Germany Struggles With Blockchain Adoption: Just 4.4 Startups per Million Inhabitants

Germany Struggles With Blockchain Adoption: Just 4.4 Startups per Million Inhabitants

· 4.4 blockchain start-ups per million working-age citizens in Germany: a long way behind in an EU comparison

· 95% of German companies would like to see more digital know-how in their own country

· 81% of German companies see Germany as rather or completely dependent on foreign countries for digital services

· 89% of logistics companies consider cloud computing and blockchain important or very important to the logistics sector

Despite a nation-wide strategy presented by the German government, the number of blockchain start-ups per million able-bodied citizens in Germany is 4.4, putting the Federal Republic way behind in an EU comparison. There is also considerable catching-up to be done in terms of digitalisation, as shown in a new infographic from Block-Builders.net.

Most agree that digitalisation is absolutely essential to remaining competitive. 95% of German companies would like to see more digital know-how in their own country. Slightly more than half of the companies surveyed believe that Germany is rather dependent on other countries when it comes to digital expertise. Just under a third see the Federal Republic as completely dependent – Germany also ranks ingloriously last in this respect in a comparison of leading industrialised countries.

Blockchain remains a rather niche topic among the general public: most people primarily associate it with digital currencies such as bitcoin. However, as shown in the infographic, this technology could soon become indispensable to a number of industries.

89% of logistics companies in Germany regard the issues of cloud computing and blockchain as significant or very significant for the logistics industry. Just under a third of professionals at managerial level in municipal utilities and energy supply companies see blockchain solutions as very relevant to the energy sector.

“Although many digital currencies are based on blockchain technology, its potential applications range far beyond this,” explains Block-Builders analyst Raphael Lulay. “Whether and to what extent Germany will be able to profit from the trend remains to be seen – at least relative to its economic power and population, the Federal Republic of Germany has not done well so far”.

The German government released a 24-page blockchain strategy 2 years ago. The document showed a commitment to supporting the use of the technology. While focusing on financial applications, the document also outlines the national approach to blockchain project funding, sustainability, and digital identity. One key point was that the government will not support private stablecoins as an alternative to sovereign currency, implying that projects like Libra could be blocked.

The document also highlighted ongoing projects, including a blockchain-based energy database for tracking power usage, a system for verifying educational qualifications, and a smart contract registry with the German Energy Agency. The country is additionally piloting a state-wide digital identity system. Plus, it plans to release a study on the subject, looking at how to authenticate people’s devices, keep personal data safe, and ensure data integrity.

In finance, the document reveals that Germany plans to extend its laws to include electronic securities as early as this year. The strategy reads: “The regulation of electronic securities should be technology-neutral, so that future electronic value papers can also be issued on a blockchain.”

However, as data by Block-Builders showed, very little progress has been done ever since, with the private sector still struggling to effectively develop projects and ideas that back up that strategy.

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