Jean-Noël Barrot, Delegate Minister for digital transition and telecommunications, was invited to X Day, the crypto event organized by the Elrond blockchain in Paris. Numerama met him.
” France is’the place to be‘for cryptocurrencies and metaverse “. This is how Jean-Noël Barrot, Delegate Minister for digital transition and telecommunications wanted to open his speech. The Minister was invited to the X Day, an event organized by the Elrond blockchain in Paris on November 3, 2022. In addition to remembering France’s interest in the crypto ecosystem, Jean-Noël Barrot above all showed his enthusiasm for Web3 and Metaverse. The minister is sure: Web3 will help make the Internet a better place “.
However, the game is far from over. Web3, a decentralized version of the Internet, is based on blockchain technology (a technology highly valued by tech entrepreneurs, but still little used by the general public). As for the metaverse, it is struggling to garner enough users to be profitable and remains a distant dream for the time being.
Numerama was able to discuss government plans for Web3 and the metaverse with Jean-Noël Barrot. He shows that, despite the industry’s difficult beginnings, the government believes in these two new technologies – and wants to make France a ” global hub of the domain.
France must not “let the Web3 train pass”
” Web3 is one of those trends that will reshape the contours of the Internet of tomorrow “, Believes Jean-Noël Barrot,” and will undoubtedly make it possible to correct some imperfections of the previous generation of the Internet, which has found itself, in part, privatized by the digital giants. There is a promise in Web3 that a number of these security, privacy, and interoperability issues can be solved.. “
This is one of the declared goals of the famous Web3: to allow a freer Internet model, where giants like GAFA would no longer have so much weight, where privacy would be respected, and where users would enjoy decision-making power thanks to cryptocurrencies.
There are, however, many criticisms. Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter, believes it is a version of the web with “ a financialized view of the Internet, strongly supported by investors e [crypto] speculative currencies “, and that in the end it would simply be a” centralized entity with a different label. ”
Jean-Noël Barrot thinks, however, that he “ it is important that Europe and France […] they are active rather than letting the Web3 bandwagon pass, and that the decision-making centers are not in Europe. The minister cites the Internet and artificial intelligence, two areas in which France would not have been able to make its voice heard enough, and which they do today ” dependent on powers outside the European Union “.
The France 2030 investment plan launched by the Elysée should precisely respond to the government’s ambition to place itself at the head of the Web3 sector, recalls the minister.
The metaverse “will solve the problems”
It is not only on the Web3 that the government wants to position itself. NFTs and the metaverse are the other great ambitions of the government. Emmanuel Macron had already addressed the topic during his campaign, expressing his desire to create a ” European metaverse and the government has announced its willingness to invest in the NFT sector. More recently, a report on the Metaverse, commissioned by the government and written by several researchers, best illustrated the executive’s attraction to the technology.
But, with NFT sales slumping and the metaverse still struggling to find users, is it really a good idea for the government to invest in the field? ” There are cycles “, Ups and downs, recognizes Jean-Noël Barrot.
There are also many issues that the Metaverse and Web3 raise in terms of environmental impact and privacy protection. ” The metaverse opens up a number of new questions and problems that raise legitimate concerns, which we need to address he says. But, “ the desirability of metaverses will come with an awareness of their ability to solve health or environmental problems “How could they help solve these problems? We won’t know more.
Above all, for Jean-Noël Barrot, the question is not so much about the use of these technologies. ” The goal we have is to ensure that France masters some of the technological building blocks of the Web3 and the metaverse such as blockchain and immersive technologies. With either ” The digital twins of Dassault Systeme “, or even with video games” whose engines create immersive spaces France wants to develop skills in these advanced technologies “.
Ultimately, the government remains convinced that the metaverse and NFTs are part of the technologies of tomorrow. ” It is important that France does not miss these revolutions, it chooses them rather than undergoes them. “. And for this you have to make the country” a global hub for Web3 It is not yet clear how the government will manage to do this, but the recent installation of Binance and Crypto.com in Paris is a sign that the message has reached cryptocurrency entrepreneurs.