The blockchain is an amazing technology that has only been developed in recent years. It started out with the introduction of Bitcoin, but now is being used in so many different industries, the question is being asked – Can students afford not to understand blockchain?
Every day new innovations are being released. Advances are being made with artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality. Although these will alter our lives more than we ever imagined, none of them will affect us as much as blockchain. It might not be as visual as the other technologies, but it will be there in the background changing the way payments are made, documents are processed, and digital items are sent from one side of the world to the other, peer to peer, securely, in just a few seconds
Blockchain And Cryptocurrencies
To understand blockchain fully, you need to go back to its roots. Although a very simple version of it, known as the Merkle Tree, was patented in 1979, it was not until the introduction of Bitcoin that it really came to the attention of the tech industry.
Almost overnight it seemed, there was a way for peer-to-peer transactions to take place without the need for any bank or other financial institution acting as a middleman. With no central authority, this speeded up the transactions, and even ones that take place across continents can happen very quickly, rather than taking days as it does with the banks.
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For a while, cryptocurrencies were the only things the blockchain was used for, and as some of the best crypto exchanges were set up, the trading of them became very popular.
Moving On To Other Uses
After a while, it was realized that documents could be sent very quickly and securely and that several people could view the same thing at the same time. This meant that if any alterations were made to the document, everyone that was viewing it saw the same thing.
This was soon been used in law offices and even courts in some countries accepted documents this way. Then the uses started to grow as more industries realized its potential and the time it could save. But more than just the time saving, it is an extremely secure way of dealing with documents.
The importance of students understanding blockchain is evident from the numbers of colleges, universities and online resources that offer courses in it. They are not very long but could be vitally important if the student is studying something such as accounting or law. If they are studying computer sciences, it will be part of their coursework, but for most other industries and professions they will need to complete a separate course.
In fact, it is so important, that for many it is the biggest invention since the Internet. As it is going to change the way the Internet works, the way online payments are made and the way many industries conduct business, it is true that students cannot afford not to understand blockchain.