Interview with Bjørn Bjercke CEO of BitGate
Bjørn has vast experience of over 20 years in financial IT infrastructure. With the invention of cryptocurrency and blockchain, Bjørn was early to adapt to this technology. He focuses on educating, advising and is devoted to teach about verifiable decentralized cryptographically secure technology. Bjørn has produced numerous articles and has held several talks on the subject. Bjørn is widely considered one of the world's foremost experts on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Bjørn has explained bitcoin in this way, which has been used on multiple websites and articles:
“Bitcoin is a non-debt based, irreversible, digital asset, with an intrinsic value in the security of the payment system and decentralized governance structure that runs on a global transparent ledger on the internet”.
How did you get into blockchain?
In 2012, I was managing IT consultants for a small company. The consultants often approached me with requests for educational courses of better, newer working equipment. I always wanted the best for my employees so I needed to find a system of complying to their request without breaking the bank. My solution, at the time was a centralised monetary system that would credit the employees based on customer feedback. My system was a basic matrix in a SQL database.
It soon dawned on me that such a system must exist from before and I started to search the internet for solutions. “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” white paper was quickly displayed on my screen. My reaction was complete disbelief. I remember saying “a open system like this will be hacked quickly, Bitcoin will never exist for long.”
I kept this in the back of my mind for some time, but did not use much effort in researching further.
In the spring of 2013, articles and forums kept mentioning Bitcoin. I was shocked that Bitcoin was still alive. It felt like being smacked in the face. “If no one has hacked it yet, I will have a go at hacking it”. The summer of 2013 I had maternity leave with my 1 year old daughter, so plenty of time to dig into the protocol. By the fall, I had my own nodes and started mining as I fell deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole.
Why did you join the BitGate team?
I met Manuel and Christian at the Bitcoin meetups in early/mid 2015. They were set on starting a company and had some great ideas on how to utilize the BitShares platform. As soon as BitSpace opened for business in early 2016 I followed the company, often giving my input. A strong friendship evolved with Manuel and Christian, so I contributed where I could. I feel it was a natural progression to join BitGate, a synergy effect for us both. I have a love for the technology and a talent for corporate structure, and I believe BitGate is delivering a product that will make a huge impact on expanding the global crypto community.
What do you think makes a great Blockchain company?
In one word: Structure. I believe in lessons learned and adapting frameworks. Also you can not have a great company unless you have great people involved. BitGate has that.
What are your goals for 2019?
First and foremost, having fun with the release of BitGate as a product. Other goals include building a culture for success and gaining more knowledge of our sector.
Where do you see Blockchain and Digital Assets in the coming years?
While I was looking into Bitcoin in 2013/2014, I found a key fundamental factor; there is no off button. As a system engineer, I clearly understand the ramifications of this; adaptation is the only way. While the traditional financial sector makes their way through the five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance, companies like BitGate will stay ahead and focus on the needs of the customer and better the experience as we have already moved on and accepted the future of finance. Pandora is out of the box and there is no way to put her back in. Pressure, demands, authority and combat are all tools of resistance but none of them can change math.
Any big ideas or wisdom you would like to leave us with?
If you or your company has not explored how verifiable, decentralized, cryptographically secure technology (Blockchain) will impact your business, we will be happy to assess your strategy.