Paris Blockchain Week (PBW), an annual gathering of professionals within the blockchain industry, has kicked off its fourth edition, with industry leaders and entrepreneurs from across the world gathering to discuss the latest trends and developments impacting the digital asset space.
In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Michael Amar, the founder and chairman of Paris Blockchain Week, shared that the original vision for the conference was to put Europe on the map, as it was previously “nowhere on the map for blockchain.”
Founded in 2019, PBW was created with the vision of bringing together professionals within the industry to advance blockchain awareness and adoption. According to Amar, the aim of the conference was to progress the industry as a whole, addressing topics like regulation and deep technology.
Fast forward to 2023, the topics have expanded to include Web3, nonfungible tokens, the metaverse, and decentralized autonomous organizations. Amar said that the growth of Web3 is beneficial for the blockchain industry, as it can promote wider adoption of digital assets, potentially opening the door to other industries. He told Cointelegraph:
“Now that we’re opening up to brands, we’re talking IP, we’re talking innovation, we’re talking marketing. It opens up to luxury brands, to fashion brands, to art, to real estate, to so many industries. So, I think this Web3 movement is very good because it creates mass adoption for crypto and blockchain at the end of the day.”
Speaking on how the participation of tech giants impacts the ecosystem, Amar shared:
“The Web2 players and tech giants are coming, so we’re very happy to have Google or Amazon or SAP part of the event. And actually, they’re bringing their resources and their projects to the space to make Web3 happen for the masses.”
Amar addressed concerns about whether the entrance of Web2 companies, as well as retail and consumer brands, undermines Web3’s mission of decentralization. He believes that while the centralized power of these companies is a concern, their resources, tools, platforms and investments can be used to drive change and bring about more governance within Web3 systems. Although these companies may never be fully decentralized, Amar suggested that having something meaningful to decentralize is a step in the right direction.
Paris Blockchain Week hosts over 10,000 attendees and sold out last year. Alongside the main event, it has a dedicated day for investors, a competition for startups, a hackathon and additional side events. The 2022 summit drew approximately 3,000 attendees and included talks with top personalities in the field, including Binance’s Changpeng Zhao and Tether’s Paolo Ardoino.