The Blockchain Technology
Blockchain: Technology Hub Berlin on a Success Course
Berlin is a global blockchain hotspot. It’s the place where specialists from across the whole world research and develop decentralised solutions in the fields of FinTech, energy, administration, logistics and sales. But it’s not just Berlin’s unique tech-ecosystem, unrivalled anywhere else in Germany, that makes Berlin an international development hub for blockchain technology, but also its creative scene, its pioneering spirit and its thriving hacker scene too.
Blockchain: definition and background
Here’s a short and simple explanation of what blockchain is for those who might not yet be familiar with it. A brilliant IT talent who even today still goes by the alias “Satoshi Nakamoto” developed blockchain for the cryptocurrency bitcoin and introduced it to the world in 2008. All the important data of a financial transaction are stored on a number of decentralised servers and brought together in the form of a block. The algorithm compacts each new transaction to a new block which it cryptographically links to existing blocks while a mechanism ensures that once stored data cannot be further processed. Yet bitcoins were only the beginning. Today a great many other sectors benefit from the forgery/tamper-proof transactions in blockchain technology and the decentralised applications (DApps) that build on them. Yet legal provisions and regulations are often a stumbling block to implementation whilst in other cases there’s a general lack of social acceptance for blockchain. Berlin is now showing just how much potential blockchain can pack.
Berlin, a pioneer of blockchain technology
According to the industry platform chain, there were no less than 112 blockchain start-ups working in Berlin as of January 2020. One of them is the DEEP TECH Berlin campaign partner BlockAxs. The core product of this young company, an intelligent contract management system, automates authentication of online orders and stores critical data in blockchain technology so that it’s legally watertight. Many international blockchain organisations have set up their offices in Berlin. Take, for instance, the Etherum Foundation whose blockchain was developed in Berlin and has gone on to establish itself globally as the base technology for multiple blockchain-based applications. Or the Web3Foundation that intends to realise its vision of a decentralised internet in Berlin. Or the equally ambitious projects of the EnergyWebFoundation that in 2019 began operating a public power blockchain.
Numerous Berlin start-ups and established companies in the young blockchain industry have joined the industry networking community BerChain. This association stages events like the Berlin Blockchain Week, organises workshops, initiates research projects and publishes scientific works. At the same time, just like the Berlin-based Blockchain Bundesverband (the Association Promoting Blockchain Technology in Germany), BerChain also represents its members interests vis-à-vis government policy-makers. Yet another lighthouse in the Berlin blockchain ecosystem is the Blockchain Hub. This think-tank promotes development of blockchain technology with interdisciplinary working groups such as “Blockchain and Law” and “Blockchain and Governance” as well as with meetups, hackathons and start-up competitions. And in the blockchain co-working space Full Node, IT specialists can come together with other like-minded people to work on developing decentralised solutions. Finally, since 2019 Berlin is also home to the municipally-oriented blockchain cooperative govdigital.
In marked contrast to other German cities, blockchain technology in Berlin is no longer at the purely evolutionary stage but has long entered the real economy. Visitors to the Leuchtstoff Coffee Bar in Berlin-Neukölln, the Room 77 pub in Berlin-Kreuzberg and a whole slew of other cafés and shops can pay their bills with bitcoins. And the prestigious European School of Management and Technology also accepts the blockchain-based cryptocurrency as payment.
BlockchainHub: Blockchain technologies and the next generation of Internet
Berlin based BlockchainHub is an interdisciplinary information hub and think tank advocating and discussing blockchain technologies, smart contracts and the rise of the decentral Web. The goal of the Hub is to bring people together across different sectors and institutions – universities, start-ups, established companies and governmental institutions alike. What initially started in Berlin in 2015 has panned out to other cities, with new BlockchainHub nodes continuously emerging across the globe.