The rapid developments on the crypto market constantly raise new questions about the future of Bitcoin and co. In order to answer these questions, experts are needed who have dealt with the market at an early stage and understand its structure and behaviour. One of them is Philipp Rößler, a business consultant, who is engaging in projects and workshops around blockchain technology. In our interview Philipp shares his experiences and his points of view of the crypto and blockchain market.
Blockpit: First of all thank you Philipp for your time and the interview. You are a business consultant specializing in blockchain – Can you explain what your responsibilities are?
Philipp: Exactly. Meanwhile I am working again as a Business Consultant and not only as a Blockchain Consultant, because the fields of activity are much broader than only the Blockchain area. Before a meaningful usecase can be developed for an ideally cross-company blockchain, the process must be understood as a whole and the new paradigms communicated to the participants. In this way, first concepts and ideas of a meaningful blockchain application can be developed in workshops together with representatives.
How and when did you get into the cryptos and blockchain area?
It all started when a friend of mine wrote a paper on "Using crypto currencies in Darknet". At the beginning I didn’t understand much of what he said, but I quickly realized that I was interested in the technical side of cryptocurrencies. As you start, I began to read the Bitcoin whitepaper and also hardly understood anything. After that I had more questions than before and far too little time to deal with them. Months later I was able to find a suitable topic to deal with it more intensively in the course of my own master thesis. "Future potentials in the service sector through new architectures of value chains on the basis of blockchains" was the scientific title. That was about two years ago. Together with the association Netzwerk Logistik (VNL) we then noticed that there is a lot of potential in this environment and that there are still very few sources of information and workshops. So I started to educate myself further and to hold the first workshops and guest lectures on this topic.
Which industries do you work most intensively with? What are the goals of large companies who are using the blockchain technology?
I increasingly work with service providers in the field of logistics, the main focus is always on the application in the operational value creation. In the past, my workshop participants were very diverse and large Upper Austrian companies themselves sent people from various fields such as marketing, finance or IT. During the last year I could observe that scientific employees from the education sector as well as many service providers who act as software suppliers for large industrial companies show a growing amount of interest.
How do you relate to cryptocurrencies and how do you face regulations in the crypto market?
Personally, I’ve shifted something from many platforms and coins to a few. You can also say that I have simplified my complex portfolio a bit and I approach it much more thoughtfully myself. I still believe very strongly in some coins to give you an example: Stellar. I like the way they go about giving banks and financial institutions a place in the crypto economy. I take a very close look at the technical side, because this is also the area where I can assess potential.
Regulation is an important thing for established companies to be able to work with the technology. Much more important, however, is the area of standardization, where concrete results are not expected until 2020/21.
Do you notice that the interest in your blockchain services is greater when the crypto market is in a bullrun?
Demand, how can it be otherwise, has of course declined in absolute terms over the past year. However, this has had a rather positive effect on my field of activity. Because the people who contact me are really interested in this area and still see the potential that processes in their own areas can be optimized. This means that I have fewer people in my workshops, but now there are more follow-up orders and we deal much more with detailed questions and challenges of the respective companies.
How positive are you about the whole environment around blockchain and cryptocurrencies?
The technology itself still needs to be optimized in many areas. In addition to the financial flow, the flow of information and goods must also be covered. So what already works quite well with the financial flow with cryptocurrencies still has some catching up to do in the other two areas. Especially those who solve the problem with the flow of goods – the bridge between the physical and the digital world – can offer great added value in the future. I think there will be a handful of great technologies for each of these three areas. I see a time-frame of 5-7 years here, but I find it very difficult to make a proper estimation.
Concerning cryptocurrencies I find it a bit more difficult to assess this. I have a lot of faith in technologies like the Lightning network. At the moment it is important to eliminate the inefficiencies that the hype has brought to the crypto market. Whether the technology will come is out of the question for me – when depends on a multiplicity of different factors for the individual industries and application areas.
Personally, I find the views of Friedrich Hayek very interesting in connection with cryptocurrencies. According to him, there is no economic justification for the fact that currencies should be issued and covered by a state. Rather, a market with several currencies existing in parallel results in a competition between the currency-issuing authorities that is advantageous for the public. Cryptocurrencies bring us a good step closer to this idea.
Thank you so much for your insights, Philipp. We are looking forward to the future.