Blockchain and politics-Interview with Dieter Janecek (Member of the Bundestag) from Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen-Der Altcoinspekulant

Starting from the federal government’s blockchain strategy, the blockchain problem finally slowly entered the political world. Although this topic is certainly not the top priority for most members of Congress, some things are slowly happening at the regulatory level. One of the parliamentarians who discussed the topic of blockchain in more depth is Mr. Dieter Janacek From the Green Party.In my opinion, the Green Party is dealing with this topic relatively intensively, and there is a With industry giants, “What can blockchain do?”“Organized. I had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Janecek over the phone. We discussed some issues about blockchain as a driving force for digital innovation, and discussed the need for regulation.

AS: Mr. Janacek, thank you very much for taking the time to answer some questions! To what extent are you personally exposed to the topic of blockchain? Have you tried this technique yourself, maybe even taking up coins?

Dieter Janeke: So personally, I haven’t bought any coins yet, but when the media hype started, I did find more information on the relevant website. For example, through Ethereum and other currencies. Otherwise, I will contact the field, especially through the Blockchain Federation Association and individual companies that want to advance the technology. However, I am not keen on experimenting on my own.

AS: What is the actual situation of the topic of blockchain in politics and the Bundestag? From time to time, you can hear from the left and right that things are happening, but do you have the necessary ability to make the law meaningful?

Dieter Janeke: Well, the question is what kind of framework should we formulate for the development of blockchain technology, or whether political intervention in the market at this time is advisable. We know, or at least those who deal with this topic, there is a strong scene on this topic in Berlin. On the other hand, of course, we also have problems in the energy field, that is, the concept of proof of work, we have also solved it. Personally, I don’t pay much attention to the financial field, but I am more interested in possible applications in the cloud, public sector or development cooperation. First of all, it is exciting to find application areas, but as politicians, of course we also pay attention to the interests and ideologies behind the technology.

AS: There are now more blockchain experiences and concepts in some areas, and less in others. The Green Party is at the forefront. What do you think is the focus of the Green Party, and are there any differences between the methods that make Germany attractive to blockchain companies?

Dieter Janeke: Therefore, our approach is to first make it possible to use blockchain technology and the implementation of projects in the Federal Ministry of Research or, for example, the executive branch. These can be simple pilot projects to demonstrate what the technology can do. This is why we adopt a progressive approach, and the federal government is also designing a blockchain strategy. We hope to hear our voices there. Otherwise, of course, we have the energy issue already mentioned, which is of great concern to our Green Party. If blockchain technology is widely used and this problem is not solved, that is, you have to invest a lot of energy in mining, which will cause a problem. Then I would not believe these arguments that can be provided on the basis of renewable energy. In such a constellation, as a politician, it is difficult for me to say that it is still oriented in the public interest.

AS: Compared with other places, especially those related to ICO, compared with Switzerland or Liechtenstein, Germany is not very interesting from the perspective of many projects. This is mainly due to the difficulty and slowness of supervision and bureaucracy. In your opinion, what is the specific state of good supervision?

Dieter Janeke: I think it should appear first. This is the true meaning of what I see: we need one. This will make ICOs easier to implement in Germany. Now we have an uncertainty framework, which is terrible. Otherwise, I really don’t want to say that, we need to look at the whole scene. For example, some views believe that the euro can be replaced by cryptocurrency, or that all intermediaries are bad, and everything can only be done on the basis of decentralized trust-I think this is a dangerous ideology. Because there is another point behind it, that is, you want to close the state, so to speak. In my opinion, you need to do this to keep the economy within the framework of trust.

AS: Now it is about the application of blockchain technology. Can you imagine the application of blockchain technology in the public sector or at the national level, such as in bureaucracy?

Dieter Janeke: So it is definitely in various fields of digital management. Perhaps it is also in the school education cloud to provide corresponding transparency between actors. Otherwise, it is also in the field of development cooperation, which is a powerful topic. For example, in Kenya’s community reorganization, where the currency has depreciated sharply or credit cards are too expensive for most people, blockchain technology has a preliminary way to reorganize them or create equivalent value for goods. But even in the energy transition, it is possible to create a decentralized energy network in which participants communicate directly with each other, and no intermediary is needed at this time. The blockchain operation market can also support the public interest in a variety of ways.

AS: Are there already the first batch of pilot projects in progress?

Dieter Janeke: As far as I know, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is working on the first pilot project. There may also be initial application areas in the energy field, but now I am also overwhelmed by what these are. In fact, it is currently difficult to find a real application, which can already show us that it will work and bring added value within 1-2 years.

AS: Many German investors are particularly concerned about the nature of taxation. There is a lot of uncertainty here, and it seems that there is no unified approach to the various tax bureaus. Can the uncertainty of taxation be clarified at the same time as the supervision of ICO? In your opinion, what should this look like?

Dieter Janeke: As a first step, we need the same standards that apply to everyone. As long as there is uncertainty, it is very detrimental to players and the market. Since tax prerequisites should be in individual cases, our Green Party has not yet a complete concept. We want to see a unified approach, but I can’t provide you with any information on how to handle it.

AS: How do you ultimately evaluate the work of the federal government in the field of blockchain? What do you hope to see in the next few years, and maybe you still hope to achieve it?

Dieter Janeke: Well, when the alliance agreement was signed, the topic was almost in the media hype, and then I decided to give myself a job. Corresponding discussions are also underway, and we, as members of parliament, have also contacted the Federal Blockchain Association.

The lobby is available, but there are still no results so we are very excited about the next few weeks. Then the results and strategy should be presented. The issue of tax treatment is at the core of this theme. Regarding the issues of our ministries, our request is to implement or test individual projects to show what is possible.

AS: Thank you for accepting the interview!

In addition to the Blockchain Federation Association already mentioned, Fintech Rat It is currently very powerful on the topic of blockchain. FinTechRat is a committee of the Federal Ministry of Finance, composed of decision makers from established and new financial technology companies and associations (members include, for example, Professor Philipp Sandner of the Frankfurt School and Dr. Julie Maupin) from the IOTA-Foundation).The committee also determined that blockchain technology is vital to Germany in the future, and recently implemented a Statement on the work of the federal government in this area Position related. One of the core statements of the document is also that European-level supervision should be implemented as soon as possible (to avoid regulatory conflicts between member states). Technical independence (ie separation from technical implementation, especially “separation from the specific form of blockchain technology used”. ) Page is. In addition, training in the field of blockchain will be specially promoted. New areas should also be considered, such as the interface between law and IT.

In general, I think the topic of regulation has entered the political realm. However, investigations by the Green Party and the Liberal Democratic Party also show that things are still going too slowly, and there are still too few employees in various ministries and offices. I doubt the first important result, and hope that in the foreseeable future, it will be the reasonable supervision of ICO and STO-but I dare to doubt whether this will finally clarify the tax issue. With Bundesverband Block, we must have a strong lobbying group that is expected to accelerate this issue on a political level. At this point, I suggest that anyone who is more interested in this topic simply search for related keywords on Google-further interviews with various politicians and inquiries from various parties to the federal government are easy to find, and there is a lot of information. .

-Lucas Federer

Note: The telephone interview was conducted on April 8, 2019. When converting from conversation to text, minor changes were made to the sentence structure-the meaning was retained in each case. These photos are news photos of Mr. Zhang. Janecek’s website (photographer Stefan Kaminski).

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