6 brilliant Berlin blockchain start-ups worth keeping an eye on

In , there’s apparently a new start-up founded every 20 minutes. This makes the city a highly competitive environment for all industries, including blockchain.

In recent years, Berlin has become something of a blockchain hub. It’s unsurprising, given the city’s reputation as a breeding ground for start-ups. With a new start-up founded every 20 minutes in the German capital, according to economics journalist Magdalena Thiele, there’s an ever-increasing number of companies innovating at every angle of blockchain from infrastructure to middleware and applications.

With a wealth of Berlin blockchain businesses to choose from, we’ve selected some start-ups using the technology in a variety of interesting ways.

Authenteq

Headquartered in Reykjavík but with offices in Berlin, London and Palo Alto, Authenteq was founded by Adam Martin, Kari Thor Runarsson and Runar Karlsson. Since it was founded in 2015, the company has raised $7.4m in funding.

The start-up has developed an automatic identity verification and privacy platform that issues a blockchain-based, self-owned and controlled digital ID. The ID can be used to verify your identity through any channel without inputting any information, which makes it a pretty useful KYC (know your customer) solution.

Tip Me

Founded by Jonathan Funke in 2016, Tip Me wants to make globalisation fair. Rather than preaching to customers, this start-up aims to give them the option to combine the tradition of tipping with Ethereum, allowing users the opportunity to tip not just the waiters and baristas who serve them in their day-to-day life, but also the workers who harvest the ingredients and coffee beans that end up in our convenient, everyday purchases.

When a purchase in one of Tip Me’s partner shops is made, users have the option to give a global tip directly to those who made the product. The tip is then transferred into a transparent account, where the platform ensures that producers receive the full 100pc.

Anyl

Founded by Lorenzo Pieri in 2018, Anyl was formerly known as AnyLedger. The company develops passwordless authentication for IoT devices.

After realising that passwords are responsible for four out of five cyberattacks, Anyl decided the best solution was to scrap them altogether. With the start-up’s blockchain-based platform, users are unaware of their passwords, but can still access their accounts and applications securely.

Energy Web Foundation

With offices in Germany, Switzerland and the US, non-profit Energy Web Foundation has its HQ in the German capital. Co-founded by Rocky Mountain Institute and noted blockchain developer Grid Singularity in 2017, the company focuses on accelerating blockchain technology the energy sector, through its network of affiliates.

In the energy industry, blockchain has the potential to reduce transaction costs, enhance data security and transparency and speed up the transition towards a digitised, decarbonised, decentralised, democratised and resilient energy system.

To date, the business has raised $2.5m in funding for its solution, which it describes as “the grid’s new digital DNA”. Based on Ethereum, the Energy Web Foundation is tailored to the energy sector’s unique regulatory, operational and market needs.

Lightcurve

Lightcurve is a blockchain product development studio and consultancy founded by Max Kordek and Oliver Beddows. Since 2016, they have been focused on building Lisk, a platform that enables users to build and deploy blockchain applications using JavaScript. By making blockchain more accessible, Lisk aims to create a world in which everyone can benefit from the technology behind the system.

The company offers a gateway into blockchain through its desktop and mobile cryptocurrency wallets, as well as its LSK token, which is a utility token used to pay for transaction fees on the Lisk blockchain.

With Lisk’s developer tools, it’s possible to build a custom blockchain application in a single day, as its SDK allows the user to focus solely on coding.

Artory

Founded in 2016, Artory is a Berlin and New York-based start-up that serves as a registry for art and collectibles. When a sale or valuation of an artwork takes place, an issuing party, such as an auction house or gallery, creates a permanent record within the Artory Registry, containing signed information. This allows the work’s ownership to be verified, while the owner remains unknown to both Artory and the public.

The company was founded by Nanne Dekking and it raised a reported $7.3m in a Series A round this year which included 2020 Ventures, the same firm that backed Spotify and Postmates. It has also been backed and supported by the investment firm owned by Hasso Plattner, co-founder of SAP, who also happens to be an internationally renowned art collector.

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