Meet Meinhard Benn: One of the Originators of Pendulum

4 min readJun 12, 2023


Meinhard Benn, the Founder of SatoshiPay in 2014, is a humble visionary. With his first steps into blockchain programming in 2011, Meinhard has now steered SatoshiPay towards its most ambitious endeavor, Pendulum. This interview offers the Pendulum community an opportunity to look behind the scenes and gain insights from a true OG in the cryptocurrency realm.

1. Origin Story — Can you tell us a bit about how you first became interested in the blockchain space?

In early 2011, I discovered a novel protocol for decentralized electronic cash known as Bitcoin. Having previously experimented with Free Software-based token systems, message encryption, and proof-of-work applications, I was instantly hooked. Eager to understand the protocol better, I downloaded the Bitcoin client and started mining. During my travels through Asia in 2013, I encountered many individuals who shared my interests. This experience led me to collaborate with a few startup projects in Berlin shortly thereafter. In 2014, I co-founded SatoshiPay with several friends, with the objective of making blockchain-based payments more accessible to businesses.

2. Favorite Projects — Pendulum aside, which Web3 project(s) are you most excited about? No financial advice ;)

I’m a big believer in Regenerative Finance (ReFi), a movement that utilizes blockchain and Web3 mechanisms to foster a more environmentally sound and sustainable future for all of us. A few projects in this space that I like include: Toucan, Bitgreen and Regen. Also Polkadot can be considered a “green” network, because of its low carbon footprint and shared parachain node infrastructure.

3. Values — Many different people are driven by different values in the crypto world; such as privacy, freedom, economic inclusion, ‘in it for tek’ etc. Which values drive you the most?

I’ve been a Free and Open Source Software user, developer and evangelist for as long as I can remember. So the transparency, do-it-yourself approach and sharing culture that come with the ideological and technological origins of crypto resonate strongly with me. I also see blockchain technology as a powerful enabler of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and essentially a big backup technology, should centralized financial systems suffer a — let’s term it — extended large-scale outage some time… ;)

4. Pendulum Journey — Now you are working with Pendulum, how did your Web3 journey bring you to Pendulum today?

This question is for new people, right? :) SatoshiPay aims to connect the world through instant payments. We’ve traditionally depended on existing chains and protocols to actualize our vision. However, we realized that certain tasks, such as international money transfers — a core component of our mission — couldn’t be efficiently executed on-chain. To address this, we saw the need to incorporate a new, specialized network focused specifically on fiat token applications. And Pendulum is exactly this, an ecosystem that brings traditional foreign currency infrastructure into the blockchain age.

5. Learning — What’s your biggest learning in blockchain so far? It can be investment related or any silly crazy Web3 story.

Back in the early days of Bitcoin, we expected crypto to grow and slowly become more significant over time. But I believe none of us was prepared for the type of diversity, recognition and scale that we see today, just a bit more than 10 years later. And we are still at the very beginning, with each tidal wave of growth enlarging the ocean that is currently called Web3. Also, I paid around 0.5 BTC for a burger once.

6. Vision — Where do you think Web3 and the crypto industry will be in 10 years time? What kind of impact will blockchain have had on the world?

Kids are growing up with cryptocurrency and NFTs around them. The decision makers of tomorrow will look at what is proven, open and future-proof technology for the issues they might face. And I believe blockchains will be in a very good position to solve all sorts of problems, working away quietly in the background, optimizing business processes and ensuring easy technological progress and transition. Coming back to ReFi, making sustainability measurable, fungible and transparent through decentralized networks will be a common place.

7. Alpha — This is the last question so can you please share some alpha or advice for the audience? A tip or learning from your experience in crypto that can help them grow.

As part of research on a new project you discover, download and run any clients. Or if you are more daring, download and play with the node software that the project has released. You will learn a lot from this — using a playful hands-on approach is how I discovered Bitcoin in the first place.

The Pendulum team wishes to thank Meinhard for allocating time to provide insightful responses to these questions. Hearing from an authentic early adopter and influential contributor in the crypto landscape is immensely valuable. Should you wish to engage with Meinhard or the Pendulum team with any questions, you are welcome to join our socials. Thank you again Meinhard, and we hope that $13,000 burger was tasty!

About Amplitude

Pioneering the internet of fiat. Amplitude is the sister network of Pendulum on Kusama. It will act as a testing ground for Pendulum applications and network parameters and be powered by the AMPE token.

About Pendulum

Building the missing link between fiat and DeFi through a fiat-optimized smart contract blockchain based on Polkadot’s Substrate. Allowing traditional finance fiat services to integrate with DeFi applications such as specialized forex AMMs, lending protocols, or yield farming opportunities. Developed by SatoshiPay.

Keep your eyes on the Pendulum!

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Traditional finance infrastructure blockchain. The missing link between fiat and DeFi. Limitless fiat. Decentralized future.