Everyday you hear about the early crypto pioneers who took chances, invested at the right time, and in many cases became passionate about a nascent industry while no one else was watching. Germany’s Robert Küfner is one of these people.
Küfner began working with distributed ledger technology in 2010. In the past decade, he has worn many hats in the space including co-founder of publicly listed Advanced Blockchain AG, founder of nakamo.to and peaq.io, as well as being an active author.
Based in Berlin, Küfner has a vision to make blockchain a critical value add to organizations around the world. Arguably his most notable project, Advanced Blockchain AG, was just listed on Xetra, a Deutsche Börse-operated trading venue for financial assets such as stocks, bonds and funds. Advanced Blockchain AG will be the first blockchain company listed on Xetra. The same company was listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in early 2019.
We had the pleasure to sit down with Robert and ask about where he got his start and what he is currently working on.
How did you get started in the blockchain industry?
After reading about bitcoin in 2010, I got involved in the space and founded the first European publicly listed blockchain company in 2013, which was focused on mining. Since then, I have co-founded a handful of companies in the industry, one of which went on to be publicly listed in Germany (see next answer).
What has changed since your entry in 2010?
This initial interest culminated in my seeking solutions for many of today’s problems with blockchain through our new publicly listed company Advanced Blockchain AG, which has a focus on bringing blockchain to enterprise customers. Our goal is to help bridge the gap between enterprises and blockchain technology by providing an “on-ramp” to blockchain exploration and integration.
We do this by offering a variety of services including software development, research, and consulting all under one roof. Our early projects include peaq and DMG MORI.
What are the biggest challenges for blockchain?
The challenges I foresee will be adoption of the technology, the creation of use cases, and general inefficiencies. This 3rd challenge is the sole focus of one of our subsidiaries peaq.io with its new DAGchain model / approach, intending to significantly improve transaction latency.
All of our companies are currently focused on solving these issues one way or another. The faster we can educate and integrate blockchain, while proving it is valuable, the faster we will see mass adoption and everyday use cases.
How does Europe compare to other blockchain markets?
Berlin has an incredible startup spirit that has lend itself in recent years to the blockchain community. Many of the continent’s most talented developers and thinkers are devoted to blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
Just to paint a rough picture, there are an estimated 214 blockchain startups currently in Germany, with many being infrastructure projects. I am confident that Germany and Berlin will be an important piece of the global blockchain industry as we move forward.
What excites you the most in blockchain? What is next for you?
What currently excites me most is seeing our ability to implement our solutions in the processes of enterprises, as is demonstrated by our most recent project with one of Germany’s largest automotive manufacturers. Also I am excited about applying our methodology and new model to the American market through our participation in the German accelerator.
These will give us major case studies and global exposure!