Globally, blockchain technology is beginning to reprogramme our digital infrastructure and reshape the way we think about data, information and value. Consequently, this has created a seismic shift in the global labour market—blockchain-related jobs are the second-fastest growing in today’s labour market; there are now 14 job openings for every blockchain developer.

Unlocking human potential in blockchain

Unfortunately, there’s a mismatch with the low supply and high demand of skilled blockchain developers. In fact, a study has found that 99.75% of Indian developers do not have the right skills to work on blockchain platforms. This issue becomes compounded by the lack of regulatory clarity to experiment with blockchain and digital assets in India, meaning that proficient blockchain developers may be forced to move abroad or work only on foreign projects.

As such, a lack of blockchain talent and the possibility of a brain drain arising from regulatory uncertainty are two of the biggest challenges when it comes to laying the foundation for India’s blockchain ecosystem.

For India to become a blockchain trendsetter, it needs to urgently train its workers in blockchain literacy and development, or run the risk of having its momentum fizzle out. Other global powers are circling as well—it’s no secret that China is also aiming to become a global leader in blockchain technology. The only way to get on board the Blockchain Express is to continuously develop a growing pool of blockchain professionals who will, in turn, pay it forward.

Building the future workforce

India’s blockchain industry is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, with the demand for talent growing at 40% every quarter.

Having the right workplace programmes in place will help kickstart the long-term growth of the blockchain ecosystem. The private industry has already taken steps to introduce blockchain courses,with local companies such as Intellipaat and Open Source Technologies introducing blockchain certification programmes.

However, training starts in school. Just as computer science courses were introduced in high schools a decade ago, so should blockchain development be taught now. Universities, such as IIT-Bombay and IIIT-Hyderabad, are two leading universities leaning into blockchain education by partnering with Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative , and others. Students are able to learn firsthand from notable experts and conduct research through grants, specialized classes, and so on. As universities help train the workforce of the future, their influence cannot be understated and such private-academic partnerships are essential to build up a strong pool of blockchain advocates.

Climbing aboard the Express

The proverbial ship is yet to sail, but for India to grow as a blockchain hub, much more needs to be done in terms of education and upscaling talent. If we look at this from a demand and supply perspective, the current predicament we are in is a fortuitous one—the demand for blockchain services is already there, we just need to meet it with enough supply.

Navin Gupta is MD, South-East Asia and MENA, Ripple.

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