Paris Blockchain Week (PBW) kicked off its fourth year as one of the world’s largest conferences tackling all things blockchain, crypto and Web3. The event hosts over 10,000 attendees and sold out last year.
Following two days packed with hackathons, talent fairs and investor demos, the main event of the week, the summit, continues with its second day on March 23.
The Cointelegraph team is stationed in Paris to bring readers the latest news from the ground, presented below in ascending order (the newest story at the top). Time stamps are in UTC.
Paris Blockchain Week Summit 2023: Day 2
3:00 pm: Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire took the stage in a fireside chat about the future of money. “What’s happening in the U.S. is extraordinarily disappointing,” Allaire said in reference to digital asset regulation. “The United States Congress is not doing its job.”
2:00 pm: In another exclusive interview, Cointelegraph’s Joseph hall talked to Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier about the current banking crisis in the United States and what it means for the crypto world. he said that the collapse of major banks highlights the importance of Bitcoin and self-custody. Read more here.
1:00 pm: Cointelegraph journalist Joseph Hall sat down with 1inch co-founder Sergej Kunz to discuss the present and future of the crypto ecosystem. Kunz shared his thoughts on numerous topics, including the limitations of investing for ordinary people, what mass adoption looks like and big companies jumping into the Web3 space. Read more here.
12:00 pm: The next panel discussion was focused on the impact of Web3 on startups and investors, moderated by Michael Amar, chairman of Paris Blockchain Week. The panel was joined by Igneus Terrenus, head of partner relations at BitDAO; Laurenz Apiarius, founder of Blockwall Digital; Dan Tapiero, founder of 10T Holdings; Amos Meiri, founding partner at Node Capital; and Eden Shochat, equal partner at Aleph. The panel discussion revolved around the role of investors amid the emerging importance of governance and decentralized autonomous organizations.
The experts shared their views on the ongoing debate around crypto tokens deemed as securities and how the Web3 ecosystem is tackling the financial aspect of the innovation. Apiarius talked about the impact of bad actors in a new economic sector like Web3 and the role of investors. He explained:
“The movement of Web3 is misused by some bad entrepreneurs, and it’s the job of investors to filter that and not put capital into entrepreneurs that take part in it.”
11:30 am: The panel discussion titled “The Ethics of Web3” revolved around public policy and was moderated by Moojan Asghari, the co-founder of Thousand Faces. The panel consisted of Oscar Wendel, senior manager at Dubai World Trade Centre; Margaux Frisque, co-founder of D&A Partners; and Loic Brotons, CEO of Galeon.
The industry experts on the panel shed light on the role of ethics in fast-paced revolutionary technologies like blockchain and Web3. Asghari noted that ethical frameworks or standards always lag behind the advancement of technology, explaining:
“This is the biggest challenge of ethics — what are the right questions to ask ourselves today, in order to make sure that the technology doesn’t harm us in the near or far future?”
The panelists stressed that innovation typically comes before any ethical standard is implemented. Read more here.
11:20 am: The collapse of major centralized finance (CeFi) players in 2022 shined a negative spotlight on the crypto industry and reignited debates about the need for decentralization. In a panel discussion on "How to Do CeFi Right," panelists from GBBC Digital Finance, BitGo, Shift Markets, Woorton, Messari and Finoa talked about the balance and tensions between traditional finance and DeFi. Read more here.
11:00 am: The next keynote speech revolved around smart contracts, a key building tool in the decentralized and blockchain space. Tomer Weller, vice president at Stellar Development Foundation, touched upon the subject of smart contract development and how difficult and complex it is. He said:
“Smart contracts are not easy and only as smart as the coders that build them, and we need to hold them to a higher standard.”
10:30 am: The next keynote speech came from Alexandre Dreyfus, founder and CEO of Chiliz, and focused on the integration of blockchain and gaming tokens in mainstream sports. He shared how decentralized tech added to mainstream sports is making the experience for fans more immersive.
10:00 am: The first panel of the day, titled “The Need for Yield,” was moderated by Cinderella Amar, co-founder of Glass Slipper Ventures and joined by Maxime Boonen, founder of B2C2 and PV01; Tim Grant, head of Europe, Middle East and North Africa at Galaxy; Yoann Caujolle, co-founder of Rockby; and Charlie Meraud, CEO of Woorton.
