Are you familiar with blockchain? It has become a hot topic in the news about the economy. How does this theme affect Berlin? And how could blockchain benefit the city? Spoiler alert: Berlin is the blockchain capital of Europe! Technologiestiftung Berlin’s new study, ‘Blockchains, Smart Contracts und das Dezentrale Web’, presents the opportunities the new trend represents for Berlin.
A few months ago, blockchain was still mentioned within the context of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. But it is becoming ever clearer that many other areas can benefit from blockchain, which is principally an alternative to certificates, government registers and official authentication. It is based on the idea that the high number of public copies available in the online community safeguards the truth and correctness of its information. As a secure, less expensive alternative to manual certifications and complex procedures and contracts, blockchain can help to significantly reduce transaction costs.
In addition to developing the basic technology and using it in the financial sector, start-ups in Berlin are also checking out applications for other sectors. Administrative departments, healthcare and traceable supply chains can also benefit from tamper-proof, traceable transactions. The opportunities of blockchain technology also compete with those of classical platforms. This particularly applies to markets that can accommodate decentralized organisation – such as the post-energy transition electricity market.