On Oct 22 Blockchain was the main topic at the Bremen Cotton Exchange. Leonard Pust (BitMoin) and Jan Christoph Ebersbach, Head of Blockchain Engineering (CHAINSTEP), organized a training and workshop day together for the first time. The participants were as enthusiastic as we were. The combination of training and workshop in one day efficiently combined theory and practice and concrete next steps could be defined.

At 8.30 a.m. we took a courageous step into the paternoster in the historic building of the Cotton Exchange, directly on Bremen’s market square. The journey to the 5th floor was a problem-free one, but we had to get in and out of the car. The stop was a good foretaste of our event. Right at the top of the cotton exchange, in the impressive tower hall, we trained the basics and applications of blockchain technology from 9 am to 12.30 pm. From 1 p.m. the number of participants was reduced and the use of Blockchain in the promotional project “Room for Innovation, Blockchain for GMO sizing of organic cotton” was worked on. Lots of material for little time.

What was particularly remarkable for me was that the Cotton Exchange opened up the circle of participants for training and invited companies and organisations that did not participate in the project. In this way, the Blockchain Fundamentals could be made accessible to a wider audience and ideas and questions could be raised beyond the scope of the project.

In the second part of the day, after the lunch break, we applied the Blockchain theory to the project in a small group with the partners of the project. Both our technical architectural knowledge of the corporate use of blockchain and our experience in developing business models with blockchain were in demand. The next step is to put the ideas on paper and obtain feedback.

Article by Jan Christoph (JC) Ebersbach

For private reasons we did not have the resources to create new CHAINSTEP blog entries for some time.

A high-ranking visitor to the Digital Hub Logistics: on 7 December 2018, Michael Westhagemann, the Senator for Economic Affairs in office just a few weeks ago, visited the innovation factory for logistics in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt warehouse district. Johannes Berg, Managing Director of the Hub, surprised our guest with a gift: “Senator Westhagemann will receive an “honorary job” at the Digital Hub Logistics for 2019. The gift was well received, as this tweet shows:

On behalf of all the “Hubbers”, I think I can say that we enjoyed the humorous speech by Senator Westhagemann that followed. His interest in and obvious pleasure in technology, as evidenced by his many years of top management experience in the IT environment, is certainly an excellent basis for Hamburg’s further development of innovative, technology-supported topics.

Senator Westhagemann then took an impressive amount of time to present various start-up concepts. CHAINSTEP had the opportunity to jointly present to the Kroschke Group (a leading service provider in the field of vehicle registration) the jointly developed prototype “carTRUST” for blockchain-based secure online registration of motor vehicles. Senator Westhagemann was very interested in the idea of piloting the concept for the first time in Hamburg – also with a view to the ITS World Congress 2021. Next steps have already been discussed, we are very curious whether we can manage it :-).

At the Digital Summit in 2018, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology clearly focused on artificial intelligence. Since the Bitkom did not want to ignore blockchain technology, the association organized a blockchain business summit on the first day of the digital summit at the same location as the summit, i.e. in the Nuremberg exhibition halls. The popularity of the event, which the organizer was right to hold with the Blockchain event, was confirmed: well over 300 participants informed themselves about the possibilities that Blockchain technology already offers today in the corporate environment.

Dr. Nussbaum, State Secretary in the BMWi, and Dr. Rohleder, Managing Director of Bitkom, opened the event. Afterwards there were some top-class lectures from different IT and telecommunications service providers as well as from the scientific side. The lecture by Professor Dr. Volker Skwarek, who is also a member of CHAINSTEP’s advisory board, on the topic of Smart Contracts Industry 4.0 Applications was well received.

Together with Thomas Müller, CEO of evan.network, we had the opportunity to present the initiative COBILITY. The presentation is linked here. The following discussions at the “Meet the speakers” booth showed how high the interest of professional IT and telecommunication service providers is to understand and use the possibilities of decentralized governance.

Below you finde some impressions of the event as well as the link to the video of the COBILITY part.

Three months after the announcement of the COBILITY initiative, the time had come on 28 November 2018: 22 participants from 16 companies and institutions met for the COBILITY kickoff at the Digital Hub Logistics in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt.

After a brief introduction of the participants and the objectives of the COBILITY initiative, the detailed work began with the aim of defining the first applications based on the COBILITY concept. COBILITY focuses on three aspects in particular:

  • decentralised governance
  • based on open standards
  • compatible with the leading systems on the market

We have defined five Use Cases, which will be processed in the coming weeks:

  1. Processing in the event of an insurance claim
  2. spare parts logistics
  3. Container weight protection
  4. ship clearance
  5. Safeguarding sustainability

More information about the initiative founded by evan, XAIN and CHAINSTEP on COBILITY.ORG.


After months of preparation by the organizers, on November 17, 2018, a team of more than 20 participants from startups, public authorities and Hamburg institutions set out to explore the state of digitization in Dubai and Singapore for a week or so and gather ideas for their own direction.

It was a fully packed program. We had the opportunity to talk to responsible people from administration, digitisation experts from the port industry and exciting start-ups.

A special highlight for us: both in the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and at an international pitch event in Singapore, we had the opportunity to present the concept of the COBILITY initiative. The response was excellent, which is also confirmed by the friendly vote of the COBILITY promoters (see photos below). We have learned that the idea of COBILITY has also met with lively interest in other regions of the world.

It would go beyond the scope to go into the individual topics here. Through this blogpost we would like to share some impressions from this trip.


