Paris, April 11—The Paris Blockchain Week, Europe’s largest gathering of thought leaders, innovators, and experts from around the world, has concluded and demonstrated that the blockchain space is maturing. 8,500 attendees flocked to Paris, joining executives and change-makers from major companies such as Google, Coca-Cola, Amazon Web Services, Deutsche Bank, Bloomberg, LVMH, Coinbase, Circle, Microsoft, and Mercedes. The week had three focus points: talent and investors, the Web3XP, and a two-day Summit to close-out the event.
Billions in talent
Talent and capital are the most important aspects of the blockchain and Web3 industries, and the talent fair was popular and marked by a well-considered agenda, inspirational and informative content, and industry-leading firms.
On the investor side, the investor’s programming was a hit. Start-ups were highlighted in the Google Cloud-sponsored Start in Block competition, which showcased some of the industry’s most promising and innovative Web3 projects from all over the world. Ten companies pitched for reputable investors managing over $10 billion with Bubblemaps, Staex, and Xverse App coming out as winners. Prominent investor Tim Draper of Draper Associates, even hosted a “Meet the Drapers” session, garnering significant interest and buzz.
Big brands flock to Web3
Web3’s potential to revolutionise the way the world consumes and does business was captured in the Web3XP, showing how brands can and are using Web3 and the metaverse. For instance, LVMH’s Franck Le Moal joined Stefano Rosso from OTB Group to talk about how LVMH launched the Aura blockchain consortium in 2021 with Prada Group and Cartier. Ebay also gave insight into how it approaches Web3, being a company that began in Web1 and has growing into Web2 and now has collectors on its platforms wanting to buy up digital items, particularly those that can enhance experiences of physical items.
The world believes in blockchain
Paris Blockchain Week’s Summit took place over the event’s last two days and focused on digital finance, from institutional custody and fund management to digital finance strategies, tokenization, infrastructure, ethics, gaming, and more. The days featured prominent individuals like Ryan Selkis, Founder & CEO at Messari and Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr, Editor in Chief of Cointelegraph, alongside companies like Nasdaq, Google, Circle, Deutsche Bank, UNICEF, the World Economic Forum, and Fireblocks.
The proceedings and significant executive level participation from these prominent companies demonstrated the range and impact of the industry, from seeing increased institutional demand for digital assets to networking banking fueling the future of payments, Circle announcing France would become the base of its European regulator operations, and F1 star Pierre Gasly explaining his experienced being the first F1 drive to do an NFT drop. ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin further highlighted the importance of decentralized networks in traditional finance and talked about how the talent diversity in Web3 makes it resilient, while Reddit CEO Steve Huffman covered the surge in blockchain.
The leaders of blockchain’s future
Yet, the shining highlight of the Summit were the inaugural Paris Blockchain Week Awards, which recognized leadership, innovation and contributions to the new digital economy. Voting took place seamlessly and anonymously on the Parti.com blockchain, and winners reflected the breadth of the industry:
UNHCR in Ukraine
NBA / Sorare
IPWe (IBM / Casper Labs)
Emmanuel Fenet, CEO of Paris Blockchain Week: “This year’s Paris Blockchain Week exceeded expectations. The numbers speak for themselves with a record 8,500 people attending. The quality of the attendees does as well. Many c-suite individuals (61.3% of the audience) from the world’s most important institutions, such as the French government, Reddit, Reuters, Harvard, Google, the EU Commission, Goldman Sachs, Abrdn, sat beside blockchain natives like Coinbase, Binance, and Ripple and had productive conversations. The interest and progress in the space was electric and could be felt throughout the week—the industry is maturing and that was on display. I can’t wait to see what the conversations are like next year.”