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The Blockchain comes of age

Blockchain - wasn't there even something? The long hyped technology with encrypted data packets distributed among many participants and thus hacker-proof has been somewhat lost sight of with the Corona pandemic. There have only been isolated success stories, such as the draft bill of the Federal Ministry of Finance for the introduction of digital securities in mid-August, which explicitly permits Blockchain-based securities.

The just finished EBC European Blockchain Convention (of course as a virtual conference) now showed that intensive work was going on behind the scenes. These conclusions can be drawn after 25 panels with more than 100 speakers from Europe, North America and Asia:

1. The Blockchain scene has shaken off the Bitcoin dominance
Bitcoin, the mother of all Blockchains, is by far the largest use case, but only one. A Bitcoin is currently traded at over 10,452 US dollars, the market capitalisation amounts to 193 Billion USD, and investors now have a wide range of options available to engage in Bitcoin, including on regulated trading places. But for a long time, Blockchain was equated with Bitcoin, which has hindered acceptance. It is therefore positive that crypto-assets were only one of many discussion points at the EBC.

2. At last there is more talk about use cases
Previous crypto- and blockchain conferences suffered from the focus on technological details. At the EBC, there was an intensive discussion about using Blockchain technology only where it makes sense and where all participants see added value. Example identity management: cryptographically encrypted proof of identity is the basis for digital access to state authorities. The EU Commission is working with national authorities such as the Federal Ministry of Economics on a European Blockchain infrastructure to enable digital versions of driving licences and identity cards. A second starting point is the forgery-proof tracing of raw materials and preliminary products - buzzword supply chain law. In the financial sector, block-chain technology could play to its strengths to give citizens back the responsibility for their assets. A hotly debated question: Why do I have to pay a bank today to keep my money? Why does my money on my account have to be a loan to the bank with a corresponding risk of default?

3. Blockchain applications have reached the CEO-levels
Whether in the financial sector (ING, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Santander), the food sector (Nestlé, Carrefour) or governmental institutions (EU Commission, Federal Ministry of Finance), the list of panel participants has shown that Blockchain technology has come of age. Perhaps it is precisely the advantage that Blockchain technology is no longer seen as a saviour that solves all problems at once. As one panel member correctly put it: "The blockchain technology performs its service best when the user does not even notice that it has been used".

Joachim Althof
+49 (0)152 02 05 14 13

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