Evan GmbH is a software company with a focus on solutions that enable companies to collaborate efficiently, sustainably and securely with their partners and in the digital world. A conversation with CEO Thomas Müller about digital identity, sovereignty and DeFi.
In recent years, a large part of the economy has shifted to the digital world. As such, relationships of trust have also become increasingly difficult. Permissionless, decentralized networks (blockchains) could perhaps offer a solution. Through decentralized financial applications (DeFi), it is already possible to use financial instruments without an intermediary.
In 2018, Thomas Müller founded evan GmbH together with Thomas Herbst (CTO). At their locations in Dresden and Eisenach, they want to shape the future of the digital market economy based on decentralized technologies. Their goal is to bring more transparency and trust to digital business relationships.
CVJ.CH: The DeFi Space is getting a lot of traction at the moment, what are your thoughts of the recent developments?
Thomas Müller: Blockchain is a difficult concept to understand, and most people associate it with Bitcoin. The beauty of DeFi, is that developers from all over the world are developing open financial services protocols that are owned and controlled by communities of enthusiasts.
Protocols for lending, money markets, and even derivatives are providing the foundation for a real-time global financial system to thrive. These are actual use cases that provide real value. Once the financial services foundation is sufficiently mature, you will see defi serve as the money layer for a ton of different decentralized applications.
Which area of DeFi is the most used at present?
At present, NFTs certainly enjoy the greatest attention in this area. If you look at the blue chip DeFi projects (those with a token cap of more than $1 billion), each are key pieces of infrastructure that allow users to swap or monetize their digital assets:
Uniswap, a decentralized exchange, processes more than a $1 billion in digital assets swaps daily. Aave, a decentralized money market protocol that allows users to lend and borrow cryptocurrencies without the need for a third-party intermediary, holds several billion dollars of liquidity and has loaned out hundreds of millions of dollars in crypto. Synthetix, a derivatives liquidity protocol that allows users to obtain exposure to off-chain assets (like Apple shares or synthetic gold) without owning the underlying asset, has more $2 billion in total locked value on the platform.
These foundational building blocks are widely used by hundreds of thousands of people. As they grow and mature, more DeFi applications will be built upon these building blocks causing the entire industry to unlock digital value that was not possible before DeFi.
What role does evan play in it?
We are not an original DeFi technology, rather our expertise lies in the environment of empowering the individual consumer with a digital identity so that they have ownership and control over their own digital data, which is very important in DeFi. Here, our goal is to enable trust-based purely digital business relationships in which the digital sovereignty of each individual is preserved. This approach again coincides with many DeFi use cases that are currently being implemented: Digital sovereignty and trust are important prerequisites here as well.
How regulated is the space and how is evan dealing with this matter?
Here, we have to distinguish between financial regulation on the one hand and regulation for identities on the other. As an identity platform, we are of course primarily subject to identity regulation. Especially when it comes to human identities, data protection (GDPR) and EIDAS regulations play the biggest role. In addition, we repeatedly come into contact with topics where sovereign tasks and economic exploitation collide.
For example, as a provider of a rental service, I have to be able to rely on the fact that the digital driver's license issued is actually a valid document. We try to solve this problem with our verification services: These make it possible to have data verified and attested to by trusted, credible third parties and thus make the authenticity traceable.
What makes evan different from competitors?
Together with our customers, we address specific use cases; the rental of work and construction machinery is a good example. We enable our customers to build trust-based business relationships on the back of digitally available and verifiable identity data.
Manual verification processes, which are still often the norm today, are no longer required in these processes, which makes them not only very fast but also cost-effective. With such scenarios, we then pave the way for further use cases, coming from other industries as well.
Where do you see the DeFi space in two years and what your role?
I think that the current development will continue, and we will see more and more use cases where DeFi is integrated into everyday processes. In particular, a lot is happening right now in the digital payment space. But token-based share acquisition in digital and real goods as well as in companies and societies is also becoming increasingly important. However, this requires infrastructures based on open standards in which trust can be established and attested to when needed. This is still a big problem today - and this is exactly where I see our future as part of the Blockchains-family.
Honestly, no one knows where DeFi will be in two years. The pace of development is remarkable. My hunch is that DeFi will become less of a niche and more mainstream where not only individuals, but businesses will be using some products in defi to get cheaper and faster payments, higher interest rates for deposits than banks offer, and the ability to own crypto while putting that crypto to work in ways that increase returns.
I also believe that DeFi will expand into new and unique investment opportunities for goods, services, and even companies. These types of investments may be regulated, and we anticipate regulators becoming more active in the space. But we do not want regulators to shut down these emerging technologies because certain trusted intermediaries are no longer involved. Trust and attestation infrastructure can help support compliance. We believe these requirements can be met on open standards network, preserving the essence of open protocols.
This is where I see one of many critical ways, we will help move the Blockchains’ vision forward. Like evan, Blockchains is focused on creating a better world built on trust and starting with empowering the individual consumer with a digital identity so that they have ownership and control over their own digital data.
Thomas Müller is CEO and co-founder of evan GmbH, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blockchains, Inc. With his extensive experience in business and IT, his mission is to establish a cooperation platform for the future economy. Furthermore, Thomas Müller is speaker, author and expert in the field of decentralized technologies, blockchain for business and digital business.