On August 7, 2018, BVL and CHAINSTEP held a second joint webinar entitled “First Steps to Implementation”. After a short introduction to blockchain technology, the focus of the presentation is on three essential steps in implementing a blockchain-based project:

  • Determine main motivation
  • Identify Use Case
  • Technical implementation

This is followed by a brief analysis of the status of blockchain-based projects in the area of SCM/transport logistics. Currently, most projects are initiated by market leaders, followed by infrastructure projects (technology or platform). Currently, consortium approaches are gaining in importance, with the relevance of public blockchains increasing. The reasons for this are the interest in decentralized governance models and token-based business models.

Please find below the links to the recording of the webinar and to the deck:

It was a successful experiment: for the first time a “Blockchain MasterClass” was held during the “IT-Strategietage” in Hamburg. The responses was very good – due to high demand the space for the class had to be expanded twice. The participating IT managers came from an impressive spectrum of industries: automotive, finance, medical, media, real estate, trade and transport logistics were represented.

Frank Bolten started the MasterClass with a brief introduction that focused on the tension between “private” and “public” blockchains and the fascinating possibilities of token-based economies. Furthermore, Frank gave an overview of useful tools to support the evaluation of use cases, where blockchains might be helpful. The next presentation focused on the technical aspects of blockchains.

Volker Skwarek, Professor at the HAW Hamburg and a technical adviser to CHAINSTEP, gave an overview of how blockchains are technically defined. This was followed by an introduction to smart contracts. A key element was a list of criteria that help to decide under which circumstances smart contracts should be used. In the following explanation Volker Skwarek concentrated on Industry 4.0 applications. This was followed by a live demonstration that illustrated how a smart contract works on the blockchain. The exchange after the presentation highlighted the current importance of this topic.

The third part of the MasterClass was taught by Sebastian Beyer, product manager at CERTIVATION. It is the latest spin-off of the ROSEN Group. With help from CHAINSTEP they launched their new service “BEC” (blockchain ensured certificates) just in time to present it at the Blockchain MasterClass – it was a world premiere. Please find more information on the BEC service in a separate blog post on this site (here).

All three presentations shown during the MasterClass you find below.

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At the end of June, the “Innovationsforum Blockchain” sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research presented itself for the first time with an evening event on “Blockchain and Banking”. The evening was moderated by Frank Bolten, CHAINSTEP Managing Partner. In the premises of the lawyer and tax advisory firm CMS Hasche Sigle in Hamburg, nearly 80 interested persons had gathered. The evening was opened by Dr. Jan C. Rode, project manager at the Innovationsforum and CHAINSTEP Marketing Manager, before Bolten took over the moderation.

Moritz Gerdes from Comdirect Bank gave a talk on blockchain-based innovations and future scenarios for the financial sector. Comdirekt itself works on a blockchain use case for peer-to-peer trading of CFDs with risk limitation. Participants can issue financial contracts themselves and act directly without an intermediary. The first test ran on Ethereum, which proved to be not yet perfomant enough for this case, the second series of tests will be handled by the Linux and IBM supported Hyperledger blockchain. “Due to its special characteristics, the blockchain technology is predestined for use in the financial sector. In theory, the improved security architecture could simplify operational processes, but some regulatory hurdles still need to be overcome “, summarized the Innovation Manager.

Dr. Jörn Heckmann, host for the evening and senior associate at CMS, spoke about smart contracts. This does not include contracts in the proper sense, but automatically and previously unstoppable programs, which, however, can lead to legal consequences (eg if the leasing company blocks the ignition in the case of ubpaid leasing leases for the car). Here, the contractors act as both judicial and executive power (in the event of a loss) – something which we deliberately separate in our society and gives a first glimpse of possible regulation within the blockchain world. “However, Smart Contracts are the logical next step in a world where contracts are digitized and automated,” says Heckmann.

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner is the head of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. In his talk he reviewed the efficiency of our current payment system in comparison to the increasingly popular blockchain technology. In Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), startups take ever higher and higher sums – in part only for concepts and not even for functioning prototypes. “Nevertheless, banks and other intermediaries have to think about their business model if they want to remain part of the development,” said the blockchain expert.

The event was rounded off by a short panel with moderator Bolten and all three guests, before the buffet and networking were opened after just 2.5 hours. Here you can read the report of the Innovationsforum (including videos of the lectures).

“Digitization” was the key word on Hannover Messe 2017. A spirit if optimism caused by this magic word was perceptible all over the pace – process innovations and new business model approaches on at almost every booth. This of course increased the expectations on “Hannover Messe & blockchain”. But: it was disappointing. No more than three entries for “blockchain” could be found in the list of exhibitors.:

  1. zF presented eWallet, which they developed together with Innogy and UBS. By the eWallet the car functions are expanded by a wallet function so toll or parking fees can be paid automatically. Here you can have a look at a video, which had been presented during CES in Las Vegas earlier this year.
  2. And our country neighbours from The Netherlands were as well active in the blockchain space during Hannover Messe. Prof. Egbert-Jan Sol, CTO if the Dutch TNO Industry, presented with his team the magnifold activitites, which are taking place already in the Netherlands today. Their highlighted areas were SCM and identitiy.
  3. The CHAINSTEP Partner Prostep AG presented the promising project SAMPL-3D, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics. SAMPL-3D has the target, to secure 3D-printing and to operate the licence Management of the industrial production by blockchain technology. Here you find a video on the demonstrator PROSTEP presented on Hannover Messer (sorry, German only):


During the Fintech Week Hamburg (10th-14th of Oct 2016) Florian Glatz, software developer and lawyer from Berlin, held the interesting presentation “From Fax Machines to Fact Machines” (charts are mainly in German language). In my eyes the most important slides are:

  • the triad of scarce resources, economic incentives and free competition is an important base for the crypto economics
  • design principles: while one goal of legal contracts is to anticipate aberrations by smart contracts only the “happy path” is defined
  • the limits of smart contracts: the parties¬¥ motifs underlying a contract are expressed implicitly as a maximum

In addition please pay attention to the three perspectives on regulation at the end of the presentation.



Three months after the start of the MIT Fintech Certificate Course “Future Commerce” the winning “Capstone Projects” are announced. The project “Community Token”, developed in cooperation with Christoph Martin, was awarded by the tutor team as one of the top eight projects out of more than 200 projects.

Read more

The following article (in german language) I wrote with he target to provide the interested audience:

‚Üí An overview, how the technology works
‚Üí Present several use cases
‚Üí Explain some of the political framwork

Article on www.intelligente-welt.de “Blockchain – programmiertes Vertrauen”