Blockchain technology: you’ve probably heard of it and you’ve probably talked about it. Maybe you’ve even researched it and decided that the revolution of distributed ledger and blockchain technologies is too interesting to ignore.

You might also have invested a little money in digital currencies, having caught the bug that’s being passed through millennials, investors, and developers world-wide.

So, how could you really immerse yourself in this new technology called blockchain? It isn’t always about spending money.

1. Join a blockchain community or attend a meetup

Cities across Canada are now holding local blockchain meetups. While some will be filled with the “OGs” – people who have been in the community since its inception – many are targeted towards beginners. Either way, the community is new, welcoming, and growing fast, so you will usually be in good company.

If you live in a major city the frequency, size and choice for blockchain meetups and events will be larger.

In Montréal, the Linux Foundation organizes regular Hyperledger meetups for those more involved in blockchain technologies, for blockchain beginners Leadweb offer “Tacos & Blockchain for Beginners” lunches.

Toronto is home to the Blockchain Research Institute, a spinoff of The Entrepreneurship Society called The Blockchain Society, and the Blockchain Hub.

Vancouver, as you would also expect, has a wide range of events and meetups to choose from including the collaborative community Dctrl, and Finhaven with “Blockchain for Product Developers.”

Read our overview of Canada’s Blockchain Communities, or try searching for local blockchain events in your area.

2. Track and analyze digital currency markets

You don’t have to be a committed investor to track the digital currency markets. There are a number of websites where you can track prices and coin performance in some depth without even creating an account or logging in.

Following both market prices and daily news in the sector will quickly build knowledge and immersion.

You could take this a step further by buying digital currency, if you wanted to. Most exchanges and trading platforms allow very small purchases, so you don’t have to invest your life savings. If you choose to buy bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, make sure you do your research first.

3. Read the news

One of the greatest things about dealing with such an innovative technology is that all the information pertaining to it is online.

There are numerous news outlets to follow from very broad blockchain and coin news to more focused technology use case news. The trick is to pick a few quality news outlets to follow with information that really interests you (like this one!).

4. Keep up with Social Media

Reading social media posts can be a lot faster than reading the news, and you will find more personal experiences and opinions.

As with choosing which news outlets to follow, on social media it’s also about choosing the right quality influencer to follow and picking out the kind of information you are looking for.

The budding blockchain and digital currency sector is full of interesting, successful, and very knowledgeable figures to follow. Read our influencers guide or search social platforms for niche topics and people that spark your interest.

5. Find a job in blockchain technology or digital currencies

If you already work in IT or software development, you probably realize the blockchain community is recruiting, heavily. From there, it’s pretty easy to figure out if your skills are transferable or not by looking at job descriptions. From developers, to designers, to IT support staff and  project leaders, on the technical side there exists a vast array of jobs.

But it’s not just the technical side of blockchain, or digital currencies, that needs good talent. A quick search shows tens, if not hundreds, of jobs in roles such as customer support, sales, management, and marketing. As an example, digital currency mining operations need facilities managers and security staff, not to mention partnership coordinators and customer support.

It’s worth remembering that the blockchain and digital currency sector is so new. With that in mind, you’re likely not competing against people with decades of experience in a new protocol – it may not have existed that long. that if you are looking to break into a new sector you are probably not going to be competing for jobs with people with years of experience. The sector itself is so new that so too are most of its employees, making it a relatively good time to switch if you’re qualified in other ways.

Bonus: take a course

That’s five ways you can really get right into the new world of blockchain and digital currencies. The ideas don’t stop there though.

If you are really serious about learning more, or planning a career move to the sector, take a course on an area that interests you about the technology (or learn to be a blockchain developer). There are many free and paid courses available online and many universities are beginning to amend or tailor degrees and diplomas to keep up with the demand for expertise.

 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

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