Philipp Büchel, founder of the Blockchain Büro in Ruggell, Liechtenstein, talks about his first experiences with blockchain and Bitcoin and what his tasks in the Blockchain office are.
Ramona: When did you first hear about blockchain and Bitcoin?
Philipp: I heard about Bitcoin for the first time in 2012. I found the idea of being responsible for one’s own values fascinating. A month later, when I stumbled across the topic for the second time, I started to understand how the system works and it hasn’t let me go since then.
Ramona: Did you immediately buy bitcoins?
Philipp: When I understood how the system works and what bitcoins are, I bought bitcoins for a trial to do more “learning by doing”, of course.
Ramona: Learning by doing is probably the best way! When and why did you start the Blockchain office with Demelza Hays?
Philipp: The company was originally founded to have a legal entity that operates the Bitcoin ATM in Vaduz. That was in 2016. The need for information and consulting then developed so strongly that I had to quit my job as an engineer.
Ramona: How large is your range of tasks and what tasks does your portfolio include?
Philipp: We advise in all matters concerning blockchain or crypto currencies. Often, we hold mandates from clients who either want to expand their business model with a blockchain application, or have clients with such a model themselves, which they would like to better understand. In addition, we give lectures and workshops or lead projects for implementation. Finally, the Blockchain office also runs what I call – somewhat exaggeratedly – our “research arm”. Here we operate hands-on: try out new technologies, implement proof-of-concept solutions or, for example, access the Bitcoin blockchain via satellite in our latest project: An attempt to reduce dependence on the Internet.
Ramona: How many ICOs have you already supported?
Philipp: We are extremely selective when it comes to ICOs. The business models have to be convincing, realistic and the use of the blockchain technology should be justified. There is very little left. In our case, a handful of projects.
Ramona: How did you acquire all your blockchain knowledge?
Philipp: My knowledge has grown over time with history. I have the advantage that I was able to witness the development of Bitcoin, and later other Blockchain applications. If you’re part of such a small community and have six years of time, the knowledge gets a completely different depth than if you have to read in superficially about secondary sources afterwards. This, I believe, is one of the unique selling points of our company. In addition, it is of course important to keep pace with the rapid development of this industry. In addition to Internet research, this can be done by attending meetings, lectures and very few conferences.
Ramona: You also give lectures from time to time. Do you like to teach blockchain knowledge to other people?
Philipp: I especially like this part. I am allowed to pass on what inspires me and see directly how this enthusiasm finds more shining pairs of eyes. That, as well as the contact and the direct feedback of the listeners, are very satisfying and make me happy.
Ramona: That’s beautiful! Is a next workshop already planned?
Philipp: At the moment there are no public events planned.
Ramona: All right. Will you perhaps give us a short forecast about Liechtenstein and blockchain?
Philipp: The progressive legislation we are planning will certainly bring many new companies into the country, which have contact points with blockchain issues and move into a new token economy.
Ramona: What opportunities do you see for Liechtenstein and blockchain?
Philipp: I see in the small size [of the country], the resulting high flexibility, and the short distances, a good ability to react to innovation and new industries, as we can experience in this case.
Ramona: And finally a question for all those planning an ICO, etc., are there any prerequisites for an ICO to be supported by you?
Philipp: The idea has to convince me, solve a real problem and be supported by a competent team. The implementation of the idea should be driven by passion and realistically planned. These are good prerequisites so that I can efficiently help to implement the blockchain part.
Ramona: Thank you Philipp for your time and for the great interview!
Philipp’s book tips for a profound blockchain knowledge:
- Mastering Bitcoin – Andreas M. Antonopoulos
- The Bitcoin Standard – Saifedean Ammous
- Four Futures – Peter Frase
- The Internet of Money – Andreas M. Antonopoulos
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