Bits & Pretzels start-up festival: a bit of Blockchain

At this year’s Bits and Pretzels, an event for startups, blockchain applications also crept in. Besides some expert panels and allusions, star speaker Jan Böhmermann joked about his personal crypto-investment. Here are a few impressions we were able to collect at the festival.

For the third time took place from 30.09. until 01.10. the Bits and Pretzels on the sidelines of the Oktoberfest in Munich. For the first time we were also from BTC-ECHO on site to take a close look at what was happening. Unlike the usual events we attended, the focus was not on Blockchain. Those who listened carefully, visited certain panels and talked to the right people, could still take some of the event with them.

Particularly in a personal conversation with event participants, it was clear how broad the crypto-interest in the German start-up scene already is. Many visitors became acquainted with the matter at the latest with the beginning of the boom in November 2017, a whole series invested themselves. One of the present founders even had a self-designed hardware wallet.

Blockchain technology – a topic in many places

For many keynotes and panels, the term Blockchain was at least mentioned. Often the technology fell in the triad with the Internet of Things on the one hand and Artificial Intelligence on the other hand as digital future technologies. In other cases, audience questions also helped the speakers on the jumps.

In the panel of the new banking and fintech “Unicorns” N26 and Monzo, the founders of the two companies were approached for possible crypto functionality. Competitor Revolut has been offering a controversial purchase option for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash for quite some time in the crypto scene.

Jonas Huckestein from Monzo answers with an “Oh, the Crypto-Question”. He thinks there should not be a crypto feature on Monzo for sustainability reasons. N26’s Maximilian Tayental does not commit to cryptocurrencies, stating that other features are currently being requested by their users and therefore digital currencies are not yet on their roadmap. However, the answers at least suggest that both are more likely to face the issue.

Satirist Jam Böhmermann used the theme to denounce a few laughs. Addressed to his best investment yet mentions the entertainer Bitcoin. So he had bought for 18,000 euros Bitcoin and transferred to his mobile wallet. When he realized after a few months that his Bitcoin was now only half the value, he rubbed his eyes in wonderment. He did not know that cryptocurrencies work like a Tamagotchi and need constant care.

The two trends? Games and porn

Although the crypto theme was often mentioned casually, there were also specially designed slots. At the panel discussion “Emerging Trends in Crypto”, ConsenSys CMO Amanda Gutterman discussed with BlockState CEO Paul Claudius and Jim Jorgensen, Co-Founder of Consumer Coin. Guttermann is convinced that more and more institutional investors will enter the crypto market in the long term. “Companies also want to hold digital assets,” says Gutterman confidently.

In addition to various blockchain applications for music producers or journalists, she sees above all two current trends: Games and porn. Hopefully, according to Gutterman, these two fields of application will transform “Nocoiner into Coiner”. Also, the difficulties that CryptoKitties has caused the Ethereum Blockchain does not see it as a challenge.

As a proponent of Ethereum, Amanda Gutterman naturally does not accept the comparison of Bitcoin with Ethereum. So Ethereum is a whole blockchain, while Bitcoin is just a single application. Or in their words: If Ethereum is the Internet, then Bitcoin is e-mail.

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