2018 was a big year for us. It started out with an idea – we knew we were passionate about blockchain and it only seemed natural for us to follow that passion and create a digital magazine that would cater to the curiosities and tastes of blockchain enthusiasts (like us) out there.
After creating Occurrency, we soon realised that a general approach to blockchain would be superficial. Therefore, we decided to tackle the topic by performing a scrutiny of the countries and cities that show potential and where blockchain is transforming industries and business models.
In the past 5 years, Germany has grown into one of Europe’s most dynamic crypto communities, as well as a highly-competitive tech hub with nearly 200 tech companies and startups around the country using some type of DLT technology.
With 50+ blockchain startups founded between 2017 and 2018, and 30+ international investors and VC companies investing in the space, the city of Berlin has proven to be a safe haven for early-stage entrepreneurs eager to get into blockchain. Plus, it’s where Occurrency is headquartered. For us, there was no better city to start out with other than Berlin.
From the very start, we knew we wouldn’t settle for information easily accessible on Google. We wanted the report to be a gemstone for blockchain enthusiasts and for that we needed to include inside info from the companies themselves. That’s why we started out by contacting the people we had already been in touch with, professionals we had met at various events, we told them about our idea and they liked it so much that they helped us reach out to other companies as well. We’ve also manually researched the existing DLT-based companies in Berlin and created a database to use for the report. To avoid confusion, by “DLT-based company”, we chose to refer to companies or startups that currently work with some type of distributed ledger technology (not only to companies using blockchain as a DLT).
While putting together a comprehensive list of 85 companies headquartered, or with at least one physical office in Berlin, we’ve also conducted intense research to understand what information the report needed to entail. Tens of possible directions crossed our minds, we even sent out questionnaires to narrow down the topics the report would cover. A few weeks later, we had a final list and based on it we created a set of questions with the aim to find out critical information pertaining to the companies’ business model, roadmap, preferred technology stack, etc. Part of our questions were:
- Could you tell us more about your business model, the problem your company is solving and a bit about your roadmap?
- What suppliers are you in most need of, but cannot find in Berlin (Germany)?
- Do you offer tokens only when collaborating with suppliers?
- Do you usually accept tokens only when an upcoming ICO approaches you for a collaboration?
- If the ICO is strong and you do agree to a mixed deal of … % cash and … % tokens, what percentage suits you best?
- What do you think about the rising trend of STOs? Do you see potential in the underlined benefits of an STO?
- What are the risks associated with ICOs nowadays?
- What are the possible scenarios post-ICO? (the good and the bad)
- How can companies who launch an ICO make sure that the tokens get listed on an exchange?
- What is your preferred tech stack?
- What other industries do you believe will be disrupted by blockchain in the years to come?
- How much investment has [company name] had in 2018?
- How profitable was [company name] in 2018?
Of the 85 DLT-based companies researched and contacted, 40 agreed to give us an interview. Some of the interviews are already on our website, others are yet to be transcribed and published.
It took 6 full months from the moment we started working on the list of companies to when we finished talking to every company representative and extracting the info we needed from each interview. 1300 coffees were devoured in the process. It was intense, to say the least.
The “Who’s who in blockchain” report took a month to design. It’s 50 pages long and the charts are numerous and elaborate. On February 6, the masterpiece will have its official launch at Full Node in Berlin. It now encompasses info you won’t find anywhere else coupled with listings of Berlin-based blockchain companies, investors, lawyers, accelerators, consultants.
Our work doesn’t stop here
The appended edition of this report – to be released in 12 months – will take another look at the exact same companies; the purpose being to re-evaluate their progress and promises made, either mentioned in their roadmap or on their official social channels.
We strongly believe that, in order for a report to be valuable to consultants, investors, lawyers, policymakers or simply anyone looking to understand more on the blockchain scene, it has to look at things in a dynamic way, over time. We aim to replicate our effort to London and Zug as well.
Starting February 6, you will be able to download the “Who’s who in blockchain in Berlin” report from our website.
A big “THANK YOU!” to all the companies who agreed to take part in this initiative and have collaborated with us over the past 6 months.