Mumbai: Despite the enthusiasm over adopting blockchain, only 0.25% of India’s estimated two million software developers are technically equipped to work on blockchain platforms, shows an analysis by Bengaluru-based Belong Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Blockchain is primarily known for powering cryptocurrencies like bitcoins, and developers must essentially have skills in data science, algorithms and cryptography to work on such platforms.

The country does have the potential to train another 10,000 developers to work on blockchain as they have prior experience of working in the fintech industry, acknowledges Belong Technologies’ co-founder Rishabh Kaul.

However, he adds that an additional 30,000 software developers, “while exposed to these skills in back-end tech roles, are still not entirely capable of working on blockchain platforms and require extensive training and upskilling to be hired as a blockchain expert". At its core, blockchain is a form of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), which promises to reduce costs and establish trust, but faces hurdles like the speed of processing transactions and scalability.

Its popularity lies in the fact that participants have a copy of the ledger’s data that contains the most recent transactions or changes, thus reducing the need to establish trust using traditional methods.

Large banking, financial services and insurance firms and governments across the world are increasingly testing blockchain proofs of concept.

In India, banks have formed ‘BankChain’—a consortium that has 33 members now.

However, large public blockchains like bitcoin can only process 7-8 transactions per second, as opposed to Visa’s 30,000-50,000 per second. Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG)-based blockchains like Hashgraph, meanwhile, have demonstrated that they can handle thousands of transactions per second.

About 60% of the 5,000-odd developers capable of working on blockchain platforms are from the information technology enabled services sector while 28% work in the financial sector, according to Belong Technologies. Bengaluru has emerged the top hub for blockchain talent followed by NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai.

“The Indian IT industry mostly trains their workforce in new technologies through extensive programs. For instance, most IT services companies still hire freshers based on aptitude tests and then train them in programs. Currently, such programs are still gaining ground for blockchain," explains Varun Aggarwal, co-founder and CTO of employability evaluation company, Aspiring Minds.

The good news, according to him, is that the fundamentals required for becoming a block chain developer are already present in the Indian IT workforce.

“The industry can identify candidates with these skills in their workforce and run short training programs for them. This can help them to understand distributed databases, block chain platforms and concepts and ready to work on live projects. This is easier than training candidates in areas such as AI which need understanding of statistics and mathematical machine learning concepts," Aggarwal concludes.

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