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Blockchain Engineer: Role, skills, and career prospects

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Blockchain is a promising technology that now offers several job opportunities. According to a LinkedIn 2019 report, blockchain is a top in-demand skill across the globe. 
 
The popularity of blockchain technology began right after Bitcoin came to existence. Even though the technology was developed to record immutable decentralized Bitcoin transactions, the technology quickly gained popularity due to its inherent feature to record transactions of value. From fin-tech to supply chain management, and beyond, today the technology has found several use-cases in the industry. Gartner, for instance, predicts by 2022, nearly 77% of all financial institutions will use blockchain in one form or another.
 
 Consequently, the demand for blockchain professionals has grown by leaps and bounds. Today being a blockchain engineer is one of the top lucrative jobs in the industry. According to a CNBC report, the blockchain engineer can range anywhere between $1,50,000- $1,75,000.
 
Blockchain technology
 
Blockchain is a sophisticated technology. The foundation of the technology is cryptography and consensus mechanisms, which lend the technology immutability and decentralization. Blockchain is commonly called ‘distributed ledger technology (DLT)’ because transactions produce records on a public ledger. These records are temper –proof and make it nearly impossible to alter data. Thus, adding more transparency to the entire transaction process.
 
Role of blockchain engineers
 
A blockchain engineer is responsible for designing, building, and maintaining an entire blockchain network. They work in collaboration with business leaders to build a bespoke network that meets the goals of the business, which often requires creating custom protocols, consensus mechanism, and architecture. Further, they ensure that the network operates smoothly across all business functions and that everyone can utilize the network 
    
Skills to become a blockchain engineer                 
 
A blockchain engineer requires the following skills -

1.Understanding blockchain architecture – Popular blockchain platforms include Ethereum, Hyper ledger, and Corda. These platforms are similar in the way that they offer the features of blockchain. However, the architecture of these varies. A good blockchain engineer has a firm understanding of the architecture of these platforms.
 
2. Cryptography –Cryptography is a large part of the blockchain and is used in several areas of blockchain. The integrity of the ledger, the authenticity of transactions, privacy of transactions, and identification of participants. Hash functions and asynchronous cryptography are frequently used.
 
3. Data structures – Building and implementing bespoke networks requires extensive knowledge of data structures. Patricia trees, Merkle trees, and more such data structures are commonly used in the development of the blockchain network.
 
4. Smart contract development – Smart contracts are now an added functionality to private as well as public networks. To work on smart contract development, knowledge platform-specific knowledge, including Solidity, Chaincode, etc. are required. 

5. Web development – Blockchain applications are often accessed from a web interface or in the form of a web application, which makes it essential for blockchain developers to know web development inside out. Further, between front-end and back-end development, a blockchain engineer, must have a strong knowledge of backend. 

Get a blockchain certification
 
Blockchain is still a new technology, which makes employers skeptical about their hiring decisions related to blockchain development. A global blockchain professional certification justifies your skills and proves your ability to work as a blockchain engineer. Certified Blockchain Engineer (CBE) from Central Blockchain Council of America (CBCA), Certified Blockchain Expert (CBE) from Blockchain Council, Certified Blockchain Developer – Ethereum (CBDE), Certified Blockchain Developer – Hyper ledger Fabric (CBDH) are a few globally –recognized certifications for blockchain professionals in the industry.
 

Overall, the blockchain industry flourishing. In no time, the technology has grown by leaps and bounds.  Now it is upon people to advance the industry by learning and acquiring skills required for blockchain development. 

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