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    Institute for blockchain and crypto research opens in France

    On Nov. 8, the first-of-its-kind Institute of Crypto-Assets held a formal opening at the Léonard de Vinci center in the business district just outside of Paris. 

    The Institute will 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. A committee of 6 practitioners, including co-founder of Ledger, Nicolas Bacca, and founder of the crypto exchange Paymium, Pierre Noizat, will also oversee the work of the Institute.

    According to Cyril Grunspan, the director of the Cryptoassets Institute, it will focus primarily on educational goals:

    “Our goal is not to lobby but to create a forum for discussion on cryptoassets.”

    Two lectures accompanied the opening: historian Jacques Favier spoke about the history of currencies up to Bitcoin, and cryptographer David Pointcheval ruminated on zero-knowledge proofs and anonymity. The Institute is going to hold such public events regularly. 

    Related: Bitcoin-centric AI language model aims to drive BTC education and adoption

    France is actively pursuing a leadership role in Europe regarding digital economy and innovations. In September, the local telecommunications group Iliad revealed an investment of 100 million euros ($106 million) to fund the creation of an “excellence lab” dedicated to AI research in Paris. In addition to the lab, Iliad has acquired what it deemed as “the most powerful cloud-native AI supercomputer deployed to date in Europe.”

    Amid the market crisis of the first half of 2023, French crypto businesses grabbed 27% of all the new investment deals struck in the fintech sector.

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