Rapid Increase in Demand for Blockchain Professionals in Malaysia Therefore Choose to Study this Course at a Top University
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You may have heard about Bitcoin or cryptocurrency in the past few years or you may be familiar with “blockchain,” the record-keeping technology behind bitcoin. Intended to be a framework for cryptocurrency Bitcoin when it was first created in 2008, Blockchain technology today is fast penetrating into applications beyond the financial sector.
Blockchain has been experimented in asset management, intellectual property management, logistics, medical records, supply chain, the sharing economy, and more. Blockchain has been described as the most disruptive invention since the Internet. The significance of Blockchain is in its ability to create a trusted record system which is distributed between multiple parties. Put simply, it uses computer systems to create trust in digital-economy transactions. It is a ledger of data that cannot be manipulated.
Details from the Michael Page Malaysia Salary Benchmark 2020 highlights that fintech is growing at an accelerated rate in Malaysia therefore demand for tech-savvy professionals with experience in e-money and blockchain technologies is strong. Demand for professionals in Blockchain is rising rapidly and this is an opportunity for students interested in computer science to specialise in this field.
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Find Out What is Blockchain Technology and How to Get a Degree Specialising in this Field in Malaysia
A blockchain, is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data (generally represented as a Merkle tree).
By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data. It is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”. For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks.
Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires consensus of the network majority. Although blockchain records are not unalterable, blockchains may be considered secure by design and exemplify a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance. Decentralized consensus has therefore been claimed with a blockchain.
The technology reduces transaction costs, increases security and efficiency by eliminating middlemen. With no middlemen intervention, Blockchain has the potential to solve the problem of distrust and uncertainty in exchanging value.
What is Blockchain Technology?
A blockchain is, in the simplest of terms, a time-stamped series of immutable records of data that is managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. block) is secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e. chain).
At its most basic level, blockchain is literally just a chain of blocks, but not in the traditional sense of those words. When we say the words “block” and “chain” in this context, we are actually talking about digital information (the “block”) stored in a public database (the “chain”).
A blockchain carries no transaction cost. (An infrastructure cost yes, but no transaction cost.) The blockchain is a simple yet ingenious way of passing information from A to B in a fully automated and safe manner. One party to a transaction initiates the process by creating a block.
This block is verified by thousands, perhaps millions of computers distributed around the net. The verified block is added to a chain, which is stored across the net, creating not just a unique record, but a unique record with a unique history.
After a block has been added to the end of the blockchain, it is very difficult to go back and alter the contents of the block. That’s because each block contains its own hash, along with the hash of the block before it. Hash codes are created by a math function that turns digital information into a string of numbers and letters. If that information is edited in any way, the hash code changes as well.
In order to change a single block, then, a hacker would need to change every single block after it on the blockchain. Recalculating all those hashes would take an enormous and improbable amount of computing power. In other words, once a block is added to the blockchain it becomes very difficult to edit and impossible to delete.
Falsifying a single record would mean falsifying the entire chain in millions of instances. That is virtually impossible. Bitcoin uses this model for monetary transactions, but it can be deployed in many other ways.
Blockchain is actually a pretty reliable way of storing data about other types of transactions, as well. In fact, blockchain technology can be used to store data about property exchanges, stops in a supply chain, Logistics, Supply Chain Management, Asset Management, Law and more.
How Blockchain Works
When a block stores new data it is added to the blockchain. Blockchain, as its name suggests, consists of multiple blocks strung together. In order for a block to be added to the blockchain, however, four things must happen:
- A transaction must occur. Let’s continue with the example of your impulsive Amazon purchase. After hastily clicking through multiple checkout prompt, you go against your better judgment and make a purchase.
- That transaction must be verified. After making that purchase, your transaction must be verified. With other public records of information, like the Securities Exchange Commission, Wikipedia, or your local library, there’s someone in charge of vetting new data entries. With blockchain, however, that job is left up to a network of computers. When you make your purchase from Amazon, that network of computers rushes to check that your transaction happened in the way you said it did. That is, they confirm the details of the purchase, including the transaction’s time, dollar amount, and participants. (More on how this happens in a second.)
- That transaction must be stored in a block. After your transaction has been verified as accurate, it gets the green light. The transaction’s dollar amount, your digital signature, and Amazon’s digital signature are all stored in a block. There, the transaction will likely join hundreds, or thousands, of others like it.
