Advisor Interview: Dr. Philipp Sandner
- What were you like as a kid? How do you think this characteristic has contributed to your becoming a blockchain enthusiast and expert?
I think I was always very curious and very interested to learn new things. This hasn’t changed until today. When I got my hands on Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper in 2013, I was immediately thrilled and wanted to know more about Blockchain technology. My innate curiosity certainly helped me with that.
2. How did you develop your interest in blockchain?
We are talking here about a key technology for the next ten to twenty years. Keeping this in mind, it’s not difficult wanting to know more about Blockchain and to understand how this technology will change our everyday lives and the world of business. The totality of the topic is very fascinating because the blockchain environment is very dynamic and developing rapidly.
3. Since becoming interested in blockchain, what have you done to pursue that interest?
The most significant step in this direction was certainly my founding of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center. The Frankfurt School Blockchain Center is a think tank and research center which investigates implications of the blockchain technology for companies and their business models. Besides the development of prototypes, it serves as a platform for managers, start-ups, technology and industry experts to share knowledge and best practices. The Blockchain Center also provides new research impulses and develops trainings for students and executives. It focuses on banking, mobility, “Industry 4.0” and the energy sector.
4. In your opinion, what is the most awesome thing about your job?
The feeling of being able to work on something global that is likely to change the world and to simultaneously lay the foundations for a sustainable and meaningful development of the technology. At the moment, contrary to other technologies, we are truly able to actively shape this development.
5. What made you join HYCON as an advisor? How has your relationship with the company been so far?
The Frankfurt School Blockchain Center is advising Hycon because we are convinced by the technological roadmap. Also, I see great potential in the team which is truly international — but still has its root in South Korea one of the top ecosystems worldwide. A team from HYCON has already visited the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center in Germany, which shows me how much appreciation and interest there is on both sides. As a project of Glosfer, HYCON also has strong contacts to the Korean industry such that it is not a stand-alone startup project.
6. What do you want to accomplish through your role as an advisor to HYCON/Glosfer?
Obviously, our role in advising HYCON is to help develop it in the right direction. Our partnership is designed to advance both the blockchain industry and the cooperation in research and development — with a focus on Europe. I also believe that it is of the utmost importance to establish a bridge between Asia and Europe in order to jointly realize such unique projects also in the future.
7. What is the blockchain industry like in your country of residence? Based on your interaction with the Korean blockchain business so far, how would you compare the two countries?
In Germany, as in South Korea, there is an agile and dynamic crypto ecosystem. Europe in general is very well positioned, but Asia, especially Japan and South Korea, is even more advanced. However, Europe has a very good market position. Particularly in Berlin, hundreds of crypto startups are located, which develop innovative business models. In countries such as Switzerland, Malta, Liechtenstein as well as in the Baltic States, a rapid and innovative development can also be observed.
8. You are passionate about connecting the blockchain worlds of the East and the West. How do you think this can be made possible?
Cooperation between the two continents is strengthened by collaborations, just as our partnership does. Cohesion can only be strengthened through joint projects and the exchange of knowledge. We also achieved this through our East-West Crypto Conference in Frankfurt in November 2018 where HYCON was the prime sponsor. It was fascinating to see how the conference participants gained interest in HYCON. We are looking forward to more such events in the future.
9. What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?
At the moment we can observe that the mass adoption of blockchain technology is still hampered by a lack of detailed knowledge on the part of decision-makers. Especially at the level of infrastructure decisions this often becomes apparent. However, it must also be said that we are talking about a new and very dynamic innovation that needs time to develop. This development will certainly take another five to ten years before we can expect mass adoption. So far, however, I am very satisfied with the current development and look very positively to the future.