
What Are Cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies are a decentralized virtual money, as such, no government or bank controls their supply or flow. Primarily, cryptocurrencies are mediums of instant transactions or payments that are not limited by geographical locations.
What Is Crypto Mining?
Since cryptocurrencies are not subjected to any central entity, it is impossible to create them the way fiat currencies are minted. Instead, participants (miners) of blockchains perform specific tasks in order to create cryptocurrencies.
The completion of these tasks creates a specific amount of the coin which is allocated to the miner that successfully completes the task. This process is what we call bitcoin mining. And each blockchain has specific mechanisms that it utilizes to mine its coin. for example, the Bitcoin blockchain uses the proof-of-work mechanism to mine new bitcoins.
What Are The Practical Implications Of Adopting Blockchain In Applications?
The distributed nature of the blockchain is one of the major selling points of the technology. Distributed applications (DApps) operate on a network of computers and coordinate its functionalities by sharing a memory or distributing each activity across its nodes. As such, distributed applications are able to resolve some of the flaws of non-distributed applications. This is because their distributed nature protects them from network failures that plague non-distributed applications.
Another advantage of decentralized apps is the immutable nature of the data on the blockchain. Therefore, developers are less concerned about attackers manipulating applications’ database. Also, blockchain applications encourage users’ participation as well as create a community that drives the progress of the application. As a result, the quality of your application determines the strength of its community.
Can You Build Your Own Blockchain?
Developers can fork an existing blockchain to start a new blockchain. in addition, they can build an app or blockchain using the ERC-20 standard protocol on the Ethereum blockchain. There are other blockchain networks that allow developers to launch blockchain applications on their ecosystem. Majority of these platforms have special Sidechain Development Kits SDKs that make it easy for developers to create DApps that will work perfectly on their blockchain.
Best Blockchain Platforms Available
Over the years, developers popularly utilize the Ethereum blockchain as a launch pad for their DApps. However, there are newly blockchain platforms that are suitable for blockchain DApps. Some of these platforms are TRON, Cardano, NEO, EOS, QTUM, and Lisk.
How Big Is The Blockchain Today?
Blockchain has grown to tremendous figures in the past few years. According to the stateofthedapps, there are currently 2,128 DApps on three platforms. These platforms are Ethereum (2,041), EOS (71) and POA (11).
A decentralized app basically needs a working and tested mechanisms to validate the data users add to the blockchain. Also, there is a need for an efficient way to add this data to the blockchain. This is not an easy task, however, the completion of this two tasks will effectively resolve disputes.