The panel discussion revolved around the concept of yield farming in crypto and how it has evolved over time. The panelists shed light on the legality and regulatory aspect of yield farming in today’s time and how viable of a business model it is.
9:30 am: The first keynote speech of the day came from Jeff Hasselman, the head of Web3 at Amazon Web Services. Hasselman, while talking about the interest of enterprises like Amazon in the Web3 ecosystem, said that he was highly influenced by the Bitcoin white paper. He explained:
“I read the Bitcoin white paper in 2013, and I was like, if this works, then this would really be amazing because it would redefine what the internet is all about.”
Hasselman went on to share how AWS is actively involved in helping builders of Web3 and offering the infrastructure to companies and blockchain developers alike.
8:30 am: Welcome to day two of Paris Blockchain Week Summit, a day that will be focused on the culture, adoption and importance of decentralized tech. Some of the notable panel discussions to look forward to will cover ethics in Web3, the evolution of crypto payments, and how to protect users from crypto scams. The Cointelegraph team is on the ground to bring readers the latest updates, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes content throughout the day.
Cointelegraph’s Joe Hall looks for perspective amid Paris riots
Reporter Joe Hall spoke to Animoca Brands CEO Robby Yung to hear his thoughts on Paris hosting a major crypto and blockchain conference as many have taken to the streets in protest of a bill raising France’s retirement age from 62 to 64 years old. According to Yung, the local government had provided a “warm embrace” for participants of the event and saw the representation of major brands including Gucci as a positive sign for adoption. Read more here.
Paris Blockchain Week Summit 2023: Day 1
4:40 pm: Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier delivered a keynote speech during which he discussed Bitcoin:
“You can try to explain why you think it has flaws, but you should always have reasonable doubts. It’s just like if you don’t believe in God, that’s OK. But you should always have reasonable doubt because the day you die, you will find out."
13:40 pm: 2022 was the year of epic crypto collapses, with the collective failures of Terra, Celsius, Three Arrows Capital and FTX leaving a stain on the industry. A panel as a part of the Open Finance stream discussed how the crypto industry can recover from these events in light of the recent banking failures in the United States. Read more here.
12:40 pm: Metaverse regulation was on the agenda during an industry panel that included representatives from IBM Consulting France, Jacob Avocats, France Meta, Crypto Circle, Metacircle and Fenwick. The general takeaway from the panel was that businesses need to take calculated, strategic risks to grow their Web3 ambitions. “Get comfortable with discomfort,” one panelist said. Read more here.
12:00 pm: Tether chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino talked about the recent USDC saga and stated that Bitcoin is the “ultimate way” to hold wealth in an exclusive conversation with Cointelegraph’s Joseph Hall.
While discussing the USDC depeg, Ardoino said that stablecoin issuers should always make sure that their reserves remain protected. Read more here.
11:00 am: Bitcoin proponent Tim Draper was the next keynote speaker, discussing “The Decentralization of Everything.” Draper talked about the need for decentralization in today’s time amid lessening confidence in the banking system. He advised people to use Bitcoin to hedge against bad governance and banking.
Draper also sang a poem about Bitcoin and how the asset has outperformed traditional financial tools amid the growing banking crisis. Read more here.
10:00 am: The first round of panel discussions kicked off, with Cointelegraph editor-in-chief Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr moderating a discussion on the evolving role of Web3 technology in the traditional financial ecosystem.
The panel, titled “State of the Chain 2023,” was joined by Patrick McGregor, head of product at Coinbase; Matthew Savarese, vice president at Nasdaq Digital Assets; Richard Widmann, global head of Web3 strategy at Google; Dante Disparte, head of global policy at Circle; and Denelle Dixon, CEO of Stellar Development Foundation.
The discussion focused on the state of traditional finance, the recent banking crisis and how Web3-based solutions are becoming a norm during times of financial crisis — something envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto themselves when they created Bitcoin.
In addition to reflecting on the current state of Web3, the experts gave their insights and predictions on how things could pan out in 2023. Read more here.
Another panel discussion around the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets regulation, set to come into effect by 2024, saw industry experts weigh in on its impact. The panel was moderated by Sabine Van Haecke-Lepic, a lecturer and researcher at Sciences Po, and joined by the likes of Gundars Ostrovskis, team leader of digital finance at the European Commission; Nadia Filali, director of blockchain programs at Caisse des Dépôts; Hubert de Vauplane, partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP; Janet Ho, head of EU policy at Chainalysis; and Vytautas Karalevicius, co-founder of Bankera.