- That block must be given a hash. Not unlike an angel earning its wings, once all of a block’s transactions have been verified, it must be given a unique, identifying code called a hash. The block is also given the hash of the most recent block added to the blockchain. Once hashed, the block can be added to the blockchain.
When that new block is added to the blockchain, it becomes publicly available for anyone to view—even you. If you take a look at Bitcoin’s blockchain, you will see that you have access to transaction data, along with information about when (“Time”), where (“Height”), and by who (“Relayed By”) the block was added to the blockchain.
Example of How a Blockchain Works
“Blocks” on the blockchain are made up of digital pieces of information. Specifically, they have three parts:
- Blocks store information about transactions like the date, time, and dollar amount of your most recent purchase from Lazada. (NOTE: This Lazada example is for illustrative purposes only; Lazada retail does not work on a blockchain principle)
- Blocks store information about who is participating in transactions. A block for the items you bought from Lazada would record your name along with Lazada.com. Instead of using your actual name, your purchase is recorded without any identifying information using a unique “digital signature,” sort of like a username.
- Blocks store information that distinguishes them from other blocks. Much like you and I have names to distinguish us from one another, each block stores a unique code called a “hash” that allows us to tell it apart from every other block. Let’s say you made your purchase on Lazada, but while it’s in transit, you decide you just can’t resist and need a second one. Even though the details of your new transaction would look nearly identical to your earlier purchase, we can still tell the blocks apart because of their unique codes.
While the block in the example above is being used to store a single purchase from Lazada, the reality is a little different. A single block on the blockchain can actually store up to 1 MB of data. Depending on the size of the transactions, that means a single block can house a few thousand transactions under one roof.
Study Blockchain at a Top Private University in Malaysia
Blockchain has the potential to revolutionise almost every industry in the modern economy – and higher education is no different. As more students wake up to the digital ledger’s potential, universities are taking note and adding the subject to their offerings.
Recognizing the rapid change and digital disruption that blockchain has caused, Taylor’s University School of Computing and Information Technology is the first private university in Malaysia to offer a Computer Science degree with specialisation in Blockchain.
This unique Blockchain Development program at Taylor’s University should equip graduates to be able to design, build and deploy smart contracts, distributed applications, and integrate concepts and ideas from blockchain technology in to the systems they develop.
Taylor’s University is the only private university in Malaysia offering the Blockchain specialisation. The Computer Science degree programme specialising in Blockchain at Taylor’s University will cover the methodical processes such as algorithms, in order to acquire, represent, process, store, communicate and access information.
Upon completion of this specialisation, students should be able to design, build and deploy smart contracts, distributed applications, and integrate concepts and ideas from blockchain technology in to the systems they develop. Furthermore, the programme is compatible with the new Taylor’s Curriculum Framework that allows students to mix & match study modules.
Students will take the UK Dual Award Computer Science degree and then take the Blockchain specialisation subjects which are:
- Distributed Systems and Processing
- Cryptography and System Security
- Blockchain Technology and Applications
- Introduction to Digital Currencies
Blockchain Specialisation Subjects at Taylor’s University
Distributed Systems and Processing
This module introduces students to the concepts, architecture, algorithms, protocols, design and implementation of distributed systems. It focuses on communication, order of events, fault tolerance, file systems, peer-to-peer systems, and shared memory in distributed systems. These topic are essential in developing a distributed framework for cases that include digital currencies.
Cryptography and Systems Security
This module introduces students to value the need for computer network and security practices in protecting any digital information that includes cryptocurrencies. It provides students with knowledge on the use of cryptography concepts such as symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms, digital signatures, and hash functions in providing security, authentication, and integrity of transactions. Network threats, attacks and defence countermeasures are also covered.
Blockchain Technology and Applications
This module introduces students to the underlying technology, protocols, and applications of Blockchain. It focuses on the underlying technology of transactions, blocks, proof-of-work and consensus building. This includes the decentralised and distributed nature of Blockchain and how it maintains transparency, privacy, anonymity, security, and immutability.
Introduction to Digital Currencies
This module focuses on the mechanics of digital currencies or cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. It focuses on the different platforms, how it works technically and how secure it is. This includes mechanics of cryptocurrencies such as transaction, script, blocks, Bitcoin mining, anonymity and regulations. It also discusses the practical examples of cryptocurrencies, and its influence in terms of disruptive business innovations.