Michael Mertens holds a diploma from the University of Aachen, Germany, as a computer scientist specialized in mathematics, IT security and cryptography.
Mertens is one of the most important pioneers in the development of central (trust centre) and decentral (web of trust) authentication systems. Already while at university, he studied PKI-based encryption solutions. In his diploma thesis he developed a concept for Identity Management for blockchain technology. During his studies, he has worked with Wei Dai. The exchange concerned the cryptographic possibilities with regard to the idea of a cryptographic currency that was implemented as a b-money by Wei Dai in 1998 and formed the basis for the bitcoin idea and blockchain technology.
Mertens became an independent businessman in 1992 and has been securing the digital communication of companies using the PGP software since then. Since 1995, he has been securing the electronic transfer of sensitive flight data for airports. Mertens has been doing extensive work in the Internet-based securities trade since 2000. His task in the establishment of one of the very first portals for online trading ever was ensuring the encrypted and legally binding transfer of data.
In 2004 Michael Mertens founded the iDev GmbH, a company for individual software solutions in the area of secure, distributed systems. Already two years after its founding, iDev was the market leader in the field of POS solutions and, in 2009, a leader in self-service terminals. In 2014, Mertens and Dr. Michael Raumann founded the CryptoTec AG. The aim of the foundation was to make cryptographic encodings usable for companies of all sizes and to expand the cyber security. The technology company now offers high-security solutions for connected distributed computer systems.
Mertens is a recognized expert on cryptography, blockchain, agile development and usability. He advises companies in the healthcare sector and he regularly gives lectures at conferences and universities.