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List of European Blockchain Experts: First Version Published, Call for Participation

Some weeks ago, we conducted a survey to identify the key blockchain experts in Europe. With this article we publish the first version of the list of experts. The goal is to collect a comprehensive list of experts in Europe — in various domains, regions and technologies. It is therefore a good outlet for experts in Europe to become more visible. The list is published including contact details to allow people to get an overview of blockchain experts in the European Union. For the first version of the list, we evaluated more than 200 experts based on the criteria and the method that is explained below. You can still participate by filling out the survey (5–10 minutes) for the next version of the list; it is still open. Find the survey here. — Authors: Philipp Sandner, Ruben Holzfuss, Veronika Kütt

“List of European Blockchain Experts” publicly available in first version

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Table 1: Excerpt of “List of European Blockchain Experts” (N=228)

Call for participation: the survey to the list of experts is still open

Results concerning the experts

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Table 2: Distribution of organizations in the “List of European Blockchain Experts” (multiple responses possible)

Table 3 offers insights in the budget that the organizations in the survey have. One important insight from this table is a significant share of the companies spend over €1 million. Yet, the lion’s share of the expert have small budgets.

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Table 3: Blockchain-specific budget of organizations in Europe (N=220)

Table 4 presents the amount of people that are familiar with a specific blockchain technology. This question did not ask for IT development experience but rather concerns the “familiarity” with a specific framework. As such, the absolute numbers are not as interesting as the distribution of weights. Participants were able to give multiple answers to this question. Most of the participants in our survey are familiar with the two largest permissionless blockchain systems Bitcoin and Ethereum. Thereafter, Hyperledger and Corda are ranked. The experts are less familiar with Quorum, Stellar or other technologies.

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Table 4: Familiarity with blockchain technologies (multiple responses possible)

Blockpool: a project to support adoption of blockchain technologies among SMEs

The Blockpool project is funded by the European Union with the aim to enhance SME innovation capacity, by accelerating the cross-border uptake and deployment of blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to European SMEs. The project therefore focuses on BDLTs at a post-prototyping stage that SMEs can adapt to their business through blockchain-testing activities, that can be either demonstration-oriented or/and focused on adaptation.

Evaluation criteria to quality as expert

Evaluation of the content quality

The minimum requirement to qualify for the “List of European Blockchain Experts” on the dimension of content quality is C3. This means that participants need at least one year experience in the field and some previous projects or one’s own project as a founder. We take this as a threshold since we believe that at least one year experience is needed to get a solid foundation of knowledge and connection in the blockchain ecosystem. Development experience is therefore not explicitly required since we believe that an experts does not necessarily need to have programming skills. Since this can of course be disputed, the astute reader is welcome to download the list and experiment with own filters to accommodate IT development expertise.

Level C3. Everybody in this category has more than one year experience in the field with more than one project. There is often still a lack in the development experience but people are familiar with a lot of technologies in that area. Experts with only one project can be found in this area if they have development experience or if they worked for the same blockchain project or company for a really long time (3–4 years). Participants also have good references for their projects and the work that they have done in the area. All of the participants know at least one jurisdiction.

Example: One participant entered that he is project lead for a blockchain project with an insurance company. He also emphasized that he has a good overview about developments in the blockchain ecosystem and a very good network with DLT stakeholders. He knows the German jurisdictions about blockchain.

Level C4. Participants achieve a “C4” grade if they acquired everything from the previous grade and some development experience. The most important factor for distinguishing the “C3” grade from the “C4” grade was the development experience. Many participants had several years of experience with several projects, however a lot of them lack the development experience and therefore the in-depth direct experience with the technology. The length of the development experience did not matter for the evaluation in this category. There are also some exceptions to this rule. Sometimes we graded people from “C3” to “C4” if participants had really good references or if they worked at a university and therefore did research or educated students in the area of blockchain.

Example: One participant entered that he had several projects with a bank and is familiar with 8 technologies (Bitcoin, Corda, Ethereum, Hyperledger, Stellar, Ripple, Litecoin, IOTA) but has no development experience yet. He argued that he has extensive project experience, which was also stated in his or her LinkedIn profile and in the references. He knows a variety of different jurisdictions in Europe.

Level C5. C5 is the highest grade that can be achieved. Participants have achieved all the criteria necessary for being “C4” and they have a “special reference” or long development experience. Something that makes them stand out from the other people in the “C4” category.

Example: A participant from Spain entered that he is familiar with 4 different technologies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, Quorum) and development experience with Solidity. He worked on many different projects such as Alastria. He also has academic experience. His or her extensive experience made him outstanding from the criteria set out for the category “F4”.

Distribution within the resulting list (N=228):

  • Score C5: 35 participants
  • Score C4: 104 participants
  • Score C3: 89 participants

Evaluation of the formal quality

Hence, we apply a minimum requirement concerning formal quality such that a participant qualities to be on the “List of European Blockchain Experts”. The minimum requirement of the formal quality of the list is a level of F3.

At the outset, every participant starts on a level of F5. Every mistake is counted as “-1” for their score. There is no possibility to get a higher score (i.e., “+1”) through an outstanding formal quality. A mistake can therefore not be compensated. Put differently, the score cannot increase anymore.

These examples provide an important reference point for the evaluation. A certain score is difficult to assign objectively. The individual evaluation of the references provided and also the argumentation on the question “What do you think makes you an expert?” can also have an impact on the evaluation.

Example: If a participant did a spelling mistake in the “Jurisdictions — Field”, his or her score would go down from F5 to F4. If the same person would then also have provided an answer to a question that could simply not been understood, his or her score would go down from F4 to F3.

Distribution within the resulting list (N=228):

  • Score F5: 169 participants
  • Score F4: 53 participants
  • Score F3: 6 participants

Remarks

Do you want to learn more about how blockchain will change our world?

  • Blockchain knowledge: We wrote a Medium article on how to acquire the necessary blockchain knowledge within a workload of 10 working days.
  • Our two blockchain books: We have edited two books on how blockchain will change our society (Amazon link) in general and the everything related to finance (Amazon link) in particular. Both books are available in print and for Kindle — currently in German and soon in English. The authors have been more than 20 well-known blockchain experts in startups, corporations and the government from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein — all contributing their expertise to these two books.
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Our two books: the first one on blockchain and the society and the second one on blockchain and finance

Authors

Ruben Lukas Holzfuss is student studying International Management at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. He first got in contact with blockchain technology during his exchange semester in Melbourne. He discovered the potential of the technology during that time and decided to work on a bachelor thesis concerning blockchain topics after returning to Frankfurt in 2019. Current projects include the bachelor thesis including a small collaboration with the Blockpool project for the data acquisition. You can contact him via mail (ruben.holzfuss@fs-students.de) or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruben-lukas-holzfuß-b1a73b12b/)

Veronika Kütt, mathematician, dedicated auto-didact and a decentralization enthusiast joined Frankfurt School Blockchain Center in 2018, currently coordinating an EU-funded project (Horizon2020), Blockpool, which is aiming at fostering Blockchain adoption for SMEs in the EU. Today, she concentrates on unpermissioned and open blockchain structures, mainly Bitcoin, as well as its second layer implementation, the Lightning network, which aims at solving the scalability problem of open blockchains.

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Professor | Lecturer | Author | Investor | Frankfurt School Blockchain Center

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