Bitcoin Ambassador for Germany: Stefan Landrock

By Alex Speirs Published: November 26, 2020
Photo of Bitcoin Ambassador for Germany: Stefan Landrock

German designer and entrepreneur Stefan Landrock is a man never short on ideas nor enthusiasm. The founder of Salon.io – a publishing platform for artists and designers – Landrock brings with him a unique perspective to the Bitcoin SV ecosystem, one that has shaped the initiatives he’s led as the Bitcoin Association Ambassador to Germany.

‘I’m many things: I’m a photographer, a designer, an entrepreneur, a consultant, a VJ,’ explains Landrock.

‘I’ve been in the art, media and design field for many, many years. I’ve been developing application websites for 20 years, and I have to say: now it’s the most exciting time to develop something on the web.’

With Salon.io, Landrock has done just that.

Salon.io is a website creation tool geared toward showing off visual media made by creators. As he explains:

‘Salon is a new way to create websites for artists and designers who are not technical. And it’s a very intuitive way to create your own galleries online just by dragging and dropping. And you are able to arrange, freely, your works on the wall.’

‘What you get is a blank canvas where you are allowed to do anything you want and you aren’t bound by any restrictions like templates or stuff like that.’

Screenshot of Salon.io website

Website design platforms often struggle to strike the right balance between utility and accessibility, even more so when trying to deal with visual media. Landrock got the concept for Salon.io from his time teaching in art schools and seeing artists and designers search for the best ways to display their work.

‘I’d been teaching in art schools and creating your own online portfolio was part of the curriculum. And what I saw when people were trying to build their website or create their online portfolio, they always wanted to arrange the images freely on the wall – it’s called salon-style hanging,’ he says.

‘At the time, around 2010, it was almost impossible to do that on a website for a non-technical user, and we discovered that it would be a great opportunity to enable people to do that.’

It took two years before Landrock would be able to move forward with what is now Salon.io, but the company has now been running for almost a decade.

Salon.io has been a project of Landrock’s for some time, so as he began to learn about blockchain technology – and Bitcoin SV specifically – he looked for ways he could apply the same creative mindset and principles to the development of the Bitcoin SV community. That led to the creation of B2029 – a shared space in Berlin promoting Bitcoin engagement, education and development of which Landrock is a founding member.

‘For a long time, there has not really been a base for Bitcoin SV here in Berlin,’ Landrock explains.

‘There were a lot of people here interested in Bitcoin SV and we wanted to begin to offer education to support this interested. I happened to have this nice little space where it’s possible to do this kind of stuff – have meetups, small events and developer education.’

As a Bitcoin Association Ambassador for Germany, Landrock is bullish on the potential of Bitcoin, but is also realistic about the work that lays ahead – and what is needed to help Bitcoin achieve that potential.

‘Bitcoin SV is the only blockchain that works,’ Landrock enthuses.

‘It’s fast, it’s reliable, you have a whole toolset that you would need to create your service. The fact that the protocol is set in stone is the basis for anything you would want to build on a blockchain. If it changes, or if you have to assume that it is going to change, then you can’t build a business on it.’

‘It’s still very early. Compared to the web, we’re maybe in 1993. But the potential of Bitcoin SV is to revolutionize the internet – or maybe even become the internet.’

For Bitcoin SV to reach its potential, Landrock is clear on what needs to happen:

‘We need to build services that people want – and want to use,’ he says.

‘Right now, the developments in Bitcoin are mostly technical – developers like to please other developers, so they are writing protocols and tools for other developers, but are not so focused on the actual user of the service. I think it’s a natural development, but in order to be successful, you have to have services which are enjoyable to use.’