“I’m here to announce that BSV—your favorite protocol—has taken the lead in blockchain adoption in Europe,” CEO of mintBlue Niels van den Bergh said as he opened his presentation, titled “Integrating Business Apps with BSV Blockchain: Europe’s First Large-Scale Adoption” on Day 2 of the CoinGeek Conference in New York.
Van den Bergh also announced that 500,000 invoices have already been processed on the Bitcoin SV blockchain at a very low cost per transaction for mintBlue’s client Yuki. Reason enough for us to meet van den Bergh and hear about this large-scale implementation of the BSV blockchain.
Hi, Niels! Your presentation at the CoinGeek conference in New York has had many amazed listeners. First of all, how did you manage to keep this large-scale adoption a secret?
Niels van den Bergh: We have been working on this partnership for almost a year, but we didn’t want to announce anything before we were actually pushing data to the chain. We really want to be different with mintBlue and actually deliver.
On the flipside, you could argue that this adoption is still a secret. I don’t think the market realises the original Bitcoin protocol is now being used at scale by a very reputable company. The other notable thing is that this is a data solution, contrary to 99% of the solutions built today with blockchain that focus on finance.
Kindly introduce mintBlue’s vision to us.
Niels van den Bergh: mintBlue is a blockchain platform that enables organisations to focus on their product or service without worrying about the underlying blockchain infrastructure. We focus on data solutions and enable our users to store, share and sell data without relying on external parties. We help startups & SMEs to create apps and enterprises to integrate blockchain into their existing legacy systems.
How did you explain your plans with BSV to your client Yuki?
Niels van den Bergh: We were introduced to an executive on the board of Yuki and explained that we were working on this very unique type of technology; scalable blockchain infrastructure with on-chain data storage. Our contact was intrigued and shared he always wanted to use the blockchain to give Yuki’s customers ownership to their own financial documents. We developed an MVP and laid out a plan on how to make his vision a cost-effective reality.
What are Yuki’s experiences with the BSV blockchain so far?
Niels van den Bergh: No particular experience as the system simply works. We are coin geeks that care about blockchain economics and game theory. Business do not care about that; they just want to deliver more value to their customers in the most cost-effective way.
Businesses don’t have to understand the technology that they build upon, that is why they partner with mintBlue to get that expertise. They simply want a solution that works and that is scalable. Yuki expects the level of service they get from AWS or Google Cloud. We at mintBlue, together with the stable and unbounded protocol of BSV can deliver that.
Are mintBlue and Yuki working on more BSV solutions already?
Niels van den Bergh: Of course! Now we established fundament, we can start to look at more robust identity solutions, deeper integration with the Yuki platform and additional services.
Yuki has recently been acquired by the VISMA group. Is BSV being presented to the VISMA group as a whole by mintBlue, too?
Niels van den Bergh: VISMA is deeply involved with Yuki and they are aware of the partnership with mintBlue. VISMA prides itself on being an innovation driven company with a heavy focus on automation. I have no doubt that they will see value of blockchain in their other divisions.
In late 2019, you wrote a remarkable article about Bitcoin SV’s MetaNet. How come you saw the opportunities that early on when almost nobody on the enterprise level even knew about the BSV MetaNet?
Niels van den Bergh: I was lucky enough to work for an innovation agency Growth Mechanics during the 2017 blockchain hype. I was tasked to map out the sector and develop a startup accelerator program. This led me to research every protocol where BSV came out as the most viable long-term platform to build on for entrepreneurs. It’s similar to trying to spot Amazon during the dotcom bubble, there is a lot of noise, and you need to do proper research.
Following the BSV space I came across an announcement keynote of the design of the so-called ‘Metanet.’ This is where things clicked for me; distributed hierarchical data storage with no reliance on external parties. This was clearly going to be a category-creation play, a whole new industry built upon ‘data as a commodity.’
What do you think about Facebook’s recent re-branding to “Meta” and their “Metaverse” concept? How does it differ from the BSV MetaNet?
Niels van den Bergh: I admire the audacity. They are literally monopolising the concept of a metaverse by simply buying the name / vocabulary around it. Key differentiation of the Metanet is the ‘open’ nature of what the metaverse is supposed to be. No reliance on external parties, no lock-in and truly own your assets, relationships and data.
You also wrote an article on how to solve the fake news problem with digital identity. Is mintBlue planning anything concerning that with BSV, too?
Niels van den Bergh: The division in society caused by fake news and commercial algorithms is a result of Silicon Valley’s ‘walled gardens’ approach. Organizations focus on ‘time spent’ metrics to boost ad impressions, regardless of the impact on society.
At mintBlue we feel very strongly about this and think we can offer a solution.
Politicians are contemplating to ‘break up’ the companies holding a monopoly, like they did with Standard Oil a hundred years ago. At mintBlue we think that a shared blockchain database is the better alternative, here’s why:
Break up the monopolies, instead of the companies holding the monopoly. You do this by enforcing ‘adversarial interoperability’; you break up the monopoly on the data that a monopolist has. This means that you let third parties interface that data on a shared, distributed database: a blockchain.
We at mintBlue can offer the infrastructure to support this transition. Blockchain breaks up monopolies and lets competition compete on better terms and services. Maybe you want to keep using a free product and stay on Facebook, but I want to pay a monthly subscription and still stay in touch with you over the same network, someone else might want to pay per use, using micropayments. This is all possible once you share the data, but let entrepreneurs free to build services on top if it and compete with different UX and business models.
Regarding fake news, sharing the data also means traceability is possible. The blockchain is pseudonymous and private, but companies can demand ‘verified’ data that you have connected to an identity via an identity provider. This keeps identities away from commercial companies, but allows traceability and thus accountability online. We have to consider parts of the web as ‘public space.’ Just like when you walk out of your house: you have to behave and follow the law. That’s society.
How can enterprises get in touch with mintBlue to hear whether you can make their business more efficient with your BSV solutions?
Niels van den Bergh: I am always open for a coffee or a call to chat blockchain. Feel free to drop by our offices in Amsterdam or Antwerp. Contact details are on mintblue.com.
What should enterprises who have never heard of BSV know about BSV?
Niels van den Bergh: Be careful with what you read online about blockchain cryptocurrency. The media companies dominating the narrative are protecting their investments. Go to the source of the information: the Bitcoin white paper from 2008. It’s only 9 pages and not hard to understand.
At mintBlue we are working on an executive educational series to get you up to speed on how this technology works. Feel free to reach out to get a copy of the raw materials. It will be published online somewhere in 2022.
Thanks, Niels! We are very excited to watch mintBlue’s future path with Bitcoin SV.
Niels van den Bergh: Thank you! Keep on rocking.
Watch: mintBlue’s presentation at CoinGeek New York, Integrating Business Apps with BSV Blockchain: Europe’s First Large-Scale Adoption
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