Interview with Ingo Rammer | Blockchain Technology Conference 2018

“Decentralization is more important than blockchain”

JAXenter Editorial Team
Gabriela Motroc interviewing Ingo Rammer at Blockchain Technology Conference 2018

When it comes to blockchain, opinions regarding its journey to the mainstream are divided. However, for developers, this is not necessarily the most important aspect of this technology. We caught up with Ingo Rammer, co-founder & managing director of Thinktecture AG at Blockchain Technology Conference 2018 to discuss the shortcomings of current blockchain infrastructures, the most common pitfalls developers fall into and more.

“We are in a very early stage of blockchain”

The Blockchain Technology Conference has come to an end but now’s the perfect time for an overview of the most important takeaways.

We’ve gathered enough intel to keep our minds well-fed until the next blockchain-related conference and for those of you who couldn’t attend the conference, we livestreamed three keynotes so that you don’t miss out on anything. You can find them here and here.

Speaking of takeaways, we talked to Ingo Rammer, co-founder & managing director of Thinktecture AG and speaker at the Blockchain Technology Conference, about the shortcomings of current blockchain infrastructures, the most common pitfalls developers fall into, the difference between private and public blockchains and more.

SEE ALSO: “If you make the right choices, blockchain will help you, otherwise it’s going to be a nightmare for you to manage”

Here are some quotes from the interview:

  • Most people are in a preview [or proof-of-concept] state of blockchain at the moment and that’s important because we have so much to learn. Even the infrastructure providers are in a learning state.
  • We are in a very early stage of blockchain.
  • The first question you should ask yourself is: Do I really want to create a decentralized application? If the answer is yes, you will have to rethink a lot of aspects, such as how value is created in the system, how money is transferred, how to earn money out of this.
  • With Ethereum, all the transactions are public forever.
  • There is no mining in private blockchains.
  • Most private blockchain tools allow some kind of transaction privacy.
  • I prefer Hyperledger Fabric not just for technical reasons but mainly because of the Linux Foundation. I like the fact that they have a very clear governance behind their projects and Quorum, for example, has no such governance.
  • A lot of people use public blockchains but don’t create them.
  • Private blockchains are easier but at the same time, you have to decide on all governance.
  • Developers are used to being able to change the code but you can’t create Ethereum contracts in an Agile way unless you plan for it right from the start because, by default, you can’t change it.
  • Blockchain draws more attention than DLT (distributed ledger technology) but the important thing is decentralization, not blockchain.
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Ingo Rammer is co-founder and managing director of Thinktecture AG. He’s been helping software architects and developers employ cutting-edge technologies in their projects for more than twenty years. His current focus is the hype-free use of blockchain technologies in B2B environments, mainly in permissioned networks based on Hyperledger Fabric, Parity, or Tendermint.


We’ve got more goodies from Ingo Rammer’s opening keynote at the Blockchain Technology Conference 2018:

Blockchain requires reliability and stability

Ingo Rammer summarized the current state of blockchain in his keynote “Blockchain 2018 – Where are we today?“. What are the questions that you need to ask yourself before choosing blockchain technologies? He discussed the underlying landscape of public and private blockchain tools and the ecological and economic impact of different consensus algorithms.

Here’s what we learned while putting together our technological roadmap:

  • The reasons for decentralization: safety, control over your data (self-sovereignty). However, we have to be aware of the technology’s maturity. We are still in the early learning phases.
  • Private blockchain networks are less experimental so their purpose is to solve efficiency.
  • Public vs private blockchain conversation: they will eventually converge but it will take a few years. Large blockchains may happen in the future.
  • The pace will accelerate! New public chains will appear in the future along with new private chains. Choice is generally a good thing, but we need to understand that few of these technologies will remain. Most of them will die before they reach maturity.
  • Value creation happens on the edge of the network, not inside. Your decentralized platform will survive, even if you quit. If it doesn’t, this means you haven’t really created a decentralized platform.
  • Can your business model run on a central database with an API in front? Maybe you don’t really need blockchain.
  • Decentralization needs clear governance. You need to find a documented process for every change you make. For private networks, governance is more important than the choice of a particular technology.
  • You can even change your technology. Great governance models will survive this. If you don’t have a governance model, you don’t have a decentralized model.
  • Focus on decentralization, not blockchains.
  • Look into private chains to create value. Businesses like efficiency!
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