Following the establishment of many new start-ups in Berlin, it appears that the German Capital is rapidly becoming a hub for financial and blockchain technology.
It has been reported that more than 70 fintech companies currently call Berlin home, which is more than double the number in Frankfurt which has been the traditional home of financial services companies. In addition, the number of start-ups set up offices in Berlin has increased since the uncertainty generated in London and the UK following Brexit.
However, it is not traditional financial services that are transforming the German industry but rather blockchain-related projects which have begun to rapidly appear. The German economy is home to many large traditional banks and financial services companies many of which are scrambling to position themselves in relation to innovative technology such as distributed ledger technology (DLT) like Bitcoin’s blockchain.
The World Economic Forum recently called Blockchain technology one of six Internet and computer ‘megatrends’. According to Ernst and Young, in 2015 there where approximately 13,000 people involved with fintech and blockchain applications in Berlin.
Although not located in Berlin, one of the world’s largest software companies, Germany’s SAP, has recently made numerous announcements about DLTs it is working on. One of the key areas where blockchain is having an impact is in financial payments, with the potential to improve the speed of inter-bank payments from days to a matter of 20 seconds. However, SAP is working on blockchain solutions in areas such as: media, farming, banking, energy and healthcare.
In May of this year, Berlin hosted the German Tech Entrepreneur Center (GTEC) awards which received applications from more than 100 start-ups working on distributed ledger technologies which seems to confirm the current enthusiasm for blockchain technologies in Germany.