Blockchain Interview with Daniel Haudenschild
Swisscom is founding Swisscom Blockchain AG to further the development of blockchain applications in and for Switzerland. Their new CEO, Daniel Haudenschild, explains what the company can do and why they are doing it.
Text: Matthias Niklowitz, Images: © Micha Riechsteiner , 21 september 2017
What potential does blockchain technology have from your point of view?
Blockchain technology will revolutionise business and administration as we know it in the coming years. The reason for this is that it has never been so easy to access products, services or information from anywhere in the world. The Internet and digitalisation make all this possible. The administrative processes that run in the background, such as supply chains, payment flows and contractual relationships, however, are all very conventional still, and often extremely complex, sluggish and expensive. These procedures could be simplified if the parties involved were not forced to keep their own books and a joint database existed that all of them could access. Blockchain technology, which, in simple terms, is made up of distributed databases, could take over this role. All the subscribers would save their data redundantly and it would be backed up constantly.
Daniel Haudenschild, CEO Swisscom Blockchain AG
Why is Swisscom founding Swisscom Blockchain AG?
We consider this technology to be a key supporting and enabling technology for a variety of industries. Blockchain technology is also a key topic for Switzerland as a location, because it allows us to play a leading role worldwide as an industry and workplace environment. By founding Swisscom Blockchain AG, we can help companies tap into the potential this technology has. At the same time, we are also introducing the highest possible professional standards to the industry.
Until the summer of 2017, Daniel Haudenschild worked for EY for 20 years stationed in Vienna, Copenhagen, London and Zurich. He knows well the challenges faced by various industries and dozens of companies from his consulting work. Convinced that blockchain technology is the answer to many of these challenges, he accelerated developments with a team of blockchain specialists at EY Switzerland. Under his leadership, his team hastened the acceptance of EY Bitcoin as a means of payment, with all EY employees around the world now being furnished with a Bitcoin virtual wallet.
«It allows us to play a leading role worldwide as an industry and workplace environment.»
How large will Swisscom Blockchain AG be by the end of 2017 or 2018?
As large as we need to be to successfully complete multidisciplinary projects. Talented people with blockchain experience are in very high demand. But if we instigate ground-breaking projects, we will be able to convince them to join Swisscom Blockchain AG.
What is more, our work does not follow a consulting model, so the size of the new business we are going to grow cannot necessarily be derived from size of the workforce.
«Talented people with blockchain experience are in very high demand.»
Which segments or sectors provide particularly high potential do you think?
We see very high potential in the financial services sector for providers, in the pharmaceuticals sector, in processing industries and in transport and logistics.
Are there any specific projects in the pipeline already?
Yes, we are currently involved in discussing initial applications with our customers. In concrete terms, we are already working on a digital C-share as a member of the digitalswitzerland network, as well as an initial attempt to create a blockchain solution for the commercial register.
«People will also find out that they can get paid for things that they previously didn't know they could earn money from.»
How will Swisscom customers benefit from Blockchain?
Our customers will be able access resources that belong to a company which is capable of providing them with a full spectrum of services, ranging from the initial idea to the finished solution. All this will be based on the knowledge and experience housed in a large consulting firm, combined with the technological expertise of Swisscom engineers and an infrastructural environment that is very probably unique in the market. Swisscom is also committed to developing turnkey solutions, which is something we are accustomed to doing as a customer-focussed company to meet the needs of our customers.
Will the man on the street also become a stakeholder in all this in the long term?
Probably. Processes are becoming faster and some products and services are also becoming cheaper. People will also find out that they can get paid for things that they previously didn't know they could earn money from.
Swisscom has been researching and testing blockchain applications since 2015, including a solution for over-the-counter trading. Swisscom is founding Swisscom Blockchain AG to further the development of blockchain applications in and for Switzerland.
> Swisscom Blockchain AG
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