Blockchain has been a topic gaining popularity within the last decade. It has gradually taken over various spheres of our life. Cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and many other things are the result of the technology introduction. Websites and blockchain-based mobile apps are being introduced more and more. The question isn't why this technology became so popular, but rather whether it's here to stay. And if you ask us, we’d say yes, it definitely will.
Blockchain and its Applications
The first introduction was in 2008 to start the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. That quickly grew into an enormous trend, getting people crazy about digital money, and there were few a reasons for that.
- Blockchain is decentralized, meaning there is no one server which contains piles of information. The data is distributed everywhere and stored in various locations, which provides a good deal of security. In order to hack such a system, computer processing power would be required. Besides, depending on what was being hacked, the hackers might also hurt themselves. For example, if Bitcoin gets hacked, it will drop in value immediately, so there's not much point in that.
The decentralization is also a big thing in developing countries. The system is not being controlled by any one authority, as there are no legal rules. This presents the opportunity for people to perform operations without being bothered by their own government.
- The system is transparent. You can see exactly what is happening and when - how transactions are performed, contracts being executed, etc., which builds trust between users. When the technology was built, it was set to be clear to its users.
- It can be used in nearly any field. Of course, at the moment there are some limitations. But to a certain extent, any corporation can use Blockchain for their benefit. It can be the backbone of their system or utilized for certain features only. There are already multiple websites and mobile apps using Blockchain.
- Smart Contracts are worth separating into a dedicated point. Smart Contracts are that they are fast and secure. They allow making deals without being worried about the execution. There are, of course, certain drawbacks, like contracting for physical assets. As much as the contract can make sure of digital assets transfer, the physical sphere is still a bit off limits.
- Cryptocurrencies deserve their own place in the world of technology. Since the launch of Bitcoin back in 2008, there have been hundreds of currencies created. A good percentage of those who try fail, as in any other business. But, the market is full of various ideas, and it's possible that in the nearest future we'll start using them not only for online payments. Some digital assets are only set to work in the country of origin and a few neighboring countries, while others are conquering the world.
- Crowdfunding and ICOs got a huge bust at the end of 2017. There were literally hundreds of startups launching their ICOs, but statistics have shown that about half of them failed at the beginning of 2018, while others appeared to be a scam. This is always a risk in rapidly developing fields. However, those who were successful managed to gather millions of dollars for their projects. Hopefully, this will pay back the investors.
- The IoT (Internet of Things) seems almost like an obvious field for using Blockchain. With such a big network of connected devices, it would be a shame not to exercise the opportunity. Blockchain application development has already taken its turn and now it’s time to improve further.
With the technology and hype surrounding Blockchain, the demand for developers has grown. Those at the root of the development got tons of propositions. But with the number of requests, newcomers also get their share. So, what's needed to start developing?
- Knowing a few languages is a plus. There isn’t one dedicated language for Blockchain. It can be used with the various options available. Unless you want to stick to single purpose programming only, it might be useful to get acquainted with some other languages, for example C++, Python, Java, etc.
- Start with something small. Until you’ve mastered all the peculiarities, it would be wise to start with something not too big. Something you feel comfortable with. Once you are more advanced in the code, you can go for bigger projects. This way you'll build up experience and skills to be appreciated by your customers.
- Always take care of security. Even though Blockchain is hard to break, it’s not impossible. A small mistake in the code can end up costing money and reputation for you and your customers.
- Use any possible professional networks and forums you can get into to educate yourself. Whether you want to develop mobile apps on Blockchain or web applications, you'll need a place to get advice from. Since there are no official institutions teaching how to build stuff on Blockchain, you might as well lay your hand on anything in your reach.
- Do your homework before you start. It’s important that you understand how everything works before you dive into it. The essential part of the development process lies in knowing what you are dealing with. Understanding of how data is structured, how cryptography works, the essentials of distributing systems and networking play a great role in the history of the technology. A basic understanding of economics will be useful too, especially if you want to work with cryptocurrencies.
- Since Blockchain is an open-source technology, there's a lot of information available. Don't hesitate to find something useful and learn new things. However, it might be a good idea not to apply Blockchain design decisions to everything. Let’s look at a few specific cases. For that, we'll dig a bit deeper into the use of Blockchain for mobile app developers. The mobile app industry has evolved at a fast pace during the last few years. With smartphones having the capacities of an average computer, many things have switched to on-the-move mode. Now we are in the era of big mobile solutions.
How to Use Blockchain in Mobile Apps
The mobile industry has evolved within the last decade from simple phone calls to executing tons of daily and work-specific tasks on a device the size of your palm. So the demand for developers in the field has also risen. And with AI and Blockchain stepping in, the specifics get even more interesting.
The uses of Blockchain are practically endless. From the obvious of financial and security to manufacturing. It has proven to be something worth implementing to improve security level, tracking of items, and quality control. There's no shortage of things you can do if you know how to work with the code. But how do we use it specifically for mobile apps?
- Well, there are always cryptocurrencies. With the number of exchange markets on the web right now, it makes sense to have mobile apps for them as well. Currency exchanges, asset trading, mining - this is only the beginning of what the stocks are capable of.
- Any mobile apps involved in selling something are in the game too. Whether it's an Android or iOS application, if it allows payments with Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, it requires Blockchain.
- Electronic wallet applications. This one is quite obvious, but we have to mention it. Any e-wallet app that allows storage and spending of digital money will have Blockchain involved.
- Cryptocurrency tracking apps. Besides stocks, there are applications which track the rates, send notifications, provide real-time information about trades, and list portfolios of currencies.
- And again for payments. Applications like Fold, for example, provide an opportunity to pay for services of big retailers using Bitcoin. This opens new opportunities within the trading market on a large scale.
- Smart Contracting is still a thing. The uses of Blockchain for Android apps as well as iOS shouldn't be limited to the financial sector. The implementation of Smart Contracts can benefit a company greatly.
- As for native mobile apps on the Blockchain, you can take advantage of specific features of the platform. There's no need to depend on generic web browsers. Additionally, you can create an optimized user experience.
The industry is still developing and there's no way of telling how it will end. Many keep their hopes high. Developers think that even if the cryptocurrency age doesn't last, there's bigger potential for Blockchain than just finance. We'll probably see the further development soon, including mobile apps using Blockchain. This would mark an era of stronger security, smarter solutions and, hopefully, more trust.