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The fourth Paris Blockchain Week, held at the Carrousel du Louvre, covered web3 art, open finance, enterprise blockchain, public policy, and investing in web3, among others. 

In addition, other events such as a hackathon, startup competition, investor events, and others took place. The 2023 PBW also featured over 400 speakers from some of the top players in the industry, such as Ledger, Algorand, Reddit, Amonica Brand, and more. Over 10,000 people attended the event this year, higher than the above 3,000 attendees last year.

Let’s recap what has been discussed and the highlights of the summit.

Highlights of the March 22 summit

On March 22, the main topic was web3. There was a web3XP event throughout the day focusing on brands and creators and how they can bring value to the metaverse and the transition of web2 to web3

Neal Stephenson, an American author and founder of metaverse project Lamina1, had a panel discussion with Paris Blockchain Week chairman Michael Amar. The discussion focused on interoperability in metaverse gaming. Stephenson talked of how some game developers were irritated by the interoperability idea. He noted that the idea seemed like an abomination as all it offers is a drag and drop of assets from one game to another.

Richard Muirhead, the co-founder of Fabric Ventures, also talked about inflation, Bitcoin price, the bank crisis, and the web3 emergence. He noted that Bitcoin is the first web3 use case and could be a haven with deflationary properties. In addition, he said that web3 is working on traditional financial problem resolution. However, new use cases are emerging and represent something bigger than simple software development.

Over the next discussion, an investor, Marguerite de Tavernost, mentioned that the bear market is the right time to build the crypto market. In addition, she said that it offers investors and innovators more time to build up a reputation.

During the rest of the day, the panel discussions touched on the importance of decentralized networks, global crypto trends, blockchain technology use cases, and the USDC, FTX, Celsius, Terra, and 3AC failures. The panel discussed how the industry could recover from these events considering the U.S. bank’s recent failure.

Wrapping the day, Pascal Gauthier, ledger CEO, gave a keynote speech on Bitcoin, saying, “You can try to explain why you think it has flaws, but you should always have reasonable doubts. If you don’t believe in God, that’s OK. But you should always have reasonable doubt because you will discover the day you die.”

Highlights of the March 23 summit

The second day of the summit also had some important notes on the industry. Jeff Hasselman, the head of Web3 at Amazon Web Services, made the first speech of the day. He discussed entrepreneurs’ interest in the web3 ecosystem, such as Amazon. He read the bitcoin whitepaper in 2013 and noted that if it worked, it would redefine what entailed the internet. Hasselman also shared about the active participation of AWS in helping web3 builders and providing infrastructure to companies and blockchain developers.

The day’s first panel, “The Need for Yield,” came next. Cinderella Amar, the Glass Slipper Ventures co-founder, moderated the panel. The rest of the panel had Yoann Caujolle, co-founder of Rockby, Maxime Boonen, founder of B2C2 and PV01, Tim Grant, head of Europe, Middle East, and North Africa at Galaxy, and Charlie Meraud, CEO of Wootton.

The discussion focused on yield farming in crypto and its evolution over time. It also looked into the regulatory aspect and legality of the same and its viability as a business model. Later, founder and CEO Alexandre Dreyfus of Chiliz talked about mainstream sports and adopting blockchain and gaming tokens. In addition, he added decentralized tech, making fans’ experience more massive.

Tomer Weller, vice president at Stellar Development Foundation, discussed smart contracts and their development’s difficulty and complexity. A discussion followed his speech on “How to Do CeFi Right,” which revolved around the balance and tensions between DeFi and traditional finance.

Moojan Asghari, the co-founder of Thousand Faces, then moderated a panel on “The Ethics of Web3 ”. The discussion revolved around the role of ethics in upcoming techs such as web3 and blockchain. The next discussion was on the web3 impact on investors and startups. There was a discussion on the role of investors in the governance and decentralized autonomous organizations. 

The panel also discussed crypto tokens and the debate on them being securities and web3 in finance innovation. Laurenz Apiarius, the founder of Blockwall Digital, explained that some bad entrepreneurs had taken advantage of the web3 movement. Investors need to filter that and not put their money into such entrepreneurs.

As the fully-packed day ended, Jeremy Allaire, the Circle CEO, talked about the future of money. He mentioned that the U.S. Congress needs to do its job regarding digital asset regulation. Furthermore, he noted that the current international monetary system is ineffective and outdated and needs restructuring.

Wrapping up the packed week

The Paris Blockchain Week Summit 2023 final events were the 2023 awards at the closing party at Le Trianon. The community could vote in seven categories for the first time in the Paris Blockchain Week. 

The best impact blockchain project award went to Refugees – UNHCR in Ukraine, web3 personality of the year went to Vitalik Buterin, web3 brand initiative of the year went to Sorare NBA, enterprise blockchain project of the year went to IPwe, best web3 education platform went to Binance Academy, best web3 content creator went to Anthony Pompliano, and the people’s choice award went to the Cardano Foundation.

The summit then came to an end on March 24 with a wrap-up brunch.

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