Photo shows Dirk Früchtenicht, Leiter der Entwicklung, PAY CARD GmbH
Photo shows Dirk Früchtenicht, Leiter der Entwicklung, PAV CARD GmbH

by Silicon Trust

The rest of Germany may be under water, rock festivals flooded and cancelled, trains derailed but somehow, every year, the weather turns out just great in the land of cryptovision, namely Gelsenkirchen. Yes, it was time again for Mindshare, the now annual event of the German crypto experts cryptovision. And by the looks of it, it was the most successful event to date: With over 200 delegates from 165 organizations, the Science Park building hosted guests from 16 countries. It was quite the gathering for a small town best known for its football club Schalke 04.

But not only the delegates reflected the international nature of cryptovision’s business. The host has had a good year, delegates heard in the welcoming speeches, bagging another 6 government ID projects in the past year: Ecuador, Malawi, Thailand, Malaysia, Angola and Columbia. But the management also shared with delegates that the continuously low oil prices result in many countries having to scale back on investments such as ID infrastructures. This, of course, is a challenge for cryptovision and its partners who are active in Africa, Middle East and South America.

Many partners and customers had the opportunity to share their experiences and expertise over two days of tightly packed “mindsharing”. Split into enterprise and government tracks, the presentations were a mixture of technical tutorials, use cases, and implementation discussions. And so the first day started with quite the discussion on the benefits and challenges of multi-application implementations, such as the ID and payment combo in the Nigeria ID project.

Delegates were quite engaged and the discussion extended to the question why such approaches seem to be happening only in developing regions. Can the lack of a legacy infrastructure be a real driver for beneficial use cases? Tunji Durodola of the NIMC carried on this theme the next day with a passionate presentation. Explaining why the ID scheme is something that Nigeria needs a the core of an infrastructure, trying to combat the challenges the nations faces, such as corruption and misuse of public sector structures. Moving from the African continent to South America, Carlos Wilmer Ruiz de la Vega Huamani of the Oficina Nacional de Procesos Electorales (ONPE) from Peru expanded on the national eVoting Project and David Corall from the Super Office gave an insightful overview of innovative eID project in Latin America.

Mobile ID was another hot topic with partner and event sponsor X Infotech starting the discussions about the necessity for trust anchors for derived personal identities. Liga presented their approach, which aims to take the complexity out of developing mobile apps based on cryptovision’s products. After 18 months development, on the day, the LIGA team received their clearance for their iOS app from Apple. This may very well be the necessary step to help developers in this segment. For LIGA the hard work is done now – to adapt their offering to other partners’ requirements and developers is a matter of weeks now. Good stuff.

Sponsors of the 2016 Mindshare (AdvanIDe, NXP, utimaco, X Infotech, IDnomic, Thales, Bundesdruckerei, Dermalog) not only had the chance to present. For this first time, there was an exhibition attached to the conference, which proved to be a neat addition for efficient networking and meetings.

At the end of the first conference day, the Science Park turns into Festival Park for the infamous Cryptonite. On first glance its just a massive party, where international clients as well as local friends and family come together to embarrass themselves playing “human fussball” (don’t ask!), drink cocktails and eat organic burgers. However, business never really takes a back seat. It just becomes more casual, more relaxed, more open. Throughout the night – which ends with a huge firework display – guests continued their business talks in a friendly, familiar atmosphere. Sound like many conferences you go to? No? We guessed as much.

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