A large part of the tech elite met in Paris during Viva Tech, the sector’s flagship trade show organized in the capital. Amid the industry’s old pundits, it was the crypto figures who stood out the most.
Stage 1 of Viva Tech, the Parisian show dedicated to new technologies, is a large amphitheater that can accommodate several hundred people. However, it was necessary to come in advance, this Thursday, June 16, to be sure to have a seat, and to be sure to return at all. Because that day, one conference in particular was eagerly awaited: the one between Vitalik Buterin, the founder of the Ethereum blockchain, and Changpeng Zhao (or CZ), the founder of Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform. in the world.
Half an hour before their arrival on stage, the visitors were already crowding into the room, sitting on the floor, between the chairs, looking for a place at all costs. And when CZ finally appeared, he was greeted with cheers, applause and a crowd hanging on to his doings. Vitalk Buterin, who was not in Paris but took part in the interview by videoconference, received a similar welcome when his face appeared on the screen overlooking the stage. Some stood up to applaud them. Rockstars.
Cryptos have conquered tech
The two entrepreneurs were the attraction of this conference – much more than Maurice Lévy, the moderator of the exchange and the chairman of the supervisory board of Publicis, a luminary of French business. Above all, they were the attraction of the entire show, which is not specialized in cryptos. But the craze was felt throughout the room, where many spectators nodded in agreement with each sentence uttered by CZ or Vitalik Buterin, and where my neighbor could not help looking on his phone every two minutes the price of bitcoin .
Cryptos have become a real social phenomenon. The phrase has been true for years, but it is now a reinforced phenomenon. The popularity of these digital assets exploded, along with their price, during the Covid crisis and the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns.
And since then, despite the fact that the crypto-asset market entered a bear market, project bankruptcies are accumulating and bitcoin has lost more than 50% of its value in 6 months, the community remains extremely active and convinced by the project. The fervor was particularly visible at Viva Tech, where crypto entrepreneurs are the new big names to invite, more than the bosses of “classic” tech.
In a fully acquired room, the two founders answered Maurice Lévy’s questions for only twenty minutes. Passage to proof of stake for Ethereum, difference with the Binance blockchain, importance of NFTs in the metaverse… All the most important topics have been covered, in a sort of short introduction to cryptos and the challenges they encounter . CZ even had the opportunity to say that he was a big fan of the ” start-up nation » French.
In fact, there was no spectacular revelation. But the conversation between the two most important and respected figures in cryptocurrencies was, on its own, worth the detour. And for the fans, to see their idol. ” You are building the future “, even concluded, admiring, Maurice Lévy at the end of the conversation. Once CZ and Vitalik Buterin left, almost half of the stage 1 audience suddenly got up — without even glancing at the conference by the unmissable Yann Le Cun, one of the fathers of machine learning and AI Director of Meta. A former tech rock star.