In a recent article I commented on how a study carried out by the Financial Conduct Authority found that over 70% of UK consumers have never heard of cryptocurrencies or are unable to define them. I continued to explain that only 3% of this sample group had actually bought any cryptocurrencies and only 7% of those who haven’t bought any cryptocurrencies so far would consider it in the future.
This particular study was conducted from 12 to 16 December 2018 and featured 2,132 face-to-face interviews among UK consumers (including Britain and North Ireland), age 16+.
The results of this survey are a sobering realisation to just how much this industry is still in its infancy. You can read the full study here.
I believe that for those of us who are so heavily involved in the blockchain space, it’s sometimes hard to see the perspective from the ‘outside world’. It’s often discussed how people need to ask friends or family members not involved in the space to gauge the coverage of crypto in mainstream media and see how the industry is being represented.
London is often seen as one of the primary hubs for startups and small businesses that are driving innovation whether it be in the blockchain, technology or finance sectors. A by-product of this seems to be the meteoric rise of co-working spaces.
Deskmag reported in 2018 that on average coworking spaces hosted 19% more members than 2017 and 81% more than 2016. Amount of desks had also increased by 87% YoY and the spaces were 81% bigger.
Primalbase is a coworking space that has offices in London, Berlin and Amsterdam but with one big difference – they are powered by blockchain. They believe they are “living proof that blockchain is more than a complicated footnote in the world of technology” and that they are “showing that blockchain can be adapted to mainstream”.
There is an emphasis on blockchain startups and other new technologies to come and join the community they are creating. Companies or individuals can buy, sell, share or lease their memberships with Primalbase Tokens (PBT) which is a digital asset based on the Waves platform.
I sat down with Ralph Manheim, CEO, to discuss Primalbase further.
What is your role and how did you begin working for Primalbase?
I’m Ralph Manheim, CEO, and got involved with Primalbase in 2017 when it was at the concept stage. Some very clever people who wanted to explore using blockchain in real estate shared their ideas with me and thought it was a exciting project to get on board with. We did a lot of market research ahead of fundraising to estimate if people were really interested in this. After we had successfully raised money it gave us the confidence and freedom to build and create this product. I set out to build a team, realise the office spaces and daily operations.”
Since the Crypto bullrun of late 2017 we have been in a bear market and in the last 14 months have seen a lot of capital leaving the market. Despite this, we are seeing more innovation and improvements in blockchain technology than ever before. Are you still witnessing the same amount of interest in your conferences and events?
Yes – I think most people realise that crypto and blockchain are two different beasts. We aren’t involved with cryptos, our focus is squarely on facilitating emerging technology such as blockchain. We work with our partner, an events and education company called, Binary District to host workshops and events. They have created a programme of in depth events that goes beyond the hype to actually discuss the challenges and business cases for blockchain technology. There is a hunger in the market for this type of content because blockchain impacts a huge number of business processes and industries. If anything, we’ve seen an increase in demand in the past year.
The general success of Blockchain is often dictated by the price of Bitcoin and the amount of capital portrayed by the total alt marketcap. Although this has steadily been decreasing are you seeing more startups and ideas flourishing in your community?
We see blockchain as the foundation of innovative technology which is very separate from Bitcoin or other cryptos. Primalbase is a good example of this separation – since we’ve launched we’ve continued to develop our service based on blockchain technology. Most recently, we launched a leasing function which enables our members to lease out their Primalbase token to another person – essentially providing them with additional revenue when they are not using their token. This development is completely separate from anything that is happening in the crypto market. Indeed, our community is applying blockchain technology to a huge range of applications – everything from research, procurement to enterprise software and property.”
Can you comment on the types of Blockchain companies that you are seeing use your work space? What sort of projects are they and how big are the size of these projects?
I can comment generally on what they are doing. A strong trend we have recently seen in our offices revolves around enterprise software. There is huge scope for enhancing existing business process through blockchain. A lot of our members are focusing on specific problems, rather than general solutions. Large companies are going to be more willing to experiment with more limited solutions where risk and cost is low.
In terms of size, the companies that work in our offices vary massively in size – as do their projects. Everything from one person working on their proof on concept to larger established companies creating new products.
Do you have any involvement with these projects other than providing the space for them to use?
Yes, at the core of our offering is the community. We are building a collaborative space where people are incentivised to share knowledge and co-create. To help facilitate this we host events, workshops and meetups for our members. However, what makes us unique, is that when we rent space to larger companies we ensure that they will contribute to our community. This can take the form of offering technical support and advice or access to their product. In return, these companies can work with our members to test products or marketing, or even recruit new team members. It’s a mutually beneficial system that makes Primalbase much more than just another coworking space.
What was the decision to have your token, PBT, run on the WAVES platform?
Waves played an advisory role from the very beginning and also their platform provided the best implementation for what we wanted to achieve.
You currently have office space in London, Berlin and Amsterdam. Can you provide an update on the progress for New York and Singapore?
Both offices are on track – we should see New York opening up before summer, closely followed by Singapore. These are challenging real estate markets to operate in as we look for a very specific type of space which is high end, at the centre of the tech community and has great security and amenities. The team are working very hard to make progress and to deliver the best offices possible.
What is the Primalbase vision for the future?
Beyond opening our new offices, we continue to work closely with our community to find out what they want and need. We’re going to continue to develop Primalbase to grow our ecosystem and offer more services and added value to our members.
I’d like to thank Ralph for his time
If you’d like to find out more you can find Primalbase on their website.
Founder of The Daily Chain
The Daily Chain – The Leading Site for Unique and Informative Daily Crypto Content