Binance Blockchain Week is being held in Paris from 14 to 16 September 2022, and the first opening speech was a fireside chat with exchange CEO CZ Zhao and French Minister of Technology and Telecommunications, Jean-Noel Barrot.
The topic of this discussion was the role of France and Europe in the digital revolution and in particular in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector.
On the stage at the event, Minister Barrot said:
“We are happy to welcome Web3 companies and startups involved in finance and decentralized finance.”
Lots of crypto talent in France
One of the topics that emerged was the concentration of talent in the territory: historically, the French are great mathematicians and engineers. CZ explained that in France alone, Binance has over 150 employees and plans to hire at least another 100 people by the end of 2022.
This makes France the biggest hub for Binance, although recently it is Italy that has become the first among European clients.
Either way, it is a “talent pool,” as Zhao calls it, which has certainly made France an attractive place to decide to open offices.
“France is a welcoming place for crypto,” CZ stated.
After all, so many successful companies are French in the industry, such as Ledger, Sorare or The Sandbox, so it is no coincidence that France boasts and continues to push to be a leader in the industry.
Crypto regulation in France
Even more important is definitely the regulation, which according to CZ is very clear and precise in France, with a government ready to respond to the needs of companies, although on the other side the laws are very strong and so a lot of work has to be done to comply with all the requirements.
One of the still unresolved problems in France, is the overly stringent regulation for stablecoins and the lack of clarity in terms of DeFi and NFTs, although it seems that the government is working on this.
Almost everyone at the event pointed out this aspect of French laws, even Pierre Person, a former member of Parliament and the National Assembly.
Binance is very careful to be compliant with local regulation and in fact was the first to register as Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) in France, even before Italy.
It is actually France that inspired the MiCA, which has since caught on in Italy as well with the registry where crypto service providers must register.
To further improve French regulation in terms of crypto, during the panel titled “The French Example: how France leads the way for the blockchain ecosystem,” moderated by French country manager David Princay, a 3-year regulatory sandbox will open from March 2023 to allow innovation to flourish and to give new opportunities to crypto and blockchain companies.
Crypto education at center of discussion
Definitely one of the activities that Binance focuses on is crypto education to teach everyone what a blockchain is, the security of platforms, and so on.
Indeed, just today CZ announced on stage at Paris Blockchain Week that Binance has partnered, thanks in part to the support of Macron’s French government, with one of the top schools in Paris for a program to teach over 10 thousand French students.
According to CZ, France is an important financial hub on par with NYC and London, and especially in cities like Paris, the French government is working to attract more and more new companies and startups, trying to have less corporate taxes and clearer regulation on crypto.