Shelf, a blockchain-based auction startup, walked away with the grand prize at the first Frontier Innovation Awards 2018: Blockchain in San Francisco on Friday. The Berlin-based company, which plans to focus initially on the business-to-business automobile market, will receive at least $250,000 in funding as well as mentoring from monero (XMR) developer Riccardo Spagni.

Before judges picked the winner, they listened to a lightning round of pitches from 10 startups focused on blockchain technology. Shelf CEO Lasha Antadze said the company’s network will create “the most efficient price discovery system” available for online buyers.

I like to think about decentralization in terms of threat analysis and attack,” says Riccardo Spagni. “If you don’t have a real need to decentralize, why do it?

Spagni kicked off what will be an annual award with a keynote speech in which he described himself as a proponent of decentralization. Because blockchains function as decentralized ledgers they allow all participants, not justify a central controlling authority, to verify the authenticity of data. He urged audience members to “think significantly about what you’re trying to prevent” by using blockchain.

I like to think about decentralization in terms of threat analysis and attack,” he added. “If you don’t have a real need to decentralize, why do it? If you’re trying to build something people can use, identify the threat models.”

Blockchain as Technology’s Cutting Edge

Venture capital firm Bee Partners hosted the event and says its aim is to reward companies that have taken an innovative approach with blockchain. “Bee Partners looks way out on the frontier curve of all technologies for the hottest new business ideas,” said Michael Berolzheimer, the firm’s founder and managing partner. “Right now, that cutting edge is blockchain-based businesses.He added that the winner of the award will join a portfolio of more than 50 companies in which Bee Partners has invested over the last 10 years. 

Bee Partners associate and investor Kira Noodleman has helped lead the firm’s push on blockchain. She said the development of blockchain technology will be as earthshaking as the launch of the World Wide Web was in the 1990s.