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Using Blockchain To Solve Real World Problems – Interview With Ubirch CEO, Karim Attia

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Ubirch is a German-based company using blockchain to solve real-world problems globally. The company is utilizing blockchain in innovative ways across several industries. By providing secure, portable, and immutable data, Ubirch is one company showing the world just how ground-breaking blockchain is. 

Surprisingly, the company started in a garden. Founder and Co-CEO Stephan Noller, connected a birch tree in the garden to the internet with an IoT (internet of things) device he designed. Mentioning the name of the tree in a tweet, caused lights on the tree to glow. The company has since been able to link data generated physically to the digital world, efficiently and securely.

With the company on the verge of being a global provider of digital trust, Karim Attia, CEO of Ubirch, will be taking us on a journey of how Ubirch is using blockchain and cryptography to provide digital trust, integrity, and security. 

How important is blockchain to Ubirch?

Blockchain is a key component for Ubirch in the provision of data that is trustworthy. On a global level, trust becomes very important, and this is where the importance of blockchain comes in. It is a distributed ledger which means no one can tamper with the information on it.  

This is one of the many positive effects of this new technology. Once something has been written in there it is there until the end of time. Therefore, we are using this technology for our trust services. 

We have developed a layer between the public blockchains and our infrastructure which gives us an extra edge in terms of scalability and efficiency. Hence, we can make public blockchains faster at the same time very cost-effective.

Verifying COVID-19 tests results with blockchain, blockchain-on-a-Sim and other applications by Ubirch

Health certificates are becoming more and more important in everyday life. There’s an increasing need for people to prove that they are not infected with COVID-19 or in the future prove that they have been vaccinated. The ability to prove this could be a prerequisite for granting travel permits or even work permits. 

One of the many solutions Ubirch is providing is making sure that these health certificates are not falsified. The test and vaccination status is assessed at the test centre or vaccination centre. We make it easy to verify certificates globally with public blockchains. 

Recently, together with known partners, Ubirch has been able to implement a blockchain client on a Sim Card – a project we are very proud of. Now, any sim card enabled device will be able to use our trust service. It is a very big achievement and we are the only company worldwide, as far as we know to achieve such a feat. 

The Ubirch infrastructure is also being used to provide data that helps women track their cycles and know their fertile time window. The device is created by German startup, Trackle. Trackle is one of our first clients. They are using our infrastructure to make sure that specific temperature data gathered by the device specially designed for women is correct. This data is used to assess fertility rates, supporting women naturally in their family planning efforts. 

Level of blockchain adoption

In Europe, most people think of blockchain as bitcoin, it is still very much associated with cryptocurrency in people’s minds. The other benefits of this revolutionary technology haven’t really caught on in Europe. It takes a lot to convince people of the benefits of blockchain, people usually conclude that you are trying to sell them bitcoin. 

However, it is getting better gradually. We are partnering with a group of data centres across Germany that are providing a local governmental blockchain to support the digital transformation of administrative processes. They are getting it and they are seeing that blockchain has more benefits beyond cryptocurrencies. 

Interestingly, the opportunities of the blockchain ecosystem are the motivation of our team at Ubirch. The enthusiasm emanates from the belief that we are shaping the future. We are setting the pace for entirely new data-driven business models.

Challenges to using blockchain technology

One of the challenges is to identify the right industry and sector that will really benefit from blockchain in the short term. There are sectors where you do not see the benefits of blockchain immediately. So knowing the industry and sector that will benefit from the technology at a sprint is a major challenge. 

For us, however, it is healthcare, insurance, logistics, energy, smart cities, and industry. These sectors are benefiting most from the solutions we offer. 

Ubirch’s plans for Africa?

Soon, we will have the same capabilities we have in Europe, in Africa. Ubirch is happy to support regions within Africa with our knowledge and expertise. There are a lot of ways in which Africa can benefit from blockchain and the solutions we provide. 

Healthcare, supply-chains, real-estate amongst others, are areas where our infrastructure will be beneficial for the continent. 

The future of blockchain. 

Blockchain will be a fundamental part of our lives soon. A lot of things will depend on blockchain infrastructures such as the ones we provide. 

It is already evident from the way it is transforming the financial sector. It will eliminate the need for intermediaries. Blockchain will be a trustworthy global technology on which activities of different sectors will be organized. 

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