Cryptocurrency use continues to gain pace around the world as consumers and businesses increasingly embrace digital currencies for payments and cross-border remittances.
In Europe, the French government has taken a keen interest in virtual currencies, teaming up with private players to boost the development of cryptocurrency and blockchain in the country.
On Wednesday (Nov. 4), France FinTech, a leading nonprofit association aimed at promoting FinTech growth in France, and international cryptocurrency giant, Binance, jointly announced the launch of a €100 million ($115.4 million) initiative called “Objective Moon.”
Funded by Binance, this initiative will support the development of blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem development in France and across Europe.
“Objective Moon” was announced during a conference in Paris attended by both Binance founder and CEO, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, and the Secretary of State to the Minister of the Economy and Finance in France, Cédric O.
Three main cryptocurrency and blockchain-related projects will be developed in France under “Objective Moon,” including the launch of a Research and Development hub in the country that will help develop cryptocurrency and blockchain talent from across Europe.
Funding will also go towards the creation of “Objective Moon Accelerator” which will help develop a Decentralized Ledger Technology (DLT) ecosystem in France and Europe. In partnership with France FinTech, Binance and Ledger, a new online Education Program will also be created to help boost blockchain and cryptocurrency education in the country.
Commenting on the deal, Binance’s CZ said the company recognizes “the quality of French and European tech, crypto and blockchain talent, and we are convinced that with the launch of Binance’s major operations and investment in France, we can significantly contribute toward making France and Europe the leading global player in blockchain and crypto industry.”
Alain Clot, chairman of France FinTech, added that when it comes to regulation, talent and expertise, France is uniquely positioned “to be the leading player in Europe in the field of decentralized finance (DeFi), and we believe that the collaboration started with Binance today will allow the entire ecosystem to grow significantly in the coming years.”
There are facts to back Clot’s claim of France’s leadership in DeFi in Europe.
Last month, PYMNTS reported that Société Générale-Forge (SG-Forge), an affiliate of French multinational banking giant Société Générale (SocGen), had applied for a loan of up to $20 million in DAI stablecoins using bond tokens issued by the bank as collateral.
According to SG-Forge, the application, considered one of the biggest steps toward institutional adoption of decentralized finance (DeFi) to date, will be a “first pilot use case” that seeks to “integrate with one of the largest DeFi protocols” and help to shape and “promote an experiment under the French legal framework.”
The French banking giant has experimented with blockchain assets for years through its digital assets-focused subsidiary SG-Forge, an indication that the cryptocurrencies and stablecoins will likely play a stronger role in France’s payments ecosystem moving forward.
As part of a pilot project, the bank issued 100 million euros ($116 million) worth of covered bonds — and was the sole subscriber of the bonds — which were registered on ethereum’s public blockchain back in 2019.
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