Paris Blockchain Week 2023 brought together some of the biggest names in the blockchain and crypto industry. Starting on March 21, the three-day event turned out to be a net positive for the crypto industry, with prominent industry players coming together to discuss and share their thoughts on the decentralized ecosystem’s past, present and future.
The Cointelegraph team was present on the ground to bring readers some behind-the-scenes content, exclusive interviews, insightful video bites from industry experts and more. Cointelegraph editor-in-chief, Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr; head of video, Jackson DuMont; and reporter, Joseph Hall, were tasked with bringing readers a bird’s eye view of the event.
Father of the metaverse reflects on the industry today
Even before the main event kicked off on March 21st, the Cointelegraph team caught up with Neal Stephenson, an American author who first coined the term “metaverse” in the 1990s. Cointelegraph’s editor-in-chief sat down with Stephenson to reflect on the meaning of the word in today’s world.
Stephenson said that the meaning of the word has definitely changed. While reflecting on the failure of the metaverse to see mass adoption and very few takers in the bear market, he said that people and companies are skipping the important steps of building an economy first.
The first day of the event kicked off on March 21 and turned out to be eventful. The opening keynote speech by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin reflected on the growing demand for a Web3-based payment infrastructure and the need for a decentralized solution in traditional finance.
Industry experts discuss the potential impact of MiCA
Among numerous expert panels throughout the day, the one that caught everyone’s attention was a discussion on the implications and potential impact of the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation.
Experts on the panel unanimously agreed that the upcoming regulations would help the European crypto industry overall. It would set a certain standard that other nations could potentially use in the future. Janet Ho, head of EU policy at Chainalysis, stressed the need for a review of the implementation and obligations of the law, and to consider feedback from government supervisors and industry participants.
Tim Draper has a song about the current banking crisis with a Bitcoin twist
The American venture capital investor Tim Draper took the stage at Paris Blockchain Week 2023 to talk about decentralization and the future of money. Draper addressed the ongoing banking crisis and promoted Bitcoin (BTC) to be the true capital hedge. In his keynote speech, he said:
“They have shaken our confidence in the banking system. [...] What a really strong leader would do is build that trust back. Trust the banks that now remain and set them free.”
He also sang a Bitcoin song he had written four years ago but believed was more relevant today.
No shortage of passion in the Parisian people despite nationwide protests
The PBW 2023 had no shortage of enthusiasm or energy despite the host country seeing nationwide protests following the French government’s controversial pension reforms. Cointelegraph reporter Joesph Hall talked to the CEO of Animoca Brands, Robby Yung.
Yung said that the local government had provided a “warm embrace” for crypto and blockchain enthusiasts amid a sea of protests. He told Cointelegraph:
“All of that stuff happening out there is why we’re here, to begin with [...] The reason that we decided that decentralization was a better way to do things was precisely because of our concern as to what might happen in the financial sector, which continues to be borne out.”
The second day of the event was equally packed and full of energy, with the Cointelegraph team on the front line bringing the latest updates. The first major panel discussion revolved around the complicated relationship of ethics in Web3. The industry experts took to the stage to discuss how current innovations will shape the future of ethics in Web3. Loic Brotons, CEO of Galeon, said that mixing innovation and ethics is complicated and explained:
“Usually, innovation comes first, and sometimes we have really bad things happen. After comes the ethics because we look at what the innovation has done.”
The collapse of banks is a ‘crash course to Bitcoin’
Cointelegraph journalist Hall sat down with Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier to get his view on what the current banking crisis teaches us. He said that the recent series of events show how BTC can be a safe haven against the threat of central authorities.
“Bitcoin was designed in reaction to Lehman Brothers in the 2008 crisis. It was designed because you can’t trust central authorities. And it’s designed because it’s clear that central authorities will fail. It’s not a question of if. It’s more a question of when.” Gauthier added.
Don’t trust anyone, verify: 1inch co-founder
In another exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, 1inch Network co-founder Sergej Kunz reflected on the need for self-custody. He said that the FTX saga helped people understand the importance of self-custody, and the current banking crisis only highlights the importance even further.
He also talked about the reasons behind a curtailed mass adoption of crypto, saying that people’s understanding and education would be the key to achieving this.