TBW #51: What do we do after the PBW? 👀

TBW #51: What do we do after the PBW? 👀

Read all about The Big Whale's 51st Premium newsletter.

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To devour this week

🖊️ Editor's editorial
🗣 Our exclusive news
🔶 Coinbase
🚀 Dante Disparate

PBW, what's next? 🧐

Dep Since its creation in 2019, the organisers of Paris Blockchain Week (PBW) have wanted to go bigger than the previous year every year. More square metres, more participants, more guests. And ever more prestigious venues. This year, it's at the Carrousel du Louvre!

From that point of view, this PBW 2023 is a huge success, and we can only be delighted to see the French capital, just a few weeks after NFT Paris, once again at the centre of the Web3 planet, with over 10,000 participants. All this, let's not forget, in the middle of the bear market 🤯

Circle, Coinbase, Tether... Many industry giants are present in France this week. There are also a lot of Web2 players, such as Google and Amazon, which is a first.

But the success of an event is measured by more than just its attendance and size. Its impact in terms of announcements (innovations, projects...) for the French and European ecosystem also counts, and from that point of view, the success is a 'little' less dazzling.

Circle certainly announced this week that it was going to set up its European headquarters in Paris, but we could have imagined a little more! In any case, that's what we need to collectively demand so that France and Europe aren't the centre of the Web3 planet for just one week a year. 🚀


👉 "Influencers' law": towards a more flexible regime

It's the final stretch before the examination of the proposed law which provides for the supervision of influencers in France. On Tuesday 28 March, the French National Assembly will hold a public debate on the bill, which focuses in part on those who promote cryptos.

To date, the proposal provides for two main points: firstly, that crypto influencers must be approved by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF); secondly, that they may not promote companies that have not themselves been approved by the AMF as digital asset service providers (DASPs). This second point was added yesterday as part of the adoption of an amendment tabled by PS MP Arthur Delaporte. ✅

Or, according to our information, this provision should finally be excluded from the final text, notably because of the government's opposition.

What will happen from now on?

To date, what seems to be holding the line is the obligation for a crypto influencer to have to register himself with the AMF if he wants to promote crypto services and products, i.e. the first version of the law.

Some MPs are pushing, however, for influencers to be obliged to work with companies that are at least "registered" - and not licensed - with the AMF. A position that some in the crypto ecosystem are denouncing. 😡

"95% of companies that work with influencers are not registered as PSANs with the AMF," points out Owen Simonin, the biggest French-speaking influencer and boss of Hash Consulting, an agency that represents almost all French influencers.

"Hasheur" says that advertising via influencers allows them to test the market, before setting up in France according to the rules.

"This argument is valid for serious players, such as Binance or Swissborg, who made extensive use of influencers before registering with the AMF," says a good connoisseur of the matter. "But that's just the tip of the iceberg. When you scan the marketing operations disseminated by many crypto influencers, it's pretty much the court of miracles and you can understand the desire of elected representatives to regulate." 😓

For its part, the Association for the Development of Digital Assets (Adan) has made a series of proposals on the subject. According to our information, these are currently being examined by certain MPs.

Coinbase: the Parisian temptation

The American giant continued to make its presence felt at Paris Blockchain Week (21-23 March), and continues to make inroads into the French capital.

It was 12.30pm yesterday when we arrived at 34 rue Greneta in central Paris. The gate was all business as usual, except perhaps for the sign hanging carelessly on its right-hand wing: "Welcome to the home of Coinbase".

This is where the 🇺🇸 exchange platform has set up base camp for Paris Blockchain Week, which officially comes to a close tonight (23 March), although other events will continue until the end of the weekend. 🥳

A dozen members of the Coinbase team, which has no offices in Paris, were on hand. "This year, we preferred to take a separate venue to organise our own events and not be in the middle of the crowd", a manager from London slipped us.

Yesterday, Coinbase presented new features for its wallet. But many of those present were also, and above all, wondering whether the American company would be making any announcements about its future presence in Paris. Missed again!

The announcement of Circle's arrival in France has, according to our information, prompted the Californian giant to postpone its communication. 📅

"We have no immediate plans to set up in France", says the head of the group's European communications. "We will make announcements later", she adds.

While nothing has actually been confirmed, the Exchange, which blew out its tenth candle last year, is working hard on its arrival in Paris, where it has already filed its application with the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) to be registered as a digital asset service provider (PSAN). The application is due to be validated in the coming weeks.

According to our information, Coinbase is also working with several law firms to see which European activities would be based in France, bearing in mind that the group has offices in Dublin, London and Berlin. Paris could host the sales team.

Another concordant clue is that Coinbase has signed with a Parisian communications agency. 📝

More than just a location, Paris is even holding out to become the European headquarters for Coinbase, which does not yet officially have one in this part of the world. "Paris has a very good ecosystem and clear regulation," explains a person close to the company.

The French capital also has the advantage of having already managed to attract a number of heavyweights in the sector. Binance was the first in 2022 to set up its European headquarters in Paris, followed by and Circle.

The issue is all the hotter for Coinbase as the US regulator has been quite offensive with the crypto sector for several months and the fall of the FTX platform. Last night, Brian Armstrong announced on Twitter that the group had received a document from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicating that legal action could be taken against it very soon.

According to Bloomberg, Coinbase is considering taking some of its business out of the US, particularly that with institutional investors. Europe, and Paris, could be the land of opportunity. 🇪🇺

The French authorities are delighted with the attractiveness of Paris. "We are more convinced than ever that France has all the assets it needs to become a global benchmark for innovation and the digital economy based on blockchain," explains Minister Delegate for the Digital Economy Jean-Noël Barrot.

The tone of voice is broadly the same on the side of French players, where they welcome the interest of international giants. "It's a very good thing," explains Coinhouse boss Nicolas Louvet. "We'll just have to see if there isn't also a marketing dimension to this kind of announcement", he adds.

Others, especially smaller players, are worried about a possible stranglehold by these giants on the French market. "It's all very well attracting foreign giants to France, but we shouldn't be surprised if there aren't any heavyweight French or even European players," stresses the boss of a small French platform.

Dante Disparate (Circle): "France is increasingly seen as a leader in crypto"


American giant Circle has just announced that it is moving its European headquarters to France. Its chief strategy officer, Dante Disparate, talks to The Big Whale about the reasons behind his choice and discusses all the issues affecting the company, including the recent turbulence that affected it after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

The article is available on The Big Whale website 🐳

This edition was prepared with ❤️ by Raphaël Bloch and Grégory Raymond. The Big Whale is a free and independent media. By supporting us, you are contributing to its development.

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