Just a stone’s throw from the Mona Lisa, Paris Blockchain Week attracted over 10,000 participants to the Carrousel du Louvre from March 21st to 23rd. The Web3 gathering served as a strong testament to the ongoing vitality of Web3, even in the wake of plummeting prices.
France: a major NFT hub
First of all, Paris Blockchain Week confirmed that France is well-positioned in the Web3 ecosystem. French companies came in numbers. Ledger, SandBox, and Sorare, the most famous among them, reviewed their last initiatives. On the occasion, SoRare NBA received the PBW price for the Web3 brand initiative of the year. After football and Baseball, the NFT card game now benefits the license of the prestigious American basketball league.
Ternoa is another french start-up that stands out at Caroussel du Louvre. At the Paris Blockchain Week, Mickael Canu, co-founder of Ternoa blockchain, announced the release of the Time Guardian app. It enables users to create “Time Capsules” – NFTs that serve as both a receptacle and transmitter for the data. The app offers secure storage of personal information for an indefinite period, allowing users control over their data’s privacy and transmission.
The promising start-up Bubblemaps launched one year ago a tool that helps visualize data on-chain, in a gamified and simple way. Anyone can visualize which wallet holds one particular NFT, and to which wallets it is linked. It is therefore possible to analyze the nature of the transactions between different wallets. “Now I can analyze and tell with a certain amount of certitude what that cluster of transactions is, to what it corresponds”, says Bubblemaps CEO Nicolas Vaiman.
Luxury brands embrace blockchain
LVMH stands out at the Paris Blockchain Week. The world’s largest luxury group launched 2021 the Aura blockchain consortium, which includes Prada Group, OTB Group, and Cartier. It focuses on promoting more sustainable trends in the fashion world and helping members upgrade their products’ traceability via blockchain technology. Moreover, Frank Le Moal, the vice-chairman of Aura Blockchain Consortium and LVMH’s CIO, explained on Wednesday that “digital passports backed by a blockchain are a way to provide better repair and care services to customers, and to develop a better one-to-one relationship with them.”
Some of the major luxury brands such as Group Kering (Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen…), and Givenchy were also there, as a testimony of their reiterated interest in Web3 applications.
Metav.rs is also an example of the way some start-ups leverage Web3 tools to develop new products for the luxury and fashion industry. The company helps brands to create experiences. During the Paris Blockchain Week, Metav.rs unveiled a partnership with the 5-star luxury hostel Bristol. Moreover, the 11 first NFTs minted by the prestigious brand were put on auction during a reception in the lounges of the hostel. They will offer their holders highly valuable utilities.
Web3 entertainment is rising
Web3 companies has started investing in the entertainment and sports fields a long time ago. Chiliz, the “blockchain of sports”, is one of them. One month after launching the update of their blockchain, the – Chiliz Chain 2.0 – its CEO Alexandre Dreyfus presented his vision at the Paris Blockchain Week. With its Layer-1 blockchain, Chiliz wants to attract creators and start-ups to develop utilities on their chain. Therefore, says Dreyfus, “Chiliz’s ultimate goal is to create an ecosystem with fans of various sports teams and disciplines”.
Also in sports, the french F1 star Pierre Gasly gave a talk about its NFT project. The star spoke about being the first F1 driver to do an NFT drop. “Introducing the first NFT into the F1 world makes me proud”, he said. “There are a lot of opportunities to develop and I look forward to it. This industry has similarities to the F1 world, fast-paced, innovative driven, and risk assessment is essential for success”.
In another category of entertainment, Groupe Partouche, a French company that operates casinos, hotels, and other leisure and entertainment facilities, and is one of the leading casino operators in Europe, launched an 8888 NFT collection called “Joker”. Holders will have access to various utilities in the different hotels and casinos of the group, including exclusive offers, and complimentary services.
Gaming and metaverse are here to stay
Paris Blockchain Week was dominated by crypto companies. But big players in the NFT industry joined the event too. Yuga Labs, the giant of the NFT industry, recently appointed Michael Figge as CCO. During a conference, he explained how he reviewed the intense activity of the company. Yuga Labs orchestrated the sale of the CryptoPunks Bitcoin Ordinals that made the headlines two months ago. More recently, the company launched the TwelveFold project. On this occasion, 288 successful bidders spent $16.5 million worth of BTC for acquiring a limited series of 300 generative Ordinals NFT. Additionally, Yuga’s metaverse project Otherside will be at the center of all attention in a few days. The second live test called “the second trip” will gather all the community.
The Hong Kong-based game software company Animoca Brands was also among the participants. Commenting on the recent debate about NFT creators’ royalties, its CEO Yat Sun explained that the whole industry couldn’t function without it.
Rarible, the NFT marketplace founded in 2020 by Alexei Falin and Alex Salnikov, has the same point of view. “We decided not to follow everyone and stick with creators’ royalties”, explained Evgeniy Medvedev, head of partnerships at Rarible, to NFT Evening. “We are a community-centered marketplace and going to optional royalties is not in our DNA”, he says.
Ultimately, Paris Blockchain Week demonstrated that the french capital is still an important hub for the Web3 ecosystem. A number of companies present at the event are involved with NFTs in one way or the other. Brands show a strong interest in NFTs as a CRM tool or a digital asset. Moreover, they see it as a way to offer their customers a new type of experience.