Berlin Has Embraced Cryptocurrency
Berlin, the capital of Germany and also its largest city, has been called, “the crypto capital of the world if not Europe” by Fabian Vogelsteller. Fabian happens to be the creator of the Ethereum wallet and the Mist browser. For nearly a decade now, which is about as long as bitcoin and other cryptos have been around, many businesses in Germany have been accepting bitcoin as payment. The country also has quite a few startups that are looking to tap into the crypto-market.
Blockchain Coworking Space
Berlin will be launching Full Node, which is supposed to be a workspace where blockchain and crypto-related companies can work collaboratively. Full Node is scheduled for launch in March 2018. The workspace will have a physical location with plenty of meeting rooms and an area dedicated to hosting special events. One of the goals of this project is to bring the crypto-community of Berlin and surrounding areas closer together. This could help crypto-related companies and professionals to take advantage of each others’ expertise.
Berlin, a Crypto-Hub
Gavin Wood, co-founder of Ethereum, has said that a major part of the Ethereum platform was developed in Berlin. For those who might not be aware, Gavin programmed the first functional implementation of Ethereum. Mr. Wood is not the only prominent crypto-expert working in Berlin. Dominik Schiener, the young co-founder of IOTA, also lives in Germany’s capital city.
In case you didn’t know, IOTA is an an open-source blockchain platform that facilitates encrypted communication between machines operating on the Internet of Things. IOTA also provides a secure payment system. Currently, it is the 10th largest crypto-platform with a market cap of over $10 billion (CoinMarketCap).
The Automotive Sector
Johann Jungwirth, the Chief Digital Officer at Germany’s Volkswagen Group, has expressed interest in IOTA’s technology. He thinks that it could provide an effective and secure method for electric vehicles to pay for charging or parking. Another Germany company, Innogy, that offers various energy services, announced that it was charging electric cars using the Ethereum blockchain (back in May 2017). Apart from the automobile industry, a German company called Revolut announced that it has started providing crypto-trading services, in addition to trading available in dozens of other fiat currencies. The announcement was made at TechCrunch’s Disrupt Berlin Conference.
Current Obstacles & Challenges
Although substantial progress has been made by Berlin and Germany’s overall crypto-market, there are still a significant number of potential investors who are not crypto-savvy. Companies all over the world, including Japan’s DMM Group, have now begun to come up with ways to offer much more user-friendly crypto services. The Berlin-based Bitwala company has been working on trying to make bitcoin more accessible to a larger market. Any company that can succeed in making cryptocurrency more intuitive and usable will help accelerate its mainstream adoption.