Industry Expert: Walter Strametz
This interview is the first in a series of conversations with leaders in blockchain for real estate, so the community can learn how blockchain is impacting real estate directly from experts worldwide.
The first conversation we are sharing with you is with Walter Strametz who spent most of his career in IT as a programmer, head of development, CTO and board member focusing on innovation. Living between Zug, Switzerland, and Graz, Austria he leveraged the connections and understanding of the industry to organize the first blockchain conference in 2018 dedicated exclusively to the real estate industry in Europe. Soon after, he co-founded FIBREE (along with Denis Petrovcic and 6 other founding members), a not-for-profit organization that aims to be an essential global voice and top international network facilitating the adoption of blockchain amongst the real estate sector, where he today serves as treasurer and member of the board.
Q: Walter Strametz, tell us a little bit about your background.
A: I hold a degree in computer science and an MBA from IMD. I started as a programmer in Austria, and later, as a member of the board of one of the largest Swiss IT consulting companies, I headed the topic of blockchain at an early stage. Private development activities in the real estate sector brought my focus to the intersection of blockchain and real estate. I am founding and board member of FIBREE.org (Foundation for International Blockchain and Real Estate Expertise) and founder of element36.io
Q: How did you get involved in blockchain?
A: Roughly 8 years ago I was involved in a consulting mandate at Credit Suisse where I worked on a project in the currency trading business. The traders asked about my opinion on Bitcoin. This was the start of my blockchain journey.
Q: How do you see blockchain technology impacting real estate?
A: In emerging and less digital countries we might see blockchain see helping to manage land titles. — Tokenization of property creates an alternative to loan based crowdfunding of real estate and long-term revenue sharing — Digitization of real estate process — selling property will security digitize flow of capital and involvement of thirds parties like notaries.
Q: What are you focusing on right now?
A: Besides being involved in FIBREE, I am building my own blockchain startup — element36. We have made blockchain usable for “ordinary folks” by removing the crypto-know-how barrier of blockchain solutions. With element36 users may interact with blockchain via Euro and ordinary bank transactions. Secondly, I am on the organizational committee of the Blockchain Real Conference and FIBREE World Summit, taking place in Vienna on May 21st, 2019. The event will be packed with real estate professionals, trustees, tax consultants, investors and entrepreneurs interested in the innovative potential blockchain holds for the real estate sector. The summit offers visitors the necessary overview to decide whether to join or wait for the right moment to move into Blockchain. From different perspectives, independent and genuine. Austria, of course, will be on the main stage and you may get international with experts of FIBREE.
Q: What are your thoughts on the future of blockchain?
A: Blockchains like Ethereum, EOS or IOTA will emerge as a shared, secure operating system for running all kind of processes to manage resources. It will be as easily accessible for anyone as the internet, complexity for users will blur into the background. But creativity in the field will be only in the hands of the people who understand the nuts and bolts of the technology.
Q: One final thought for our community at Blocksquare?
A: I welcome anyone to connect through my Linkedin profile. Blockchain will change the pecking order — on which side will you be?