Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister Delegate responsible for digital transition and telecommunications, was invited to X Day, the crypto event organized by Elrond blockchain in Paris. Numerama met him.
” France is ‘the place to be‘ for cryptos and metaverse “. This is how Jean-Noël Barrot, delegate of the minister responsible for digital transition and telecommunications, chose to open his speech. The minister was invited to Day Xan event organized by blockchain Elrond in Paris on November 3, 2022. In addition to recalling France’s interest in the crypto ecosystem, Jean-Noël Barrot above all showed his enthusiasm for Web3 and the 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 very popular with tech entrepreneurs, but not yet widely used by the general public). As for the metaverse, he fights gather enough users to be profitable and stay for now still a distant dream.
Numerama was able to discuss with Jean-Noël Barrot the government’s plans for Web3 and the metaverse. This shows that, despite the difficult beginnings of the sector, the government believes in these two new technologies – and wants to make France a ” global center of the domain.
France must not “let the Web3 train pass”
” Web3 is one of those trends that will redraw the contours of tomorrow’s Internet “, believes Jean-Noël Barrot, and will undoubtedly make it possible to correct some of the imperfections of the previous generation of the Internet, which found itself partially privatized by the digital giants. There is promise in Web3 that a number of these security, privacy and interoperability issues can be resolved.. »
This is one of the stated goals of the famous Web3: to allow a freer model of the Internet, 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.
However, there are many criticisms. Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter, believes as well as a web version with “ a funded vision of the Internet, strongly supported by investors and [crypto] speculative currencies “, and that in the end it would just be a “ centralized entity with a different label. »
Jean-Noël Barrot thinks, however, that he “ it is important that Europe and France […] are active, rather than letting the Web3 generation pass, and that decision-making centers are not located in Europe. The minister mentions 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 “.
Investment plan France 2030 launched by the Elysee must respond precisely to the government’s ambition to place itself at the head of the Web3 sector, recalls the minister.
Metaverse will “solve the problems”
It is not only in Web3 that the government wants to position itself. NFTs and metaverses are the government’s other major ambitions. Emmanuel Macron had already broached the subject during his campaignexpressing the desire to create a ” European metaverse “, and the government has announced its willingness to invest in the NFT sector. Lately it is a report on the metaverse, requested by the government and authored by several researchers, which best illustrate the executive’s appeal to technology.
But while NFT sales drop sharply and that metaverse is still struggling to find users, is it really a good idea for the government to invest in this area? ” There are cycles “, ups and downs, knows Jean-Noël Barrot.
There are also many issues that Metaverse and Web3 raise in terms of environmental impact and privacy protection. ” The metaverse opens up a whole new set of questions and issues that raise legitimate concerns that we need to address. he says. But, “ the desirability of metaverses will come with awareness of their abilities to solve health or environmental problems “. How can they help solve these problems? We will not know more.
Above all, for Jean-Noël Barrot, the question is not so much about the use of these technologies. ” The objective we have is to ensure that France owns a set of technological bricks of the Web3 and metaverses such as blockchains and immersive technologies. If with ” Dassault Systeme’s digital twins “, or even with video games” whose engines create immersive spaces France wants to develop skills in these advanced technologies “.
In the end, the government remains convinced that metaverses and NFTs are part of the technologies of tomorrow. ” It is important that France not miss these revolutions, choose them rather than submit to them. “. And for that, you have to make room.” a global hub for Web3 “. It is not yet clear how the government will manage to do this – but the latest Binance installation AND from Crypto.com in Paris it’s a sign that the message has gotten through to crypto entrepreneurs.