TBW #55: The Big Whale launches "The Ocean

TBW #55: The Big Whale launches "The Ocean

Read all about The Big Whale's 55th Premium newsletter.

Hello Whales and welcome to the little newcomers who have just joined us in the Premium edition! There are already over 1,500 of you reading us every week. Thank you so much 😍

To devour this week

🖊️ Editorial

🗣 Our exclusive news

👀 Worldcoin survey

🗳️ Vote MiCA


The Ocean 🌊

Since its creation, The Big Whale's mission has been to provide the best information on the web3 ecosystem. Until now, we've done this work with surveys, analysis, interviews and reports 👟.

But the time has come to go a step further by launching "The Ocean", a tool that will enable us to respond to a joint request from the ecosystem AND traditional players: mapping European web3 projects 🌍.

Europe is a wonderful breeding ground for projects, but NOBODY is able to quantify the phenomenon precisely, to say which projects are French, German, Swiss or British, which is an obvious hindrance to its development and to understanding its dynamics.

The aim of "The Ocean" is to provide a solution to this problem.

How do we do this? 💡

From today, all European projects that wish to do so can fill in their information and appear in The Big Whale's mapping 🐳.

This information concerns the name, activity, workforce, technology used, ambitions in terms of fundraising...

Each project included in this mapping will have the opportunity, after a vote by The Big Whale's 300 founding subscribers (we'll explain how this will work), to:

  • Pitch the project to The Big Whale community
  • Be visible with a listing within a dedicated space in The Big Whale

The is available here and only takes a few minutes 😎

To make this mapping a success, we need you! Don't hesitate to talk about The Ocean around you and pass on the information to web3/crypto companies you know all over Europe 🙏

NB: If you have any questions, please email us here.


Our exclusive news 🔥

👉 Deblock has raised $12 million 👀

Is it because they were disappointed by Revolut's crypto ambitions? A few months ago, several former employees of the British fintech launched Deblock, a sort of crypto neo-bank.

The app is not yet available, but the team has given itself the means to achieve its ambitions since, according to our information, it has raised $12 million 💰.

The funding round was closed a few months ago. Several funds such as Hoxton, 20VC and Kraken Ventures invested in the Franco-British start-up. Several figures from the French ecosystem, such as Thomas France (co-founder Ledger) and Nicolas Julia (co-founder Sorare) are also investors.

The aim of Deblock, which should be available first in France in the third quarter, is to offer a banking application with a non-custodial crypto wallet system (i.e. you will be the only person to have control over your funds) in addition to a traditional current account (with an IBAN). This system is supposed to allow you to move from the crypto world to the fiat (euro) world without too much friction.

The start-up also wants to launch a payment card.

Founded by Jean Meyer (ex-Head of crypto at Revolut), Aaron Beck (ex-Revolut), Mario Alebicto (ex-Ledger and Revolut), and Adriana Restrepo (ex-COO of Revolut) who joined them at the end of 2022, Deblock has submitted several applications to obtain licences in France and the UK. These licences are for digital asset service provider (DASP) and electronic money institution licences.


Worldcoin, Sam Altman's mysterious crypto project


By Grégory Raymond (in Paris)

Little known to the general public, the Worldcoin project, led by the co-founder of OpenAI, is making more and more headlines. The Big Whale investigated.

How do we define Worldcoin, a project whose ambition is at least as great as the vagueness that surrounds it?

For most of the specialists we interviewed as part of this investigation, many agree in presenting it as a kind of "protection" against the lightning progress of artificial intelligence.

The rest is available on The Big Whale website 🐳



MiCA regulation set for final adoption

By Inbar Preiss (in Brussels)

European MPs are due to vote this Thursday on the latest version of MiCA, which will provide a framework for cryptos in Europe. The Big Whale takes a look at what this text will change (or not) for the sector.

This is the epilogue to a very long dossier. After more than two years of debate, this Thursday afternoon the European Parliament is due to finally adopt the MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets) regulation, which will give the European Union a framework for crypto-assets.

European MPs are due to vote in plenary session (every month) at the Parliament in Strasbourg. "This vote on crypto regulation is the culmination of a long process", Stefan Berger MEP (European People's Party, right), who led the negotiations on MiCA on the European Parliament side, stressed yesterday during the session debates.

"The European Union had no rules to protect consumers against certain abuses. Now there are tools," he added.

The MiCA text has been ready for a vote for six months, but has been postponed twice due to translation problems. The 556-page text had to be translated into 24 languages and with crypto vocabulary that is sometimes a little technical 😅.

What exactly does MiCA cover?

Even if it doesn't cover everything, the spectrum of the text is relatively broad.

It concerns crypto platforms that will have to be accredited (along the lines of what has been set up in France). This approval, which is "passportable" in all EU countries, will have an impact on all companies that provide services on digital assets in the EU area.

"MiCA will allow crypto players to have visibility and the ability to grow, while guaranteeing consumers a certain level of security", explained the European Commissioner for Financial Services, Mairead McGuinness, yesterday.

The other important point of MiCA concerns stablecoins, which are distinguished into two categories. The first is "e-money tokens", i.e. traditional stablecoins that are based on a single currency such as the euro.

The second category is "asset-referenced tokens", i.e. stablecoins based on a basket of fiat currencies. The obligations placed on these stablecoins are not the same and are to be defined progressively by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA).

Stablecoins not indexed to the euro will be limited in terms of volume. The gauge is set at $250 million in daily volumes, but does not take into account volumes made solely for trading. In other words, only transactions for the purchase of products and services will be counted.

In contrast, decentralised players, such as the DeFi protocols, are not affected by MiCA. This is also the case for NFT platforms, which will be regulated separately. Work on this subject has already begun in the European Parliament.

What can we expect next?

After the vote, which is supposed to be a formality, the text will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union, normally in June. This procedure is crucial because it is from this date that the transitional period will begin, during which the industry - and the States - will have to adapt to the new regulation before it becomes mandatory.

  • The transition period for stablecoins is 12 months
  • The transition period for the rest of the legislation is 18 months

During this period, ESMA and EBA will have to publish the "second layer" of the regulation, i.e. the precise terms of application of MiCA, as well as the guidelines for their doctrine on the supervision of cryptos - these two regulators are already doing this on financial services and banks.

In the coming months, the crypto industry and its representatives (start-ups, platforms...), will also be asked to provide feedback on the regulation and the conditions of its application.

How are companies preparing?

The arrival of MiCA is an important deadline for companies in the sector. "Everyone is going to have to comply. Some companies are ready or will have no trouble adapting. Others will have more difficulty," explains independent consultant, Elizaveta Palaznik.

The main obstacles for web3 companies are: compliance monitoring, setting up internal processes, data protection and for some companies, such as exchange platforms, the ability to combat money laundering.

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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