Berlin Blockchain Week

Photo by Federica Galli

Why Berlin needs a Blockchain Week

…or why Blockchain Week needs Berlin. First and foremost Berlin is a native to decentralisation. It is the capital city of a country that is very much fragmented — to a large extent due to the political and economic divide/rezoning by the victorious nations after WWII. Geographically, the city itself doesn’t have a true city centre (Mitte doesn’t count). Instead, Berlin is characterized by different districts with their own distinct neighbourhoods, realities and peculiarities.

Berlin’s history and consequent political awareness have manifested in a particular attention to the importance of personal, as well as data, privacy. During the division of the city in East and West (from 1961–89), Berlin became the world’s spy capital with government agencies infiltrating everything from private homes to public organisations. As a result, Germany now has one of the strictest privacy laws in the world and has been one of the main contributors to the E.U. passing GDPR early this year. For anti-surveillance activists and artists, to journalists and tech developers, Berlin has become a city that allows for the pushing of boundaries. Many of the crypto frontrunners started their operations in the city: the Ethereum Foundation, Parity as well as the Web3 Foundation, not without good reason. The growth of the blockchain and crypto ecosystem over the last few years is the natural result of this.

Who’s behind Berlin Blockchain Week?

The first ever Berlin Blockchain Week, taking place from September 5–11, is a community-organised initiative with no single owner, celebrating the thriving ecosystem of Berlin. It is the result of a collaborative effort of 150+ people working, living or participating in the scene, with the wish to come together to show what’s going on behind the scenes.

BBW is an agnostic organisation based on the premise that self-organisation and decentralisation are the backbones of our ecosystem. The week of events is open to projects, individuals and people interested in fruitful and educational discussions around blockchain, and thus, has a focus on education and content. It aims to inform, and to push for adoption of blockchain technology by making a vast array of projects tangible and approachable. It’s a non-profit platform for knowledge sharing.

Program highlights

BBW is approaching fast, here are a few events we’re excited about:

  • Sustainable Everything…The first Centrifuge meetup on September 6th! Centrifuge and Blue Yard are hosting an evening of cross-pollination and discussion around the impact of blockchain technology in supply chains. To what extent is blockchain innovation a driver for sustainability and inclusive financing in international trade? Blockchain not only allows more secure and transparent transactions, immutable traceability and reputation but also provides the infrastructure on top of which to build inclusive financial instruments. We have invited progressive companies and institutions working on the frontiers of their fields: Provenance, Einhorn, GIZ (Blockchain Lab) and Token Economy, for an evening of vibrant discussion. As space is limited, we encourage you to sign up here
  • The Decoding Token Economics: A Token Engineering and Token Economy Design Workshop hosted by Ocean Protocol and OST will take place on Thursday the 6th at 12.00, and will provide an overview over current trends and implementations in token design. They will cover topics such as: how tokens can incentivize global collaboration, what types of businesses and environments provide the best climate for tokenization, best practices and models for token engineering frameworks and how to align your business goals to design a token economy.
  • With Microsoft’s purchase of Github, we are thrilled to follow the development of our friends at OScoin. They are hosting an event on Friday titled Open Source Incentivization and Sustainability, tackling open source incentivization and governance models for Open Source projects.
  • We are also looking forward to ZK0X02, a conference dedicated to zero knowledge topics, latest zk-snark applications and privacy. It is addressed to privacy researchers, practitioners and developers working on zero knowledge topics, hosted by Zero-Knowledge Podcast.
  • For those of you wanting to have a broader intro to Blockchain, we can highly recommend Dezentral. Dezentral aims to be an inclusive blockchain un-conference, bringing together newcomers, builders and crypto enthusiasts from all over the world in the heart of Berlin.

The full programme can be seen here.

Centrifuge’s Involvement

As part of the crypto and blockchain community in Berlin, it is only natural for us to volunteer our time and efforts to the first decentralised Blockchain Week, as well as to the Ethereum hackathon ETHBerlin, which takes place at the same time. Both of these events are fully dependent on people donating their time and energy to make them come together.

The Centrifuge team is participating on different levels. Two of us (Philip and Maya) are part of the organisational teams of ETHBerlin and Berlin Blockchain Week, with Philip coordinating mentors for the hackathon, and Maya helping with communication and content for BBW.

During ETHBerlin, three of our engineers will be participating and presenting on the following topics:

  • Scaling & Interoperability Panel (Philip Stehlik)
  • Getting started with web3 and React (Razvan Dinicut)
  • Continuous Integration for Smart Contract Development on Ethereum (Miguel Hervas)

Finally, Centrifuge is also sponsoring the ETHBerlin hackathon, with most of the funds going to the bounty. May the best hacker win!

We are beyond excited that the community rallied together to bring Blockchain Week to Berlin. The New York Blockchain Week was a blast, and we expect no less from this one.

Written in collaboration with Lea Schmitt