There are sectors in which Bpifrance does not only attract happy people. Web3 and cryptocurrency are the best examples. For the investment bank that said it wanted to focus exclusively on green projects, investing in decentralized finance is tricky. FTX Business and Market Crash Didn’t Help. But to remain competitive, despite a scale far from equal to that of investment across the Atlantic, for example, it will be necessary to turn a deaf ear.
As reminded The Digital Factorya Web3 fund project, in which tokens will not be invested in euros, shows that Bpifrance will continue to invest in blockchain and crypto-currencies this year 2023. Trained by Nicolas Dufourq, who comes from elsewhere to be reappointed as head of the investment bank, the strategy does not weaken. And this, despite a PSAN regulation which is enough to scare more than one actor, upstream of the European MiCA law.
The 59-year-old former finance inspector continues his career at Bpifrance, a position he has held for 10 years already and the creation of the organization in 2013, under the leadership of François Hollande. To continue to invest despite criticism, in such controversial and yet very strategic sectors of cryptocurrency, he has with him the confidence of the greatest number. “He succeeded with his teams in making Bpifrance a modern public bank that meets the challenges of companies, sometimes on very specific subjects such as the financing of start-ups”quoted someone in the middle Le Figaro.
To continue to remain transparent and not get into trouble with a bank image that would waste taxpayers’ money, a new head of communication has just arrived. Julien Noronha had already worked with Bpifrance for 4 years and is now communications director. When he started, they were only 6 to work with him. Today, he leads a team of 40 people. From this communication, Bpifrance takes care of its image, but also radiates more to seek entrepreneurs and projects in which to invest in the future.
Bpifrance and cryptocurrency
Today, however, Bpifrance is not much exposed in projects directly or indirectly related to cryptocurrency. We are talking about 75 million euros, including 30 million in financing in the form of loans and grants. Direct investments only participate for 10 million euros, which gives an idea of the timid participation of the public investment bank in the sector today, despite 70 participations in 90 operations of the Hexagon.
To accelerate, Bpifrance’s idea is to get hands-on and invest directly in tokens. The organization wants to learn more about the sector and go itself to realize the opportunities and notions of the market by directly using crypto-currencies as an investment.
“As a bank, it is important for us to learn how to master the functioning of these operations; and it would be a way to be able to support companies that raise funds in tokens, which are a new class of digital assets, a financial object that is still not very well identified”, explained Ivan de Lastours, Blockchain & crypto lead at Bpifrance to The Digital Factory.
One annual report for the year 2022 is scheduled for February 16. The opportunity to discover in more detail the distribution of the funds injected into the different sectors where French Tech startups are investing, and the outlook for 2023.