After the successful premiere in 2017, the 2nd edition of the Blue Rocket Congress organized by DVZ took place in November 2018. The venue was Digital Logistics in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt, the home of both CHAINSTEP and COBILITY. After entertaining impulse lectures and a very interesting panel discussion, the main part of the event began. 20 different startups and initiatives were allowed to introduce themselves to the audience in a maximum of 5 minutes. If the event was overdrawn, the Blue Rocket (which interestingly has a red colour) was started.
Frank Bolten was able to present two topics: CHAINSTEP and COBILITY. The charts of the short presentation are stored here and here on Slideshare.
The impressions attached below will hopefully prove that the event was obviously a lot of fun for the participants.



Blue Rocket starts

The 14th Hamburg Harbour Day took place at the beginning of November 2018. In addition to classic strategy topics such as the terminal strategy, digital and ecological topics played a major role at the event. In addition to VR, Blockchain was also an important discussion point here. The slides of Frank Bolten’s initial presentation on the Blockchain discussion can be found here on Slideshare:

The 35th German Logistics Congress took place in Berlin in mid-October 2018 under the title “Digital meets Real”. In comparison to the previous year, when well over 100 participants crowded into a room that was far too small to experience the blockchain session, the organizer had made a much larger room available this time. But once again it became tight: with more than 400 participants all seats of the hall were occupied and again some participants had to come to terms with a standing place during the event.

Under the moderation of Professor Dr. Fritz Henglein, three exciting topics were presented:

  • Florian Seffert, Principal Specialist IT Innovation at Imperial, reported on the first successful pilot project of plusd.tech.
  • Dirk Slama, Chief Alliance Offer Bosch Software Innovation, gave insights into the combination of Blockchain & IoT in logistics.
  • Frank Bolten, Managing Partner CHAINSTEP, introduced COBILITY – the decentralized network for transport logistics – as co-initiator.

Afterwards, there was a lively discussion among the panelists about the use of blockchain in transport logistics, governance structures, etc. The panelists were able to discuss the use of blockchain in transport logistics. Frank Bolten’s presentation is available here on Slideshare, his presentation on YouTube, as well as the panel discussion, is linked below

In 2017 there was a real “run” on information about Bitcoin and Blockchain, the number of search queries increased by several 100% in each case. The value of all crypto currencies – in addition to Bitcoin, by far the leading crypto currency, there are more than 1000 other crypto currencies – increased fortyfold within a year, not a few reminded of the time of the gold rush in the 19th century.

In the meantime, the excitement around the account currencies has calmed down, the clearly overheated market capitalization of all crypto currencies at the turn of the year 2017/2018 (at the beginning of January this was an amount of more than 800 billion USD) has decreased to a value of a little more than 200 billion USD by the end of September 2018. This may look like a real crash, but on the one hand the market for crypto currencies is traditionally very volatile and on the other hand this USD 200 billion still means an increase of more than 1,000 % compared to the value at the beginning of 2017.

In addition to the crypto currencies, the possibilities of the blockchain technology on which the crypto currencies are based are increasingly becoming the focus of interest. Because: with the ingenious combination of different technologies, which today is called blockchain, it is possible to transfer values directly and securely from one point to another via the Internet without the use of intermediaries. And, of course, this is of great interest especially in the business world.

Bitcoin was the first application to use blockchain technology, and in the meantime the technology field has developed and professionalized at an extreme speed. An important step for the development of the technology field was the launch of Ethereum in 2015. So-called Smart Contracts offer extended possibilities to automate business processes and thus make them safer, faster and more efficient.

Ethereum today has by far the largest developer community, and many companies have successfully completed initial tests and prototypes. It is expected that in 2018/2019 the number of Ethereum-based enterprise applications will increase significantly.

There are several very promising further developments in the blockchain area, which will successively solve the still existing challenges of blockchain technology (e.g. transaction volume and speed). At this point, however, we will not go into this further development.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are so-called “public blockchains”. With public blockchains, there are no access restrictions – anyone who wants to can write and read data in the distributed system. This is called “permissionless” – i.e. without access restrictions. This blockchain type is considered the safest way to store data unalterably.

But this publicity is rejected for many business applications, understandably not everyone should be able to see who does which business with which company. Against this background the variant of an “Enterprise Blockchain” (also called “private blockchain” or “permissioned blockchain”) was developed. Here, access rules and procedures are defined according to the desired procedures, so there are – unlike with public blockchains – central entities that define the set of rules. With leading enterprise blockchains, such as Hyperledger, an enterprise blockchain developed within the Linux Foundation, it is also possible to program Smart Contracts.

For many business processes, the possibilities of the Enterprise Blockchain are completely sufficient; in principle, one can synchronize data stocks securely and automate business processes with such systems. However, the security of these enterprise blockchains is not on the same high level as with public blockchains.

In the meantime, very good solutions have been developed for the requirements described above regarding the confidentiality of transactions and other company-specific requirements for public blockchains. Furthermore, the emerging possibilities of the so-called token-based economy, in which various assets in public blockchain systems receive a digital image on a blockchain system, probably cannot be implemented to the same extent with enterprise blockchains.  It will be interesting to see which of the two blockchain philosophies will have which part in the corporate environment: the enterprise blockchains following the classical enterprise philosophy or the philosophy of distributed structures and networks of public blockchains.

In the few years since Bitcoin was the first blockchain application to see the light of day in the digital world (2009), the possibilities and relevance of blockchain technology have been explored.