The hype around cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin may be nowhere near the record-highs that it was in 2017, but the blockchain technology that supports cryptocurrencies is hotter than ever.
As a result, demand for blockchain developers has skyrocketed in the past year. According to freelance platform Upwork, blockchain development is the most in-demand job skill of 2018, growing over 6,000% since 2017. It won’t be slowing down anytime soon either. A recent Gartner report estimates that by 2030, the value-add of blockchain for businesses will exceed $3.1 trillion by 2030, meaning blockchain will play an important role in the future.
For those interested in becoming blockchain developers, these three platforms are critical to know.
Ethereum goes well beyond building digital tokens. It is perhaps the most notable and widely used platform for decentralized blockchain apps, also known as Dapps. In addition to tokens and Dapps, developers can also use the platform for more secure crowdfunding and voting.
Dapps built on blockchain and Ethereum, like the hit app CryptoKitties, require smart contracts. Computer scientist Nick Szabo coined the term smart contracts, which are similar to business or legal contracts. They are agreements between two parties that use code and run on blockchain, so when a data or value is sent by one party to another, a record is stored securely and it can’t be changed. To create contracts, developers need to know the programming language Solidity.
Like Ethereum, EOS is an open-source platform dedicated to building decentralized apps. EOS was created by the blockchain company, Block.one. Its founder is the renowned crypto programmer & entrepreneur Dan Larimer, who has also co-founded Bitshares and Steemit.
Fans of EOS argue that the platform is better at scaling big blockchain projects. For instance, transaction speeds for blockchain have been known to take much longer than traditional payment methods because of issues with scalability.
NEM is a smart asset system where developers can create smart contracts, cryptocurrencies, and decentralized apps. It functions similarly to Ethereum and EOS, but uses Java and has a C++ version in the works. NEM was built to resemble the existing Internet, but taps into decentralization and blockchain. The biggest similarity between the two is NEM’s namespace domains that resemble Internet domains, and may make it easier for developers learning to code in blockchain. NEM is lesser known, compared to Ethereum and EOS, but capabilities like multi-signature transactions and customizable blockchain make it an important platform to know for those serious about developing in the era of blockchain.
To learn more about and build blockchain development skills, enroll in the Blockchain Mastery Program, which covers everything developers need to know to succeed in the blockchain space, including courses on NEM, EOS, Ethereum and more.