In recent weeks, the cryptocurrency market has suffered a spectacular crash, in the wake of technology stocks, which have plummeted on Wall Street since the beginning of the year. In this context, some industry players are in a predicament. This is the case with the Celsius Network platform, which decided in mid-June to freeze all withdrawals, exchanges and transfers. The dizzying drop in the market even killed the hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, which is now in forced liquidation.
In this ambient malaise, what from France ? Against all odds, the picture for the hexagonal ecosystem is not so bleak. “The consequences are uneven depending on the players because there is no homogeneity of maturity. For incumbent companies, this market stabilization is rather seen as an opportunity”underlined Faustine Fleuret, president of Adan, the association representing professionals in the sector of digital assets and blockchain technologies in France, in the columns of the Figaro† “The best companies in the industry are born during down cycles. These periods clear the market of opportunistic entrepreneurs or short-term investors and free up resources for the most interesting projects, with real products and real use cases”she added.
Ledger, Coinhouse and Sorare, Tricolor Spearheads
In this context, France can rely on several solid companies such as Ledger, a specialist in securing cryptoassets, which is seeing sales of its secured physical wallet increase in the face of cryptocurrency owners’ fears of not being able to get their money back. In early June, Ledger also partnered with Cathay Innovation to set up a $100 million investment fund. Backed by Bpifrance, it aims to invest in young Web3 shoots as well as those working on cryptocurrencies, decentralized finance (DeFi), blockchain or even NFTs.
In line with Ledger, we also find Coinhouse, which was its subsidiary when it was founded in 2015 before becoming independent in 2017. After raising 15 million euros at the beginning of the year, French cryptocurrencies completed a new funding round of 40 million euro in June, to establish itself as a true European crypto bank and expand into Web3, whose potential whets the appetite of players in the crypto world.
Coinbase and Binance betting on France
Among the other major players in the tricolor ecosystem, there is also Sorare. The French start-up, which mixes fantasy football and blockchain, can count on its financing round of 580 million euros concluded last year to get through this turbulent period and even further develop it. In mid-May, it signed a partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) to expand its presence in the North American market. A few days ago, the French unicorn made another name for itself by offering 2018 world champion Kylian Mbappé as its ambassador.
Not content with having several nuggets of gold holding up despite the current economic situation, France is also attracting investment from global cryptocurrency giants. A few days ago, Coinbase listed France as one of the European countries where the platform wanted to develop. At the same time, Binance announced its intention to invest $100 million in France last year and plans to make Paris its regional hub in Europe. With an undeniable appeal on an international scale, the French ecosystem therefore faces the future with serenity. And this while nearly one in ten French have already invested in cryptocurrencies, according to a survey conducted by KPMG for Adan.