The crypto industry is buzzing with startups, as the decentralized nature of blockchain technology provides fertile ground for innovative ideas and disruptive business models. These crypto startups often seek the support of outside firms - including venture builders - to fuel their expansion.
Startups are dynamic and innovative ventures that bring new ideas and disruptive solutions to the market. They are often characterized by their agility, entrepreneurial spirit and drive for rapid expansion. Venture builders, on the other hand, are companies that specialize in creating and nurturing startups. They provide startups with key resources, expertise, and advice to accelerate their growth and increase their chances of success. By bridging the gap between idea and implementation, venture builders play a crucial role in promoting entrepreneurship, as the new Cryptix CEO Armin Reiter explains in a conversation with CVJ.CH.
CVJ.CH: Cryptix describes itself as a Web3 venture builder. What does this term mean, and what activities are typically involved?
Armin Reiter: As a venture builder, we establish and develop startups in the Web3 and FinTech sectors and accompany them throughout the entire value chain. We generate ideas internally and in collaboration with clients, and we are financially involved as well as providing our expertise and resources in the founding, implementation, and establishment of these companies. With the slogan "Venture Building is Value Building," we emphasize our focus on establishing sustainable businesses.
We act as a one-stop-shop for Web3 ventures and offer support to our clients in areas such as blockchain consulting, software development, IT infrastructure, cybersecurity, legal consulting, finance, and marketing and communication.
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Wie passen Blockchain-Unternehmungen in diesen Bereich?
Blockchain enterprises fit into this realm by utilizing the blockchain technology, which provides numerous possibilities, particularly in startup financing and decentralized finance (DeFi), as well as self-sovereign identity or the decentralization of organizations. The blockchain can not only help simplify and optimize numerous processes but also enable entirely new, decentralized forms of organization.
We leverage the potential of blockchain in various areas, creating innovative solutions and gaining access to a still emerging market. In the medium to long term, the blockchain empowers individuals with more responsibility and opportunities, which is why we see ventures in this field as the future. For example, one of our ongoing projects focuses on tokenizing real estate and generating renewable energy, enabling small-scale investors to invest in valuable assets with minimal amounts and generate returns. This use case, facilitated by the blockchain, offers absolute transparency, cost-efficiency, and automation.
As a new CEO with a deep technical background, where is your main focus?
Through projects like Equito (a MiFID II-regulated broker in the EU), Blocktrade (a cryptocurrency exchange), or eCredits (a Layer-1 blockchain), we have demonstrated our technological capability to successfully implement significant Web3 and blockchain projects.
My goal as the new CEO is to create a framework for our team that allows us to better position our expertise and individual services and integrate more effectively into the crypto community. Additionally, we have numerous ideas for innovative projects that we intend to realize.
Furthermore, I consider automation and AI as important topics. We enjoy developing new ideas and products and want to concentrate fully on them. This also means automating other undesirable tasks as much as possible.
Are there any interesting technical developments in the crypto field that you would like to highlight?
Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important in all areas, including the blockchain domain. The crypto scene, in particular, has gained a negative reputation in recent years due to numerous scams and attacks on providers. The CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS) has been established as a standard for crypto companies, complementing established standards such as ISO. Certified companies can demonstrate their adherence to specific security standards. Recently, version 8.1 of CCSS was released, and Cryptix takes pride in having the first CCSS auditor in the DACH region as part of our team. Initiatives like CCSS not only enhance security but also instill confidence in users regarding the providers.
In your opinion, which industries have the greatest potential to be fundamentally transformed by blockchain technology?
We are already witnessing significant transformations in the financial sector, ranging from decentralized finance (DeFi) and crowdfunding to tokenization. Another area with immense potential is self-sovereign identity. Blockchain will also play an important role in healthcare and supply chain management.
The regulatory environment overseas is becoming increasingly stringent. How do you evaluate the recent decisions made by US authorities?
Currently, there is a strong anti-crypto sentiment prevailing in the United States, which can be detrimental not only to the industry but also to the country itself. The recent regulatory decisions in the US often lack clear guidelines on how to regulate cryptocurrencies and crypto companies.
The positive side effect of this situation is that Europe now has the opportunity to become a pioneer in an innovative market. With the MiCA regulation, the EU has established a good legal framework, leading some blockchain companies to migrate from the US to Europe, and new startups are emerging in the EU. While the Silicon Valley and China have been far ahead in most technological advancements, these new regulations create a favorable environment for blockchain companies in the EU.
Is there a risk that regulators in the EU and Switzerland will follow suit? How do you generally perceive the conditions in the "Crypto Valley"?
At Cryptix, we advocate for transparent and comprehensible regulation of the crypto industry. We support initiatives that promote reliability and security in blockchain technology and believe that a clear regulatory framework, supporting innovation while protecting investors, is essential. We endorse initiatives like MiCA, which contribute to harmonizing regulations within the EU. MiCA is a regulatory initiative positioning the EU as a crypto pioneer.
In Europe, Switzerland is a clear regulatory trendsetter. Firstly, the country offers legal certainty and clarity regarding the regulatory requirements for operating crypto companies. Secondly, there are clear guidelines and regulations for conducting tokenization projects. This creates a transparent and trustworthy environment for investors. Moreover, Swiss regulatory authorities have demonstrated an open attitude towards blockchain technology and the crypto industry, which fosters trust and support among businesses.
Which services currently have the highest demand?
Tokenization, especially of real assets such as real estate or photovoltaic parks, is becoming increasingly interesting and in-demand. This allows crypto projects to reach a broader market and brings blockchain and Web3 concepts to traditional companies. We also see a demand for consulting and education as blockchain, Web3, and the concept of decentralization are still distant to many businesses.
As a leader in the industry, what advice would you give to startups or entrepreneurs looking to enter the blockchain space or develop solutions using this technology?
Familiarize yourself with existing technologies and make the most of them. Technologically, we are already far ahead compared to the daily apps we use. The biggest hurdles currently lie in usability, adoption, and security.
For example, one could manage invoices on the blockchain, automate payments, and share identities with various providers such as banks, payment service providers, or exchanges. By doing so, numerous processes could be simplified and automated. Technologically, these improvements are feasible, but they face challenges in usability, adoption by banks, and security, particularly in handling stolen or lost private keys. We are making progress in all these areas, but there is still room for improvement. Startups have the opportunity to establish themselves with innovative solutions.
Which developments in the next 3-5 years are you particularly excited about?
I am particularly excited about the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and the ability to use cryptocurrencies like eCredits for payments at many merchants and online shops. Furthermore, in the longer term, I look forward to blockchain becoming a common interface for numerous services, making many activities simpler. For instance, self-sovereign identity will allow individuals to identify themselves without disclosing their personal data. The ability to transfer assets quickly and easily and fully decentralized organization of companies through the blockchain are also highly promising developments.