The industry experts and regulators opined on the implications and potential impacts of the proposed regulation. Read more here.
9:30 am: The following keynote speech was delivered by the CEO of Stellar Development Foundation, Denelle Dixon. She talked about the real-world use cases of blockchain technology, focusing on humanitarian aid. Dixon stressed that blockchain tech can bring efficiency to aid distribution, especially when those who need it the most are unbanked.
9:00 am: The opening keynote of the event came from Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, who talked about the importance of decentralized networks in traditional finance. Lubin highlighted the diversity in the Web3 space and how it has helped the ecosystem grow stronger with a broad spectrum of talent.
8:30 am: The next keynote speech came from Henri Arslanian, co-founder of the investment banking company Nine Blocks Capital Management, and revolved around the latest global crypto trends — including Bitcoin, central bank digital currencies and nonfungible tokens.
Arslanian shed light on some of the past year’s key events in the crypto world, from the growth of Bitcoin to the numerous crypto contagions and recent bank runs. He stressed that there will be more stress on regulations and transparency moving forward.
8:00 am: The first day of the summit kicked off with a keynote from Zahreddine Touag, co-founder of Paris Blockchain Week. During his keynote, he stressed the need for events like PBW and its role in building business relationships and connecting to new people.
Investor panel: What are the best investment opportunities in Web3?
In the next panel discussion, which focused on investment opportunities in Web3, investor Marguerite de Tavernost said that the bear market is the best time to build in the crypto market. She added that they offer more time for investors and innovators to build their reputations.
Fabric Ventures co-founder talks Bitcoin, bank crisis
Richard Muirhead, the co-founder of Fabric Ventures, talked about Bitcoin price, inflation, the bank crisis and the emerging role of Web3 amid it all. He said that with its deflationary properties, Bitcoin is the first use case of Web3 and can become a safe haven during times of crisis. He added that Web3 is actively working on resolving traditional financial problems, but new use cases can take time to emerge, as they represent much more than simple software development.
In-depth discussion on metaverse gaming
Neal Stephenson, an American author and founder of metaverse project Lamina1, joined Paris Blockchain Week chairman Michael Amar to discuss the concept of interoperability in metaverse gaming.
Stephenson, who coined the term “metaverse” in the 1990s, also talked with Cointelegraph editor-in-chief Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr on the evolution of the word. Read more here.
Stephenson said the idea of interoperability is irritating for some game developers, as many have been focused on building their own ecosystems for years, such as Fortnite and Minecraft. He explained that the idea of interoperability seems like an abomination because, at this point, all it offers is dragging and dropping assets from one game to another.
Cointelegraph behind-the-scenes on day two
The Cointelegraph team kicked off the second day of Paris Blockchain Week 2023 with a reflection on the cultural and historical depth of the venue:
Web3 headlines the agenda on day one of the summit
The main agenda for March 21 revolves around the scope of Web3 in today’s world. The one-day Web3XP event focuses on how brands and creators can generate value in the metaverse and how Web2 companies can transition to Web3. The event will see professionals representing consumer brands, gaming, collectibles, art and fashion in one place.
Cointelegraph reporter Joe Hall attends pre-summit events
The pre-summit events at the PBW 2023 included a talent fair.
The Cointelegraph team arrives in Paris
Cointelegraph editor-in-chief Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr, head of video Jackson DuMont and reporter Joseph Hall are deployed on the ground in Paris all week to deliver the most recent developments from the conference.
Investors Day kicked the week off on March 20, bringing together investors interested in Web3, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), the metaverse and blockchain applications.
Stay tuned for continuous updates from PWB, including key takeaways, highlights and behind-the-scenes footage.
Paris Blockchain Week kicks off
The 2023 edition of PBW features speakers from some of the industry’s biggest players, such as ConsenSys, Ledger, Animoca Brands, Algorand, Reddit and more. It consists of the main summit and the Web3-focused Web3XP, and its main themes include public policy, enterprise blockchain, open finance, Web3 art, and investing in Web3 culture and entertainment, among others.
PBW also has a dedicated event for investors, a competition for startups, a hackathon and additional side events.
Last year’s event saw around 3,000 summit-goers and featured keynotes and fireside chats from some of the most prominent figures in the industry, such as Binance’s Changpeng Zhao and Tether’s Paolo Ardoino, among many others.