Issue 99, July/August 2018
   Events Preview
   Interview with Christoph Burger
   Advanced Blockchain AG
   Bernstein Technologies
   SXSW Panel Voting
After the Financial Crisis of 2008 many people lost their trust in banks. That's why the developers of bitcoin grounded their creation in the framework of Blockchain, a software that provides a trustless, decentralized, real-time ledger for digital transactions. Computers connected via the Blockchain verify transactions using cryptography and connect these transactions to the block of previous ones, thus creating the tamperproof "chain" of Blockchain.
Besides banking, innovators in other industries are testing Blockchain's implementation. If you have ever wondered if a product is counterfeit, where your food comes from, or what shady deals go on in politics, Blockchain may soon provide your answers.
In our July/August newsletter we look at three German companies innovating with Blockchain technology: Advanced Blockchain AG helps German companies transition their finances to Blockchain, Bernstein Technologies uses Blockchain to modernize intellectual property verification and RAAY applies Blockchain to real estate investment funds. In this month's interview Christoph  Burger discusses Blockchain technology in Germany and the U.S. and its applications in his field in the energy sector.
GCRI full auditorium
We have a slate of excellent events coming up this fall in New York! Save the dates and follow our Eventbrite
to keep track of future events.

Wed., Sept. 5 at 6:30 PM ET - Free Speech on Campus - How Do Universities Engage with Political Discourse? Join a panel of three speakers representing American and German points of view as they discuss student protests that have prevented speakers from visiting college campuses. Contribute questions via Twitter by tagging @GRCI_NY and using the hashtag #FreeSpeechOnCampus.

Thurs., Sept. 13 at 5:30 PM ET - Falling Walls Lab 2018 New York. Take part in an international forum for the next generation of innovators and creative thinkers and watch participants pitch their ideas to an esteemed jury with the hopes of reaching the Falling Walls Finals in Berlin.  

Tues., Sept. 18 at 6:30 PM ET - Live Long and Prosper: Aging Research in Academia and Industry. Join us for an event investigating the effects of aging on different areas of today's society.

Tues., Oct. 23 at 6:30 PM ET - Leibniz Lecture with Prof. Dr. Axel Ockenfels. Save the date! More details forthcoming.

Source &  Image:  GCRI New York 

Interview with Christoph Burger

Christoph Burger is a senior lecturer at ESMT Berlin. Before joining in 2003, he worked five years for the e-commerce group Otto and was vice president at Bertelsmann Buch AG. Prior to that he worked for the consulting firm Arthur D. Little and as an independent consultant focusing on the private equity financing of SMEs.

His research focus is on innovation, Blockchain and energy markets. He is co-author of the dena/ESMT studies on "Vulnerabilities in Smart Meter Infrastructure" and " Blockchain in the Energy Transition," the " ESMT Innovation Index - Electricity Supply Industry" and the book The Decentralized Energy Revolution - Business Strategies for a New Paradigm.
In our interview this month, Christoph Burger talks to us about what Blockchain is, the U.S. and German Blockchain landscapes, common misconceptions about the technology, its potential uses in our everyday life, and its applications in his own work in the energy sector.
Read the full interview here.

Image: Christoph Burger

Advanced Blockchain AG, a German publicly-listed company based in Berlin, helps companies understand how they can benefit from Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Their aim is to bring the vast potential of DLT to the everyday economy. By designing, developing and deploying tailor-made DLT software, and incorporating the technology and its benefits into operations, products and services, Advanced Blockchain AG wants to increase the efficiency, security and productivity of companies.

Advanced Blockchain AG is partnered with another Berlin-based company, whose team focuses on the education, research and development of innovative DLT solutions, such as the Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), an alternative to the better-known Blockchain. The two companies are currently collaborating on a project "peaq," which aims to create a functional, efficient, base-layer protocol capable of overcoming the main drawbacks of traditional Blockchain systems and the consensus problems currently found in DAGs.

Once completed, the protocol could be used by Advanced Blockchain AG for a variety of real-world projects and industries, focusing on smart contracts, notary and loyalty programs. The creative minds behind Advance Blockchain AG hope this will help companies make the jump into the world of DLT. Their ultimate goal is to bridge today's economy with the better connected, more inclusive economies of the future. 

Source & Image: Advanced Blockchain AG

Bernstein Technologies: Intellectual Property for the Digital Age Beitrag3

The current intellectual property (IP) system is struggling to keep pace with accelerating innovation cycles, globalization, and digitalization. Patents, which have long been the go-to strategy for IP protection, are slow (the average pending time in the U.S. is over two years), geographically limited, and are not applicable to all digital fields.
Bernstein is a simple web app that is leveraging Blockchain technology by allowing users to create certificates that prove the existence, integrity, and ownership of any IP asset - globally, conveniently, and without having to disclose the content to anyone - not even to Bernstein itself.

Those Blockchain certificates are valid worldwide, since a guarantee is not given by a central authority but by mathematics. Moreover, the explicit admissibility of Blockchain-based records and signatures in court is starting to appear in many jurisdictions around the world. The first IP-related court decision based on Blockchain evidence was just recently made in China, setting a precedent for other courts to follow. Securing trade secrets, guaranteeing freedom to operate, but also fostering open innovation, making strong copyright claims and enhancing non-disclosure agreements are just some of the applications of Blockchain technology.
Source &  Image:  Bernstein Technologies GmbH 

Initiated and supported by Datarella , a well-established German blockchain-solutions provider, RAAY was launched in early 2018. RAAY's technology is based on Datarella's "Building Blocks" project, which they created for the United Nation's World Food Programme in May 2017.

RAAY's goal is to become the new operating system for banking. Banks currently face a multitude of challenges, from degenerated trust to inflexible and overcharged IT infrastructures and processes. Because the finance industry has changed little in recent decades, and financial crises have resulted in strict new regulatory frameworks, banking is made even harder.

For the RAAY team, Blockchain provides the ideal basis for renewing trust in banks and making banking-IT more efficient. That is why they created a new operating system: to connect finance industry players and enable efficient applications that require no trust.

For its first product RAAY has partnered with a German bank to create a crypto token representing the partial ownership of a German real estate investment fund. The token is part of an unchangeable, trust-less and decentralized system built specifically for the new RAAY OS for banking. The token and the auxiliary system achieves an improved model for ownership of real estate by applying blockchain technology, secure and scalable identification solutions and tried-and-tested account management software.

This is the first step in RAAY's strategy to create the new OS for banking. It will be fully operational in 2018, reduce costs for the fund, and - since it is available globally - it will address a completely new investor target group. By going stepwise from one application area to another, RAAY will build a modular and configurable OS for banking that removes inefficiencies, regardless whether the partner is an asset manager, a bank or a fintech-company.

Source & Image: Michael Reuter, CEO RAAY

Vote for Our Panel

Energy, food, water and waste: how will the cities of the future deal with these topics? That's the question we hope to explore in a panel at the 2019 South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference.

To help our panel get selected, we need your vote! Follow the link to the SXSW Panel Picker Website , create an account and vote "Yes" to our panel proposal. 

Source & Image: SXSW, LLC