Blockchain Platform as a Service for Educators and Trainers

By Zaid Mahomedy

We’ve noticed a huge uptake in Chainstack subscriptions from the education sector, and I’ve done some research to learn more about the motivations and needs of this sector.

Based on findings from studies done on job posting sites such as LinkedInUpwork, Burning Glass, Angel List, Janco AssociatesHired, and Glassdoor, the demand for blockchain expertise is increasing (by double and triple-digit percent), and these jobs are high paying.

Those tasked with preparing new entrants to the job market or upskilling existing professionals are taking note of this demand and scrambling to offer blockchain courses that keep their educational institutions competitive and relevant to the market needs.

Roles requiring blockchain expertise

In 2019, you should expect to find positions such as blockchain developer/engineer, project manager, designer, architect, attorney/legal advisor, and blockchain consultants being advertised by software development companies, ICO/IEO/STO projects or crypto-related companies, enterprises or IT consultancies with dedicated blockchain teams and a new wave of blockchain-first consultancies.

Indirectly, via the application of distributed ledger technology to multiple use cases, blockchain expertise is also being sought in fields such as cryptography, law, marketing, engineering, supply chain, social sciences, information systems, accounting, logistics, warehousing, retail, multiple public and private sector areas, and more.

This is not surprising as distributed ledger technology introduces “trust into a trustless environment” meaning that if you have no reason to doubt the authenticity and validity of interactions you’re having with other parties in your value chain, multiple opportunities can be unlocked (e.g. faster exchanges, no need to reconcile exchanges, lower costs, and automated events via smart contracts). Multiple industries want to realize these benefits.

Who is offering blockchain education?

At Chainstack, we are seeing a rapid uptake of subscriptions from a variety of educators. Primarily universities, colleges, and schools, but also short-course providers and large companies offering internal education programs.

Blockchain learning material

Initially, much of the content on offer to students was theoretical starting with the basics such as hashing, Merkle trees, linked lists, and mining. The focus was on cryptocurrencies and mining with Ethereum and Bitcoin being the public blockchain protocols of choice.

Those who offered practical courses typically educated students on how to compile and run a Solidity smart contract on Ethereum with available tooling that requires a lot of environment setup time on their local workstations. However, students were not leaving with an understanding of the choice of other public or permissioned blockchain protocols available or knowledge of how to implement their basic skills in real-life and specific industries.

Application in learning

Some educational institutions have started issuing their academic certificates on a blockchain to combat fraud (here is a tutorial on how to do this). This also offers educators practical experience working with blockchain.

There is also a demand at hackathons (where many investors or employers scout for talent) for students or enthusiasts to have an environment to rapidly experiment with blockchain technologies for some practical purpose. A major limitation of not having access to a blockchain Platform as a Service is that it generally leads to a lot of time spent on setting up the basic infrastructure. Further, developers are restricted to the popular Ethereum protocol — in a public or private (not permissioned) application.

Explaining the high signup rates on Chainstack

We were initially surprised by the huge signup rate from a number of educational institutions on Chainstack but it now makes a lot of sense to us. We offer the ability for institutions to rapidly deploy a choice of protocols as a public, private, or permissioned network with a choice of consensus mechanisms and on a choice of infrastructure. These choices on Chainstack are growing.

Chainstack charges for resource usage hourly. Hence, from 3-month long team projects and 48-hour hackathons to 180-minute examinations, we offer an ideal solution for educators looking for choice and flexibility in structuring their programs. Not only does Chainstack offer the rapid deployment, management, and scalability of blockchain networks, we also offer a growing library of resources to accelerate development with the chosen protocols on https://docs.chainstack.com/.

If a Law class wants to experiment with dispute resolution smart contracts, a Political Science class wants to experiment with various e-voting scenarios on the RAFT or IBFT protocol, an Economics class wants to experiment with inflation of finite resources, or a Computer Science student wants to focus on developing the front-end of DApps without worrying about the backend layer, Chainstack can provision the environment running the chosen blockchain protocol in minutes!

Chainstack offers a Developer Plan where resource usage is free for 2 weeks, and there is no subscription fee, ever. If you’re interested, try out Chainstack on https://console.chainstack.com.

And if you are keen on joining an ambitious group based in Singapore that’s working at the bleeding edge of blockchain and DevOps, then take a look here. We are looking for numerous blockchain passionate talents.


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