Christian Niedermueller, CEO of Blocktrade: Blockchain Professional Shares Insights on MiCA Regulations, European Crypto Landscape

Christian Niedermueller, CEO of Blocktrade, has commented on the evolving European crypto landscape during a recent interview with CI and shared his experience leading Blocktrade through this turbulent period in the industry.

For context, Blocktrade is a gamified asset marketplace that raised 5.6 million EUR in its most recent token sale. The successful token sale followed the launch of Blocktrade 3.0, a gamified universe that features a sophisticated level system and NFT avatars, revolutionizing the way users learn about and engage with digital assets.

Christian is a finance and blockchain veteran and has been deeply involved in the crypto ecosystem for over ten years. He can shed light on his experience navigating the evolving regulatory landscape, leading a crypto business through the bear market and pursuing new ways to engage crypto investors.

Our conversation with Christian Niedermueller is shared below.


Crowdfund Insider: What are your expectations for the latter half of the year in the European crypto space?

Christian Niedermueller: 2023 has been a monumental year for the European crypto industry. With the passing of MiCA legislation in the European Union, the regulatory landscape will bring far more clarity for crypto firms operating in the region.

While these guidelines will not take full effect until 2024, the symbolic impact has already been felt in the crypto community. Clear regulation gives greater legitimacy and assurance to crypto markets, and it signals to investors that this is a safe and secure environment to invest in. I would expect the rollout of MiCA to have a significant impact on institutional adoption of crypto in the coming year, with bigger players entering the industry, having now been given the green light from regulators.

2023 has been a monumental year for the European crypto industry. With the passing of MiCA legislation in the European Union, the regulatory landscape will bring far more clarity for crypto firms operating in the region Click to Tweet

That being said, there is still macroeconomic uncertainty, primarily stemming from rising interest rates and inflation which is not unique to Europe. In this setting, it is important for crypto firms to continue demonstrating our value to both users and investors.

Finding new ways to engage and support our community is always important, particularly amidst the longest bear market our industry has experienced to date. Greater institutional adoption could buoy the market during a difficult time and we could be on an upswing by the end of the year. However, it will have to be well-earned with genuine use cases and applications underlying any recovery.

On the bright side, a recent Coinshares report (10th July), reported four consecutive weeks of inflows, totaling US$743M, fully correcting the previous 9 weeks of outflows in digital asset investment. This is yet another positive signal for the industry, particularly in the summer, when more people take time off of work and overall investment activity typically declines.

Crowdfund Insider: You mentioned the MiCA regulations in Europe passing. As you know, crypto firms have had a difficult time with U.S. regulators this year. How will regulatory uncertainty in America affect crypto adoption in Europe?

Christian Niedermueller: Overall, I would expect to see some crypto firms and talent moving over here where there is greater certainty over the future of crypto. Regulation-by-enforcement is not the ideal strategy, it is quite risky for crypto firms to establish themselves in an environment where their product could be made illegal after several years of business.

In the midst of a regulatory crackdown, many firms are already moving to Europe, and Europe is ready to welcome them with open arms. With a highly educated population and an abundance of financial and Web3 hubs such as Zug, Berlin, London, and Tallinn, the region is ripe for innovation in crypto.

Overall, I would expect to see some crypto firms and talent moving over here where there is greater certainty over the future of crypto Click to Tweet

Crowdfund Insider: Despite regulatory turmoil, this year has also seen some household names in traditional finance, Fidelity, BlackRock, and Charles Schwab, to name a few, entering the crypto space. Do you think these big players will be a threat to crypto-native firms in the industry?

Christian Niedermueller: Quite the opposite, actually. I think it will be an opportunity for collaboration. I have a background in traditional finance myself, and over the last few years, I have seen a lot of people in traditional finance who were previously skeptical of the crypto industry come around to see the value of this technology.

Institutional adoption of this technology has ample benefits for crypto-native firms. First of all, it causes a ripple effect, wherein retail investors follow the lead of big institutions, bringing greater liquidity to the industry.

I have seen a lot of people in traditional finance who were previously skeptical of the crypto industry come around to see the value of this technology Click to Tweet

Secondly, it makes the industry appear more legitimate in the eyes of regulators, which are used to working with these firms and will have more trust in their judgment. Cross-industry collaborations, which we are already seeing with the likes of Visa and other fintech and finance firms, will help narrow the gap between Web3 and Web2 financial rails, helping to onboard more users.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is maintaining the core values of the crypto industry. It has long been a goal of crypto firms to address some of the problems in traditional finance, such as centralization and financial exclusion, by providing an alternative approach to finance. As we look to collaborate with large-scale institutions, we should seek to have a positive impact on them, demanding greater transparency in operations and financial inclusion for unbanked and underserved groups of people.

Crowdfund Insider: Beyond regulation, what do you believe are the biggest barriers to the mainstream adoption of crypto?

Christian Niedermueller: User experience is certainly an issue for the crypto industry, but I think this is something many firms understand and are trying to address in different ways. On the one hand, the user interface of many crypto applications needs to be brought up to the level of Web2 platforms in order to attract a more mainstream user base.

On the other hand, I believe we can go even further than improving the basic user interface and start to think of creative ways to make crypto trading more engaging for users. Gamification is one way to do it, offering an interactive experience for users, along with unique rewards for completing the challenges.

As well, gamification can be paired with providing in-game socialization opportunities, fostering a community from a crypto exchange. It’s these types of features that keep users engaged over time, enriching their experience with more than just cold, hard numbers.

Crowdfund Insider: What are your thoughts on financial inclusion? How can crypto firms build more accessible platforms for users?

Christian Niedermueller: This is something I really care about and one of the reasons I made the transition from traditional finance to crypto; I believe the industry has a lot to offer in terms of financial inclusion.

Gamification can play a key role in user education by keeping users engaged throughout the learning process to improve financial literacy. Consuming investing advice can be difficult and it is not always easy to stay focused and retain information. However, engaging users with gamification tools makes financial information more easily digestible and motivates users to stay engaged longer.


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