By Mayank Kumar
The year 2021 has been a turning point in the development of Blockchain, with the rise of crypto, Metaverse and India adopting digital currency by 2023. Making Blockchain more mainstream, the second half of 2021 saw the Metaverse emerge as a new trend, wherein real-world experiences like social interactions, work, education, retail needs and much more are being united in this virtual world. The virtual reality of the Metaverse is directly related to technologies like Blockchain, augmented and mixed reality, NFT, and many others. However, without such distributed and decentralised ledgers, the Metaverse – which is essentially a network of three dimension (3D) virtual worlds would be incomplete due to challenges around centralised data storage.
Functioning on the principles of decentralisation, globally as the digital data source, Blockchain technology sets the Metaverse apart from the traditional internet, as we know it.
Significance of Blockchain Technology in The Metaverse
Many industry leaders have argued that the software part of the Metaverse ought to be operated on the Blockchain model, since it offers a secure decentralised database, wherein independent nodes can interact in a single, dynamically updated network. This ensures decentralisation of storages thereby improving security, enhancing user trust through the presence of tokens which transmits user data in encrypted formats. Therefore, captivating the public imagination, the virtual world of the Metaverse is becoming an alternate reality, and in this reality, Blockchain is creating a significant impact, even in its infancy stages.
According to a recent report by technology research firm Gartner, a quarter of us will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse by 2026. According to the website, users will be able to conduct activities like shopping, studying, working, and even building virtual homes, with cryptocurrencies acting as the digital currency. Therefore, Metaverse adoption is accelerating and will soon become a big part of our daily lives in the future. However, to truly enable this transformation, cryptocurrency will play a big role, to create a digital economy in the metaverse, unlike the web’s PayPal and credit card options. Digital ownership, digital collectability, value transfer, governance, accessibility, and interoperability are six of the most important Metaverse categories where Blockchain has proven to be useful. As a result of its transparency and cost-effectiveness, Blockchain technology is ideal for driving innovation and growth of the Metaverse.
Demand and supply of skills: Blockchain related courses have seen a rise in demand
A growing number of professionals and students alike have expressed an interest in learning about Blockchain-related topics over the past few years. More students in India have chosen the technology or courses related to it on ed-tech platforms between March 2021 and March 2022, recording a 138% increase from the previous year. According to industry data, the revenue generated by Blockchain courses increased by 170% from March 2021 to March 2022. Furthermore, Blockchain-specific courses and certifications offered by higher ed-tech platforms have witnessed a surge across learner enrollments and overall revenues. This serves as an indication of the growing inclination for a career in such technology-advanced areas following a series of events, with Metaverse being one of the core drivers, followed by the growing interest in digital currencies. In India, EdTech courses in partnership with leading universities like IIIT Bangalore and Purdue University are offering Blockchain courses to upskill learners to create a specialised talent pool of techies and avoid skill gaps in the future.
When considering learner inclination or even the course selection process, EdTech firms are witnessing more interest from learners for long-term courses in Blockchain, as compared to the shorter Executive or Bootcamp programs. This trend can be attributed to the fact that learners are focused on creating a career in this domain and therefore, opting for in-depth courses will help them develop the right foundation around skills like NodeJS, Git, Blockchain Fundamentals, Bitcoin Concepts, Blockchain Architecture, Ethereum, Hyperledger along with the overview of other Blockchain Frameworks (Polkadot, Cosmos, Stellar, Quorum), Smart Contract Development (Solidity), etc. for progressive career growth in the domain.
A promising future ahead for blockchain techies
Decentralisation through Blockchain will be the key enabler for the Metaverse to innovate further and this will further propel the demand for such techies, as the platform will evolve in the coming times and overall adoption shall further increase. While at the current inception stage, we are witnessing a steady increase in interest levels in Blockchain and the demand will increase significantly to reach$227.99 billion by 2028; estimated to grow at a CAGR of 72.9% from 2021 to 2028.
There is no end to the possibilities that this list can lead to. In the truest sense of the word, we have not yet entered the metaverse of madness. The days when technology is used in the same way as the Internet are not far away.
The authors is co-founder and MD, upGrad.