In recent weeks, the cryptocurrency market has suffered a spectacular crash, in the wake of technology stocks, which have tumbled on Wall Street since the start of the year. In this context, some players in the sector find themselves in a perilous situation. This is the case of the Celsius Network platform, which decided to freeze all withdrawals, exchanges and transfers in mid-June. The vertiginous fall of the market was even fatal to the hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, which is now in compulsory liquidation.
In this ambient slump, what from France ? Against all expectations, the picture is not so gloomy for the hexagonal ecosystem. “The consequences are unequal depending on the players because there is no homogeneity of maturity. For well-established companies, this market stabilization is rather seen as an opportunity”underlined Faustine Fleuret, president of Adan, the association which represents professionals in the sector of digital assets and blockchain technologies in France, in the columns of the Figaro. “The best companies in the sector have emerged during down cycles. These periods purge the market of opportunistic entrepreneurs or short-term investors and free up resources for the most interesting projects, offering 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 secure physical wallet increase in the face of fears from cryptocurrency owners of not being able to recover their money. In early June, Ledger also partnered with Cathay Innovation to set up a 100 million euro investment fund. Supported 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 created in 2015 before becoming independent in 2017. After raising 15 million euros at the start of the year, the French cryptocurrencies completed a new funding round of 40 million euros in June, to establish itself as a true European crypto-bank and expand to Web3, whose potential is whetting the appetite of players in the crypto-sphere .
Coinbase and Binance bet on France
Among the other important players in the tricolor ecosystem, there is also Sorare. The French start-up, which mixes fantasy football and blockchain, can rely on its round of funding of 580 million euros closed last year to get through this period of turbulence, and even continue its development. In mid-May, it signed a partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) to expand its footprint in the North American market. A few days ago, the French unicorn made a name for itself again by offering the 2018 world champion Kylian Mbappé as an ambassador.
Not content with having several nuggets that are holding up despite the current economic situation, France is also attracting investments from global cryptocurrency giants. A few days ago, Coinbase cited France as one of the European countries where the platform wanted to develop. In parallel, Binance announced last year its intention to invest 100 million in France and plans to make Paris its regional hub in Europe. With an undeniable appeal on an international scale, the French ecosystem therefore approaches the future with serenity. And this while nearly one in ten French people have already invested in cryptocurrencies, according to a study conducted by KPMG for Adan.