Although blockchain technology is not a new concept, in recent years, the cryptocurrency and blockchain bandwagon has left the world awestruck. They have managed to catch the fancy of investors, technocrats, and even the general public. Having the crown of being the hottest topic in 2017, the blockchain and cryptocurrencies are going to continue their legacy with even more awesomeness. Before we move on to our central discussion, let’s quickly go through our basic guide to blockchain app development and answer the main question every single person is asking:
What is Blockchain?
Developed by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, Blockchain is an ever-growing list of cryptographically linked records, called blocks. The digital information stored in blocks are paired to each other with a hash function, where each block contains the cryptographic hash of the previous one. The blockchain technology doesn’t require a central authority or server to execute its operations and thus is a transparent, immutable, and publicly accessible database.
How to become a Blockchain app developer?
Well, when we are living in an “era of blockchain”, there are a number of things that a developer should be aware of. As a serious developer, one should be very clear of the fact that learning blockchain app development is not a magical process rather is a continuous process that requires great dedication (whether it be resources, time, or sincerity). Keeping this in mind let’s dig into our central topic.
Understand the basics
The first thing that comes first for anything new is understanding the basics. A beginner should first acquaint himself with the key terms such as blockchain, 51% attack, distributed ledger, consensus mechanism, mining, etc. Although here it is not possible to cover all of them, you can refer the blockchain glossary section to grab up the key terms quickly. With this, the knowledge of cryptoeconomics and cryptography would be an added advantage if you are intrigued about these.
After this, it would be an injustice if you don’t study about how bitcoin works as it is one of the most sophisticated applications of the blockchain technology. And this gets even more important after seeing the impacts that bitcoin has on current situations.
Learn how the process works
After getting through the basics, the next step is to get some hands-on with the real-world scenario. How come can a developer work or develop on a platform that he hadn’t used before? So, it gets important that a developer gets acquainted with the current system. To start with it, you can go to any online exchange available for your country and buy some coins for your e-wallet. And this won’t be useless as the wallet services are available anytime and anywhere. Depending upon your choice, while you learn the whole process, you have the option to dive-in to the vast ocean of bitcoin.
As a blockchain app developer, there are a number of challenges that a developer might face. Unlike traditional app development, blockchain app development is a slow process. The top reasons that need to be taken into consideration are security, resource management, performance, and isolation.
While there are many platforms available for blockchain mobile app development, the top ones among them are Ethereum, Multichain, Hyperledger, IOTA, and Quorum. While choosing a suitable platform, the following should be taken into consideration:
- Nature of platform: While some platforms are cryptocurrency-based others rely on smart contracts. Choosing a suitable type will definitely make the process easier.
- Smart Contracts: It is a self-executing process that processes, enforces, or validates any trigger-based action stored on the blockchain system. Deciding whether to use this or not is an important step.
- Cryptocurrency: If cryptocurrency is going to be used in your application then this plays an important role in deciding the platform.
- Public/Private Network: Before creating your blockchain application, you should decide whether you want to allow everyone to make changes or want to grant only authorized user access.
Just like platforms, developers have the choice to choose between various programming languages. Where blockchain specific languages like Solidity and Simplicity are popular in the market, traditional programming languages like Python, C++, Java, Go, etc. are still fascinating developers. In fact, the Bitcoin source code was written in C++.
As a beginner you can start with creating a simple block that contains the following pieces:
- Index: To identify the block number
- Timestamp: To tell the time of creation
- Data: The information that is to be contained in the block
- Previous Hash: To know the hash of the previous block
- Hash: To identify the hash of the current block
After you created a block, add more blocks and hence validate your chain to check that everything is stable and that nobody is messing with your blockchain.
Learn about Smart Contracts
According to Investopedia, smart contracts are “self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained therein exist across a distributed, decentralized blockchain network.”
Anything that runs on a blockchain network should be immutable and must run through multiple nodes without compromising on its integrity. Because of which, smart contract functionality needs to be three things:
- Deterministic: It simply means that a program is capable of giving the same output for the same set of inputs in different computers.
- Terminable: Contracts must be capable of termination within a given time limit to prevent them from being caught in an endless loop that may drain resources.
- Isolated: As there can be many contracts uploaded, so it is critical to isolate them in order to save the entire ecosystem from any negative effects.
Synchronize with technological updates
As development is an unending process so it is very important to be updated with the technological changes and it is even more important for budding developers. Being in the mix not only helps a developer fine-tune his skills but become an appealing developer. Blockchain is a technology that is going to have stunning impacts in the future and talented will be able to reap full benefits out of it.
Parangat is not just a blockchain app development company, but it is a team of experts who can extract out pearls from the vast ocean of blockchain.