“Blockchain is outdated”

Norbert Gehrke
Nov 22, 2017 · 4 min read

A conversation with the CEO of nakamo.to, Robert Küfner, as published in the German magazine “DER AKTIONÄR”.

Q: Mr. Küfner, you have been active as miner and trader in the blockchain space since 2010, and have suddenly become a sought-after interlocutor. How do you like the attention?

Robert Küfner: We were shown in the press as bitcoin millionaires with bikini girls lying on air mattress unicorns in the sun. We did not like it that much — but in the end the attention for my company nakamo.to has increased. 2017 was just the beginning — everyone is now aware that a revolution is starting. No one was interested in 2016 — during the last 16 weeks all major corporations have now become active — we are talking to many of them.

Q: Could you provide an example, please?

Robert Küfner: First and foremost is the Deutsche Börse AG. I had first talked with them in 2013. In our nakamo.to test environment, we are able to handle what Clearstream does, only faster, safer and cheaper. This will disrupt the markets.

Q: What will be the “Next Big Thing”?

Robert Küfner: Since April, my assessment of blockchain has changed significantly. We are at a point where blockchain technology is completely developed. The future is the tangle of IOTA — here we have achieved a breakthrough. The tangle will disrupt everything in the real world, but also in the crypto sector. Even if Amazon accepts bitcoin to jump on the band wagon — Bitcoin will not meet the requirements of a cryptocurrency. The blockchain is outdated. With the IOTA tangle, there is a technology that will make the blockchain obsolete in the foreseeable future. The tangle solves the problems of blockchain par excellence.

Q: What does that mean specifically?

Robert Küfner: The tangle underlying IOTA is quantum-resistant and infinitely scalable. Mining, the waste of energy in bitcoin, is becoming obsolete. I am aware of a large corporation that is switching to the tangle due to the huge benefits over Ethereum transaction fees.

Q: Corporations such as Bosch, VW or Innogy in particular rely on IOTA, with research in the field of Internet of Things (IoT). Especially for machine-to-machine transactions the amount of data is huge. Is that a problem?

Robert Küfner: Getting spammed is good: the tangle gets faster the more it is being used — exactly the opposite of the classic blockchain.

Q: Does that mean the triumph march of blockchain-based bitcoin is over?

Robert Küfner: Bitcoin is not well suited as a means of payment. As “digital gold”, however, bitcoin has its place. I will keep my bitcoins. But new technology will bring the big breakthrough for crypto. I am very bullish and hold IOTA coins privately, which I will definitely keep.

Q: To spread a currency, a big fan base is important. Is that a reason why innovations do not come from large corporations, but from the broader crypto ecosystem?

Robert Küfner: Yes. The geniuses of the crypto scene can achieve greater success if they implement it themselves. These people want to build their decentralized technology because they want to initiate a paradigm shift. The moment Microsoft and others develop such a technology, it would be compromised — it is not open source. Large corporations cannot popularize distributed ledgers despite billions in the coffers. The luminaries of this industry do not work for IBM.

Q: You have just organized a blockchain workshop in Florida together with fellow campaigners — and are already on your way back to Berlin. Where is the epicenter?

Robert Küfner: Not in Silicon Valley, but in Germany. Berlin is much cooler for the big names in the industry. Germany has the opportunity to become a leader in distributed ledger technology. Berlin is capital of crypto.

Q: What are your plans?

Robert Küfner: I want to implement this technology in the real world. We are facing a tidal change. In 2017, it feels like talking about the development of the Internet in the early 1990s. Today, one year, in terms of speed of development, is like what a decade was earlier.

Q: What do you think of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)?

Robert Küfner: ICOs are an excellent tool for financing start-ups. The Ocean Protocol, Polkadot or The Energy Web Foundation are exciting. But there is also a lot of trash. Just now, an ICO with 40 lines of code has raised $ 150 million — $ 3.5 million per line …

Q: Will there be regulation?

Robert Küfner: Bitcoin will certainly not be banned, you cannot do that. Also, ICOs should not be prohibited. Soon, start-ups will also be able to tokenize equity in the company themselves via ICO. Issuing a security is still subject to a prospectus — but I assume that will crumble. This is unstoppable.

Norbert Gehrke

Written by

Passionate about strategy & innovation in Japan. Connector of people & ideas.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade