Meet our team of doers, tinkerers, and technology enthusiasts.
Due to its’ complex tech-stack, cryptography, and cyberpunk-roots, blockchain and ultimately Web 3.0 are oftentimes considered pure ICT innovations. Blockchain is said to be a technological revolution. While this definitely holds true to a certain degree, we believe that blockchain is even more than that, namely, a governance revolution that changes the way humans (and machines!) collaborate, interact, and exchange value on an unprecedented scale. The blockchain and web 3.0 ecosystem is fast-moving, dynamic, and complex so that it is easy to forget the human aspect behind it all.
With this post, we would like to emphasize exactly that — the humans behind a Web 3.0 enterprise. Get to know our team of doers, tinkerers, and technology enthusiasts. Learn what drove each and every one of us into this exciting, new industry and why we get up in the morning.
About Staking Facilities
We are a Munich-based, Web 3.0 infrastructure, and service provider. We run industry-grade, highly secure physical infrastructure co-located in top-notch, certified data centers within reach of our company headquarters. Guaranteed uptime, biometric security, and redundant power supply reinforce a continuous and secure operation. Through our state-of-the-art monitoring, we always know about the status of our servers and are alerted immediately if any abnormalities occur. For our customers, we offer non-custodial staking services, personal support, and tools for a variety of thoroughly vetted public Proof-of-Stake blockchains.
But enough about our business, meet the people who work tirelessly to enable everyone to participate in the next evolution of the internet — Web 3.0:
Julius Schmidt [Co-Founder, CEO]
Previous to co-founding Staking Facilities together with Florian and Wolfgang, Julius studied Politics & Economics. After working at the European Parliament as well as a trading company in Hamburg his friend and Co-founder Wolfgang nudged Julius into the Crypto Rabbit hole. And he still has not managed to climb out…
With his background in politics and economics, he was and still is fascinated by the various governance concepts and the economical models behind blockchain. Julius is driven by the belief that the technology we are currently building can fundamentally change our world for the better and eliminate inequalities and monopolies of current systems.
“We live and work in a unique time of fundamental challenges and changes. Blockchain as a technology is our tool to have a positive impact on these by changing the underlying infrastructure for the better.“
As the only non-techie of our three founders, Julius is in charge of financials, legal, and operations. He is also known as our feel-good-manager, organizing various team events and Among Us gaming nights. Next to his internal engagements, he has retained his political background by representing us as Chair of the EBA PoS working group.
Fun Fact: Next to blockchain, Julius is a huge Basketball fan and played for FC Bayern München in his youth. During this time he played against his now colleagues Robert and Florian. He is also a Dota 2 and Magic player, although less talented (according to internal sources).
Wolfgang Albrecht [Co-Founder, Strategy & Asset Management]
Wolfgang’s dirty secret is that XRP is the first digital asset he ever bought when stumbling upon it in 2013. He has improved his senses for spotting quality projects ever since and has been an early investor in various projects such as Ethereum, Dfinity, or Solana.
He loves to dive deep into the inner workings of novel protocols and understand the implications of something in the context of the broader ecosystem. At Staking Facilities, which remains an independent and self-sustaining company, he is responsible for executing a viable long-term strategy. Navigating a company through the violent ups and downs of recent years has been fascinating and challenging. He dug the deepest rabbit hole of us all and was the initiating spark that started Staking Facilities.
“The joy and privilege of living in the blockchain petri dish early on are inexpressible. A young and enthusiastic generation is rebuilding the digital pillars of our world. The interdisciplinary nature of blockchain creates emergent properties that will feed our curiosity for the next decades.”
We are proud to see Wolfgang as a board member of the Solana Foundation. There he accelerates the diffusion of decentralized technologies as public goods together with an amazing set of other board members. In the rare times when he manages to escape the crypto sphere, he loves spending time in the mountains with his wife and dog, Firenze (our Chief Happiness Officer). He’s into all kinds of watersports and likes to kick it with good friends.
Fun Fact: He is also enjoys schooling Julius in the arts of Dota 2.
Robert Dörzbach [Marketing & Communications]
Robert joined our ranks full-time in July 2020, after he already worked with us for about a year next to studying Consumer Affairs at the Technical University, Munich. He is responsible for Marketing & Communications and leads our customer support — so he’s the one writing all the guides & tutorials as well as helping you out whenever you need assistance or have questions about the staking process of a particular network.
After spending some time in the corporate world as well as the innovation department of a European company builder, he opted to work for a startup. Robert couldn’t help but get sucked into the crypto space since Staking Facilities was founded by some of his best friends. After countless conversations, discussions, and exchanges with them, he also came across crypto during his time at the company builder as well as his studies. This led to him eventually falling down the rabbit hole and he never went back ever since. Robert on what excites him most about working in the blockchain industry:
“You often hear people say that the system is so screwed. The amazing thing about the blockchain industry and the overall Web 3 space is that now we actually have the chance to experiment with new system designs — this is really exciting! This industry is a blue ocean full of opportunities and has something in store for everyone — developers, financiers, lawyers, designers, marketers etc. “
Content creation, customer support, and a bit of UX/UI design by day — Magic the Gathering, sports, and drawing by night. Robert is as versatile as the crypto space and loves our brainstorm sessions, design sprints, and company events. Together with Felix Lutsch from Chorus One and Chris Remus from Chainflow, he also contributes to the Staking Economy Newsletter.
Fun Fact: Robert loves dogs, but we haven’t met anyone as allergic to dogs as him — guess that’s kind of a sad fact.
Florian Liss [Co-Founder, CTO]
Florian stumbled into crypto rather by accident when he was looking for an ‘easy’ way to get some extra credits for university — he was in for a surprise. After his first week of the seminar, looking into possible applications of Ethereum for the public sector and writing his first smart contracts, he was hooked. At the same time he met Julius and Wolfgang through Robert and while playing some Magic together, he discovered their shared interest in crypto and decided to join them on their journey.
“The biggest invention of our lifetime is programmable money. In a programmable world, we don’t need banks, brokerages, or any other middleman. Using Blockchain technology, you can directly trade and interact with anyone or anything in the world with confidence. The sheer amount of possibilities gives me goosebumps.”
At Staking Facilities, Florian is a technical allrounder — managing node operations, deep-diving into the peculiarities of each new protocol, and tinkering with existing tools or building completely new ones. Florian is a huge Lido fan and can’t wait for Ethereum to fully transition to Proof of Stake. He’s one of the Lido DAO MultiSig signers and even designed and produced his own set of Lido Hoodies — we’re quite excited to showcase them during the next DevCon.
His free time is spent very similar to work — coding small crypto projects, chatting with friends from various crypto communities, and looking into cool new tech. Whenever he manages to get away from crypto (quite rarely), he enjoys going on long walks, producing hip hop beats, and — in times of no `rona — traveling to South-East-Asia to go diving.
Fun Fact: Julius and Robert usually don’t like to play against Florian’s Magic decks, as they’re mostly focused on annoying them with some crazy combos (edit: obviously not true).
Jeff Madgett [Blockchain Node Engineer, ext.]
How Jeff started working in blockchain was a bit by chance just given the circumstances surrounding a particular project he was working on while digging through the altcoin space. He started off doing a combination of testing, node maintenance, and support in the community. It took off from there to an integrations, QA role, and beyond! During this stretch, Jeff was able to leverage his thorough understanding of blockchain technology to help build brand new products in the space as well as to get familiar with hundreds of different blockchains and their purposes.
For Jeff one of the most exciting things about what he does is being directly involved with brand new breakthrough products and technologies.
“When working in the crypto space, everything is moving at the speed of light and it guarantees that there will never be a dull moment on the job. There’s always something to do or improve too, so staying busy isn’t an issue!“
Jeff is a sports fanatic and can chat hours on end about any major sport with anyone — we can confirm this! His favorite sport is Baseball and his favorite team is the San Francisco Giants. Currently, Jeffs’ favorite sport to play is golf, because he’s getting older by the day (his words, not ours!) and for obvious reasons, it’s less stressful on the body, but also quite challenging for a ball that doesn’t move when you try to hit it. Furthermore, Jeff likes to collect sports cards and memorabilia. Other than that, he most enjoys spending time with his family.
Fun fact: Jeff is probably the best Golden Tee player you’ll ever meet/play against and, if that wasn’t enough, he can also drive a semi-truck!
Simon Kraus [Web Developer]
Simon is the latest addition to the Staking Facilities Family, joining on 1 July 2021. As a Developer, Simon is “in for the tech”. He bought his first Bitcoins way back in 2012 and has followed the crypto space ever since.
Prior to joining SF he worked for big media companies and was running his own business for six years. During this time he learned a lot about project management and got a view of the whole. He did everything including CMS, eCommerce, automation, custom applications for a broad variety of customers including industry leaders and government agencies.
Simon on what excites him most about working in the blockchain industry:
“I always love new technologies and niche stuff but blockchain and DeFi are game-changers for whole industries, markets, and general finances. The problem right now is that it is accessible for everybody, but not usable by mainstream audiences. My goal is to help make it usable and accessible with better services and user-friendly UI/UX.”
In the last months he helped the HydraDX core team to organize the community, internationalize the docs, bootstrap the validator pool, being the registrar, and with different development tasks.
You can find him in the ranks of the Polkadot ambassadors too and he’s also running some validators for substrate-based NPoS projects.
If you ever spot him away from his MacBooks it’s most likely on a bicycle or at a concert.
Fun Fact: He’s a father of triplet girls, rides a trike, and his car has the steering wheel on the wrong side.
Victor Clausius [Chief Financial Officer]
Victor joined Staking Facilities in September 2021 as a Chief Financial Officer to be in charge of finance, after running his own franchise restaurant chain. Before this entrepreneurial ride and after studying International Business at Munich Business School, Victor explored various fields of traditional finance, from financial service consulting through investment banking to private equity.
The first time Victor got into touch with blockchain technology was through private investments in cryptocurrencies after being teased with the unique technological features by Julius. A few books and newsletters later Victor realized the massive opportunities — even aside from the great characteristics of a blockchain-backed currency — and got hooked ever since on the idea of redesigning crucial interactions within the society for the better.
Victor on what excites him most about working in the blockchain industry:
“Blockchain technology has still very much of a founding spirit that attracts people from a different breed and provides unseen rapid developments. Open-minded and enthusiastic people all over the world are shaping a better future through accessibility, inclusiveness, and a new standard of reliability in a decentralized manner. This must be the best thing that happened to our generation.”
Besides enjoying spending time with his family and kids, Victor has been passionate about basketball since he was seven years old and used to play in the German U19 Bundesliga for FC Bayern München. Nowadays you can see him more often playing basketball at his console since it takes a less heavy toll on his aged body.
Aside from basketball Victor enjoys spending time with friends and discovering various cultures and landscapes.
Fun Fact: Victor used to play basketball with Julius in a team from the age of 14 and competed against his now colleagues Robert and Florian. At one point he almost ran a burger restaurant with two of the Staking Facility Founders.
Glenn Gabriel Bona [Content Marketing Lead (ext.)]
Glenn came across Staking Facilities after stumbling upon their block explorer, Solana Beach. Being a Solana blockchain enthusiast and a California native where Solana Beach is just 15 minutes away from where he grew up, he was struck by curiosity and reached out to the team.
With a science background, entrepreneurial and agency marketing experience, Glenn brings a varied perspective to the growth initiatives at Staking Facilities.
“Blockchain seems like the perfect cross between science, finance and technology. It sits at an intersection that really pulls at my curiosity. Combine that with the potential for disruption and it makes everyday feel like you can help influence the future. At some point you begin to ask yourself how can I help?”
As a fractional Head of Content, Glenn aims to produce educational pieces that will help onboard and engage the growing crypto community. Outside of marketing, Glenn is a bit obsessed with ultra and trail running. His longest race so far was the UTMB Thailand 50 mile and he’s currently training for the 100-mile event later this year. Other than that, he enjoys watching the Lakers, travels photography, and the occasional music festival.
Fun fact: He used to photograph artists for fun. His portfolio includes Kaskade, The Chainsmokers, G-Eazy, Rezz, and Slander.
Dmitri Moudraninets [Senior Systems Engineer]
Dmitri joined Staking Facilities in November 2021 as a Senior Systems Engineer to help the company scale its business. Just before that, he successfully launched an IT department in an internal startup. As a computer geek, Dmitrii believes that technology is the main driving force of modern society. He has experience working in big enterprise companies as well as in startup environments. Dmitrii learned how to use the best things from both worlds:
With a combination of two technologies (Hyperconverged Infrastructure and Kubernetes), you can run almost any workload — from heavy enterprise workloads to modern containerized applications. Such words as DevOps, web-scale technologies, and Information Security Management are no strangers for him.
“Such things as blockchain are changing our world. People can now interact with each other in a completely new way. We are getting closer to a world described in SciFi books. I’m so excited that I can see it from inside and can be a part of this process.”
Outside of his business hours, Dmitrii usually spends his free time doing one or a combination of the following things: traveling with his family, riding bicycles, watching movies, or playing with modern technologies in his home lab (which looks like a small data center).
Fun fact: His wife says that he can learn anything just in one weekend (of course, if it’s related to Engineering).
Connect with Dimitri via Twitter
David Krenckel [Senior Linux Engineer]
Following the call of the blockchain universe, David joined Staking Facilities in October 2021 as a Senior Linux Engineer. He can look back at great times working at the Fraunhofer Institute for solar energy systems ISE discovering the interoperation between science and IT.
Back in 2014, a good friend of his brought him closer to the concepts of blockchain, in particular Bitcoin. Just a couple of months later, David found himself mining Bitcoins on his home computer and self-studying the Ethereum ecosystem.
“Blockchain technology puts power into the hands of its users. In everyday life, it can simplify daily decision-making processes of consumers by disclosing origin and processing of goods. Producers will be able to regenerate trust in their value chains by providing transparency and unforgeability. Finally, it brings new reliance on their products.”
Besides enjoying spending time with his family, David has been addicted to Magic the Gathering for 18 years. He burns to continue this story at Staking Facilities having exciting matches with his new colleagues [and maybe defeat Liss someday] :). He loves to tinker around with all kinds of electronics and hardware up to printing missing parts for his custom beach cruiser project with his 3D printer.
Fun Fact: David’s first career aspiration was to become a bridge-builder. Shortly after he realized the existence of computers, he changed his decision to become a computer specialist dreaming of all-day-long computer game sessions.
Johanna Wimmer [COO]
Johanna had a dream — working with an inspiring and thriving team within the crypto and blockchain space to help make web 3.0 a reality.
Little did she know how fast this transformation with a track record of working for corporates would evolve into a position as Chief Operations Officer with Staking Facilities. With her studies in International Business in the Netherlands, Spain, and England Johanna started her professional journey in Strategic HR and Organizational Development roles. She has always been most interested in how organizations can be an inspiring environment for people to be happy and contribute their best to a higher purpose.
You were able to find her down the crypto rabbit hole ever since 2021. That was when she started to understand the possibilities blockchain technology offered to all parts of society and the impact transparency, decentralization and significant wealth redistribution can have on our current system.
Being the first woman at Staking Facilities, Johanna wants to help make the digital future more inclusive.
“To me, blockchain is the game changer to a fairer, decentralized world in which power and wealth are redistributed. A technology that has the power to fundamentally change underlying belief systems and traditional structures becoming visible in all areas of society.”
Fun Fact: Johanna has a German-Danish-Austrian family and she loves to travel and dive into other cultures. However, you will probably never convince her that there is a more beautiful place to live other than Hamburg!
Maurice Taylor [Head of Design]
Maurice joined Staking Facilities in March 2022 as our Head of Design. Before joining our company Maurice successfully launched the world’s first NFT bundled pendant light with his own company. He has worked in various fields of design and has been awarded numerous times for his work. In 2019 Maurice held a TEDx speech at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Before his career in design, Maurice studied Industrial Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany.
Maurice got drawn into the world of blockchain technologies because of his curiosity about this “mysterious Bitcoin thingy”.
Diving deeper into this topic, he realized that there is a lot more to blockchain technology than we see at first glance, and his interest grew exponentially. Understanding the implications this new technology will have on our society and the opportunities it offers to change our world for the better, he realized he wanted to help build the future in this fast-paced, ever-changing industry.
“In a perfect world, individuals benefit from their creations, can decide which data they share, and have financial tools available no matter the time or location. Web3 allows for all that and more if done right — I want to be part of building that future.”
In his spare time, Maurice enjoys walking with his dog and painting. Besides that, he has a passion for cooking (where he attempts to replicate fine dining experiences at home) and DJing.
Fun Fact: Maurice is a huge hip-hop fan and is Djing in his spare time. Once he met Pharrell and managed to get a shoutout for his mixtapes. He stepped into an escalator and deleted the recording 2min later by accident.
Connect with Maurice via LinkedIn.
Claudia Clausius [Finance Manager]
Claudia aka Claudi joined SF in June 2021 as a part-time Finance Manager. Part-time due to her Master’s study of engineering and management at the University of applied sciences of Munich. She finished her Bachelor’s in engineering and management with a specification in logistics right before the birth of her daughter Lilly in 2019.
She gathered experience in several fields such as HR consulting, IT consulting, supply chain management, and automotive manufacturing and went for a study abroad in Sydney. She administered a burger franchise chain together with her husband. After the birth of her last child Eliah in 2021, she decided to conclude her studies in engineering and management.
Her first scientific contact with Blockchain happened through her studies. For an assessment, a podcast about blockchain and possible usages for the finance sector had to be created by her university group. Concerning some research on Blockchain Technology, she attended a workshop by FemmeCapital and got highly attracted by the technology itself and the role of women in WEB3.
„The finance sector within other sectors has started recognizing the massive impact that blockchain technology has on generating new revenue, delivering process efficiency, and improving the end-user experience. I love being part of a respectful, authentic, and enthusiastic team on this journey. I’m certain that the crypto world will be greatly enriched by women. The percentage of women involved with cryptocurrency is far below that of men. I believe that for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry to really evolve and bring out the best in itself, women and their ideas could be of great value. The more perspectives and viewpoints are available through people, backgrounds, and ethnicities of all kinds, the better the industry can develop. That’s why we need more diversity to sit at the table and contribute to and start the blockchain and crypto conversations.“
During her free time, she loves spending time with her husband and three kids. She’s addicted to traveling the world as much as possible or just to traveling to her birth country Uganda in pursuance of spending even more time with her family over there as well. If she has some extra time she enjoys reading love romances (including Harry Potter) and going to the gym.
Connect with Claudi via LinkedIn.
Matthias Schmitz [Systems Administrator]
After having worked as a Senior Linux Admin in a Munich data center (DC) for five years, Matthias joined our ranks as a System Administrator in July 2022 to support our tech team. During his time at the DC, Matthias lead projects like implementing a new private cloud or designing as well as implementing new customer environments. Safe to say that Matthias feels quite comfortable in both, the console and the racks. Before the DC, Matthias was an admin in a mixed environment (Windows/Linux) for a company in the industrial camera business. There expanded his skill set by soldering and electrical engineering — quite the package!
As a trained IT specialist in systems integration, it didn’t take much for Matthias to be convinced by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actively shape and co-create the backend of the next evolution of the internet, namely web3. Interestingly enough though, it was one of his teachers during his IT training, who pushed him down the rabbit hole by suggesting ‘to have a look at Bitcoin’ since he might find it interesting. He sure did and shortly after started to mine Bitcoin on his personal computer in his children´s room. It is this hands-on, doer mentality that has ultimately driven Matthias to take the leap into crypto full time:
“We are in an early enough state of a financial revolution to contribute and make things better. I love to be able to use my knowledge to make the world a better, safer, and fairer place.”
Even in his spare time, Matthias likes to geek out on hardware: he’s admin for a driver recruitment company and hosts the company on his personal hardware co-located in a Munich-based DC. Furthermore, he likes to combine his love for hardware and technical engineering with his other big hobby, video games. Hence, he built his own video console. If you don’t find him tinkering with hardware or hacking away in the console, Matthias is most likely outdoors enjoying nature, bouldering, or in the gym.
Fun Fact: Matthias owns more than 500 hardware games and more than 1000 digital copies. The only thing he likes to collect more than games is gaming trophies — so far he has more than 4500 under the hood on the PlayStation Network (and counting).
Connect with Matthias via Twitter.