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Source: Bosch.IO

Thinking out loud – Dominik Schiener on blockchain

4 2 min

Dominik Schiener is one of the co-founders of IOTA, a revolutionary distributed ledger technology for the Internet of Things. The IOTA Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Berlin, Germany. We asked Dominik to share his thoughts on blockchain with us.

I first came into contact with blockchain…

“…in 2011 via a gaming community. At that time, I was selling services and earning money via PayPal. I was 14 years old and wasn’t even legally allowed to use this service. Needless to say, I had my frustrations with such a centralized service provider as I wasn’t able to participate in this economy. However, Bitcoin and blockchain allowed me to do just that. As a cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has no barriers and is permissionless. Anyone can contribute to the ecosystem. That’s when I started to fully understand the potential of blockchain.”

What I really like about blockchain…

“…is the concept of permissionless innovation. The internet has enabled the free flow of information. With blockchain, you now have a free flow of assets, allowing everyone to participate in and contribute to these new ecosystems. A good example of this is the machine economy. The owner of a weather station is now able to sell data to a machine that needs the data for predictive analytics. This is only possible through distributed ledger technologies.”

What drives me nuts about blockchain…

“…is the speculation going on in the community. We’ve kind of lost track of why we developed this technology. Initially, it was developed to solve fundamental problems in society. But over the last few years, the focus has turned to speculations and the question of how to get rich using these cryptocurrencies. People are not focused on innovating anymore – it´s all about making money instead. This is really setting us back. I think it is time for us to regroup. We should focus on where we can apply this technology, in industry or elsewhere, to really solve problems.”

The biggest lesson I learned with regard to blockchain was…

“…that no one truly understands where this technology is headed. We are still in the early stages of development and haven’t fully defined this technology. We haven’t yet found a way to make it scalable and production-ready. I’ve realized that the only way to make blockchain a success story is to bring the entire ecosystem together. This means industry and the community have to sit down at one table and work together to push blockchain forward.”

More on blockchain

Dominik Schiener explains what distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) are able to achieve and how the IoT can benefit.

What is blockchain all about? We present you ten things you need to know.

Generating trust in IoT: Bosch and other international companies have set up the Trusted IoT Alliance for blockchain and related technologies.


  • 2. May 2018 at 6:05

    Hopefully Bosch will implement and develop their systems using IOTA and the Tangle. Having a zero fee transaction based distributed ledger system will really propel their business and help them be a big player in the M2M economy and Industry 4.0.

    It was nice to see Fujitsu publicly display at the Hannover Messe in Germany how they will be implemented IOTA and the Tangle into their smart-factory to support their logistic and supply process. In addition they will hosting an IOTA full-node.

    Block-chain is great for financially transactions. However, in regards to industry 4.0 and specifically in regards to supply and logistics, block-chain technology can not scale. One single product that moves from manufacturing to customer will go through tens if not a hundred transactions on the distributed ledger. Even if the transaction fee (associated with block-chain and mining) costs only 0.001 cent, that will add up to millions of dollars in yearly transaction costs. However, with IOTA and the Tangle each transaction has a zero fee cost. Now the products can be tracked from production to customer on a decentralized immutable ledger not only avoiding excessive transaction costs, but also creating many cost saving benefits.

    • 10. August 2018 at 13:51

      iota needs offchain solution too, because high TPS cause too much internet traffic between iota nodes and problems with synchronisation

  • 14. April 2018 at 5:40

    Organizations need to be careful about permissionless innovation which can deliver value but which has the potential to go horribly wrong. Here’s just one example involving Alphabet/Google – Perhaps it would be better if these innovators backed the risks they take with genuine accountability, a concern that is becoming increasingly evident with the mis-use of data from social media platforms.

    Regarding Blockchain, the concept certainly has energized several markets and that’s a positive for innovation. However, the intended applications are not necessarily the ones that are most talked about today because of the way it ‘leaks’ information –

  • 13. April 2018 at 9:38

    “We should focus on where we can apply this technology, in industry or elsewhere, to really solve problems.”

    I agree. Blockchain tech is still a solution in search of a problem. IOTA in particular is certainly innovative. What I’m not sure about: Is the innovation (compared to Bitcoin) actually useful anywhere? Also, IOTA security/crypto stuff has not the best reputation.