Between April 16th and 17th, Paris Blockchain Week Summit has turned the capital of France into the epicentre of European crypto innovation. Just days after the French Parliament has passed the “loi PACTE” legislative project in order to enable domestic enterprises to get ahead of technological innovation through acceptance of cryptocurrencies, the conference has turned out to be a bona fide tour de force.
Essentially, one could easily distinguish between two different categories of companies and firms that participated PBWS: the French businesses looking to get ahead of the competition by proposing their services to the incoming speculators, and the foreign projects that were seeking to do business within the territories of the Fifth Republic. Both types of participants have been represented very convincingly, and all the exuberance regarding cryptocurrencies and industrial blockchain applications reflects a more advanced and mature stage of mainstream adoption.
By this point, it’s clear that France wants to become the first big Western power to create a business-friendly environment for everything crypto and blockchain. As previously presented in Senor Satoshi’s article “French government is clearing path for blockchain technology”, the government from Paris is willing to facilitate the tax system so that monthly declarations get replaced by yearly ones, the capital tax rate is set to be lowered by 6.2%, and crypto to crypto transactions will be exempt from this strict framework.
All of these measures are part of a plan to bring France to the forefront of technological innovation. And even if we were not aware of the ongoing legislative changes for a friendlier fiscal system, then we could still observe the large amount of French officials and trans-national businesses participating BPWS and presenting enthusiastic plans about doing business. Here are some highlights from the event:
Crypto takes over Paris Blockchain Week Summit 2019
In an exclusive interview with Celsius Network‘s Alex Mashinsky that Inbar and I have recorded on April 16th 2019, we were able to find out that the “earning interest by HODLing” model might receive its own French adaptation. This special crypto-centered approach involves the use of stablecoins and promises greater annual returns than traditional banks, without exposing customers to the risks of price volatility. While this is a brilliant gateway drug that will definitely generate some more Bitcoin adoption, it’s also a great tool for modern financial services. Yet most importantly, banks are pushed closer to the ropes of this boxing ring: now they’re forced to either adapt to the ongoing financial revolution or take a potentially fatal blow.
eToro CEO Yoni Assia has also expressed optimism regarding the bourgeoning business opportunities in France, and the fact that the social trading platform has invested a lot of money into promoting its brand during the event is yet another sign of bullishness. A country like France, which is a founding member of the European Union, a member of the UN Security Council, and one of the most innovative and creative places on the planet, proved to be the perfect place to make product launch. Accordingly, eToroX (a regulated cryptocurrency exchange) went live on the first day of Paris Blockchain Week Summit.
Yet another heavyweight who decided to take his time and promote a new project is the legendary cypherpunk David Chaum, whose influence in the field is truly inescapable and all-encompassing. Elixxir, a quick privacy-centered transaction platform which implements the blockchain technology, is still in its beta days and requires greater community support. The fact that Mr. Chaum has accepted to hold the opening keynote speech in Paris and talk to almost everybody who approached him regardless of topic, only goes to show that Paris Blockchain Week Summit has reached its most important goal – that of bringing people together and allowing for a productinve exchange of information and experiences.
The Tezos project was also a prominent presence during the event, as the project had the biggest booth of all cryptocurrencies participating PBWS. Since the French-speaking community is rather significant within the project, it made a lot of sense to take advantage of the opportunity and highlight the latest protocol advancements. Even Tezos co-founder Arthur Breitman was physically present and eager to engage with the community and the media, which was a pleasant surprise.
Furthermore, angel investor and Adaptive Holdings CEO Mrinal Manohar has also made a presentation on the state of Casper Labs, in which he highlighted the developments and advancements in the Proof of Stake protocol that is also expected to see an Ethereum implementation. After his 20-minute keynote speech, he was nice enough to talk to people interested in the projects in which he invests, and even answered all the questions in an exclusive interview for Crypto Insider.
French crypto experts and businesses are looking to further establish their position at PBWS
Every participant to the Paris Blockchain Week Summit 2019 event has been greeted with a nice little gift: the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. The crypto security company, whose main headquarters are in France, attended the event in order to promote their latest devices and raise awareness about the need for better private key management. Furthermore, the folks standing at the booth have been nice and patient enough to explain to everyone the differences between the Nano S and the new Nano X, and they even gave away stress balls so HODLing would become easier in this stage of the crypto market.
Also, innovation and fintech expert Jennifer D’Hoir was nice enough to talk about the lawyer firm that she co-founded, which is called GIDE 255. As a former employee of the French government, she saw the potential of cryptocurrencies and the need for legal experts in the bourgeoning field, so she decided to quit her old job and embrace the revolution. Right now, she and her firm are helping companies accept crypto payments, open bank accounts, and offer crypto-specific services. If this kind of story doesn’t convince you that there’s more to crypto than watching charts and expecting gains, then it’s unlikely that anything else will.
Furthermore, French entrepreneur Yves Laurent Kayan has presented to the world the Coinplus project, which allows cryptocurrency enthusiasts to store their coins on a credit card-shaped device which has no electronic parts and is immune to remote hacking. The concept is as simple as engraving the public key and the private key on a piece of plastic (or silver, or gold, depending on your budget), in order to enable physical cold storage that resists to most natural hazards. Unlike the Ledger, this is about having a safe place for your seed words or parts of the private key. And just in case the security model seems too simplistic, there are multisig 2 of 3 or 3 of 5 solutions to make sure that a situation like Quadriga’s would never occur.
There’s more to the picture than meets the eye, so stay tuned for the exclusive Crypto Insider interviews!
The Paris Blockchain Week Summit was a huge event which featured hundreds of speakers and took place on two stages at the same time. Given the time or resources, Crypto Insider was able to only cover a few of the launches and presentations taking place at the venue.
Correspondingly, we have good news and bad news. First of all, let’s begin with the positive side of the narrative: everybody who has been mentioned during the article is the subject of an exclusive interview that will get posted throughout the week. The bad news is that we couldn’t get more content and had to deal with time constrains. Nevertheless, we have shot video and audio of all interviews we conducted, and the footage will be accompanied by brief 300-word articles.
Therefore, you better stay tuned to Crypto Insider news if you want to find out more about eToroX, Celsius, David Chaum’s Elixxir, Tezos, Casper Labs, Scorechain’s blockchain intelligence services, Zcoin, Gide 255, and Coinplus. An interview with Ledger is also scheduled to happen in the following days.
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- David Chaum at Paris Blockchain Week Summit 2019