Transforming Society: One Block at a Time

An interview with Marion Vogel, president of the æternity Crypto Foundation in Liechtenstein.

The æternity Crypto Foundation in Liechtenstein was launched shortly after the live version of æternity’s network on the 13th of December, 2018. Today, we are excited to interview the president of the foundation, Marion Vogel, to gain more insight into this charitable organization.

How did your Blockchain journey get started?

I first heard about Bitcoin from a professor in 2013, but only when I moved to San Francisco in April of 2014 did I actually start walking down the rabbit hole. At the time I was working in business development for a German governmental agency.

I quickly realized my real passion was for technologies that enable financial freedom and are able to give sovereignty to individuals.

After one year, I moved to Palo Alto and co-hosted a crypto-community house where we organized lots of events. I kept learning more about the technology. That was around the time when Ethereum had just started.

I am especially interested in the potentially very profound changes on socio-economic-structures this technology can have.

Can you tell us a bit about the æternity Crypto Foundation in Liechtenstein?

The foundation will support the adoption and popularity of blockchain technology, with a special focus on the æternity ecosystem. We want to build bridges between technology and society and have chosen four main target areas:

  • Community growth;
  • Educational efforts;
  • Research and development;
  • Cultural including artistic activities.

We believe that our support will help these areas to thrive and we are looking forward to applications from people all over the planet!

How did the idea for the foundation come up?

I believe that blockchain technology, at its core, is already a public good that promotes socially responsible use cases. However, with a specially dedicated entity such as a charitable foundation, the seriousness of our goal — to spread the blockchain gospel — becomes underlined.

Why did you decide to base the foundation in Liechtenstein?

In my opinion, Liechtenstein is the best country in the world, but aside from that, it’s also a buzzing hub for all kinds of activities in the blockchain industry.

Liechtenstein’s progressive attitude towards this technology gives both stability and room to grow.

It’s a splendid place to be for a charitable blockchain foundation, very small with quick access to regulatory bodies, and yet also very international.

What do you see as the biggest challenges for the Blockchain industry at the moment?

Adoption and raison d’être. Both of these I neither categorize as negative nor unachievable. The next years will be very exciting in terms of learning where this technology will actually bring benefits for the average person. By average I mean someone that doesn’t really need to understand the technology on a protocol layer. The blockchain community has to demonstrate resilience and seriousness. It’s a wild pack of extremely intelligent but sometimes also rather questionable projects and individuals. To further gain attention, everyone in this space should do their part in progressing towards better products, adoption and education.

What are the æternity Crypto Foundation’s main goals in 2019?

After a successful launch in December 2018, the foundation has already given several donations towards different causes. Among others, donations went to a kids-hacking challenge of Cybersecurity Liechtenstein and to a video-artist that created footage of the æternity-beer-token æpp at the re:publica conference in Berlin. We hope to progress step by step and will gradually increase our outreach and donation amounts.

A big focus in 2019 will be to support research and development in areas such as: State Channels, Protocol Security and promising use cases like basic income initiatives.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

Meeting new and interesting people and learning about innovative use cases where blockchain technology would be a great fit and/or is already being considered. The other day I went to an event in Vaduz, where the Liechtenstein Initiative “fighting modern slavery” got introduced. The first question from the audience was: “Is blockchain technology considered to be a fundamental tech solution for some of your endeavors?” The answer was: “Yes, we are already having people onboard providing information and support!” That made me happy! We are on track with applying this powerful technology in the right matters.

If you had the blockchain superpower, to magically solve a world problem, what would that be?

Replacing centralized stores of value by multiple, truly decentralized, open-source, public and permissionless digital currencies.

Everyone will be equipped with access to it via a smartphone plus easy-to-use application. By everyone, I mean everyone. No censorship.

Learn more about æternity Crypto Foundation in Liechtenstein by visiting the official website:

UPDATE: æternity Universe One — the first conference dedicated to the latest R&D in the blockchain space and æternity, took place on September 20–21, 2019 in Prague. Marion Vogel took the stage to present the æternity crypto foundation. Watch her talk below:

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