The Institute of Crypto-Assets, a first-of-its-kind institution, officially opened its doors on November 8 at the Léonard de Vinci center in the business district just outside of Paris. The purpose of the Institute is to support and conduct research related to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Its scientific board includes 11 experts from major French educational institutions, such as the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and École polytechnique. Additionally, a committee of 6 practitioners, including co-founder of Ledger, Nicolas Bacca, and founder of the crypto exchange Paymium, Pierre Noizat, will oversee the work of the Institute.
Cyril Grunspan, the director of the Cryptoassets Institute, emphasized that the main focus of the Institute is on educational goals rather than lobbying. He stated, “Our goal is not to lobby but to create a forum for discussion on cryptoassets.”
The opening of the Institute was accompanied by two lectures. Historian Jacques Favier spoke about the history of currencies up to Bitcoin, and cryptographer David Pointcheval discussed zero-knowledge proofs and anonymity. The Institute plans to hold similar public events on a regular basis.
This initiative is part of France’s active pursuit of a leadership role in Europe regarding digital economy and innovations. In September, the local telecommunications group Iliad announced an investment of 100 million euros ($106 million) to fund the creation of an “excellence lab” dedicated to AI research in Paris. Additionally, Iliad has acquired what it deems as “the most powerful cloud-native AI supercomputer deployed to date in Europe.”
The French government has also been supportive of the cryptocurrency and fintech sectors. During the market crisis of the first half of 2023, French crypto businesses secured 27% of all the new investment deals struck in the fintech sector. This indicates a strong investment and interest in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space in France.
This focus on digital innovation and investment in related research and education demonstrates France’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements. The Institute of Crypto-Assets is a significant step in establishing the country as a hub for blockchain and cryptocurrency research and development.
The establishment of the Institute of Crypto-Assets marks a milestone in the pursuit of understanding and leveraging the potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. With a strong emphasis on education and research, the Institute is poised to contribute significantly to the growth and development of the digital economy in France and beyond. As the world continues to embrace the possibilities of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, institutions like the Institute of Crypto-Assets will play a crucial role in guiding the conversation and driving innovation in this rapidly evolving space.