May 19th 2020

Blockchain, Bitcoin & Digital Opportunities.

Philipp Sandner, Head of the Blockchain Center at the Frankfurt School.


What is block chain technology

Block chain technology is a so-called DLT technology (distributed ledger technology), i.e. a register technology that is suitable for documenting transactions and for dividing or linking these transactions. Currently, the most common application of block chain technology is the crypto currency Bitcoin, also known as "digital gold". In fact, gold and Bitcoin are very similar, says Professor Sandner. Both gold and Bitcoin have to be extracted ("mining"), the occurrence of both is limited, and both are capitalized and can be used universally.

Society is beginning to open up to the crypto-currency. The system is forgery-proof and resistant to external intervention. Government regulations make it possible that not only individual investors, but increasingly also asset managers show interest in Bitcoin. It is also possible that the consequences of the corona crisis, such as inflation or crumbling property prices, will lead to an increase in demand.

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 offers numerous other applications. “Digital Twins", i.e. digital mirror images of machines and objects, are already being used today. Using block chain technology, data could be shared worldwide and machines and objects could be clearly identified. This opens up opportunities and potential for new business models and processes. Mobility and autonomous driving could also benefit from block chain technology, for example for fault identification, maintenance and service, refuelling and much more. There is also enormous potential in the fact that block chain technology can manage identities of all kinds, from registration data at the individual level, through various registers such as the commercial register or land register, to participation processes such as participation in elections.

Wishes for politicians

On the political side, Professor Sandner would like to see more openness towards new technologies: "Only those who have understood the technology can assess opportunities and risks and make decisions on this basis. It is also a fact that the block chain technology will not disappear. It would therefore be better to actively participate in it.