French Tech Bucharest conferences on “the way forward for finance”

After a meeting at the French Institute in Romania with French Tech actors in Bucharest on the “future of finance”, our editorial team wanted to give the floor to two technical managers, Dylan Delhommois and Jamil Benabdallah, both specialists in the subject. .

Dylan Delhommois, The 24-year-old, co-founder of the first crypto asset investment management company in France in late 2017. Passionate about all these topics, he defines himself today as a crypto evangelist and strongly believes in its mass adoption in the coming years. He graduated in trade and marketing and now works as an Account Executive at CometJobs. It plans to launch an investment fund (around DeFi) in Romania in September.

Jamil Benabdallah, co-founder of H64, a graduate of INALCO and Sciences Po Paris, was the director of Détente Consultant for Eastern Europe, from 2007 to 2017. An expert of the European Commission and the World Bank on issues related to sustainable development of territories, he especially worked on the digitalization of private and public players in the sector. This is how his interest in Blockchain and the issues of accelerating and democratizing its adoption in 2016 were manifested.

What about the regulation of the crypto / DEFI industry and the use of challenging tools by institutional players such as central banks?

Dylan: Regulations in France have evolved greatly in recent years, the first step in regulation being the emergence of a single income tax on crypto-assets. The draft law on finance adopted in 2019 modeled the securities regime to be applied to cryptocurrencies, ie 30% of income tax with a fixed amount of 305 euros. The second law appeared in 2019 – the Pacte Law – which creates a new status for companies developing in this area: PSAN accreditation (digital asset service provider), many companies now have an obligation to have this accreditation. offer services that require it. Today there are 37 players approved by PSAN.

At the European level, on March 15, 2022, the MICA (Crypto-Assets Markets) regulation was adopted, which enables the standardization of practices at the European level. This will allow regulating the issuance and provision of cryptocurrency-related services, with a focus on protecting consumers and investors to limit the risk associated with counterfeit products. In addition, these regulations deal with money laundering and terrorist financing.

Central banks are also interested in creating a CBDC (Digital Currency of the Central Bank) so that today they can offer similar products and above all other controlled and centralized ones. The first country that is interested and currently uses it is China.

Is Romania an interesting market for French Blockchain startups?

Dylan: Blockchain’s philosophy is generally decentralization, so blockchain start-ups usually consist of employees from all over the world. Many start-ups today are blocked by local legislation that is too restrictive to work in this area. In this case, Romania is today a friendly enough country and many crypto companies are settling there. In France, access to a bank account remains difficult despite promises by PACTA law.

What is DEFI?

Jamil: Blockchain technology and crypto-assets are the foundations of the new financial infrastructure, just as the Internet was the foundation of the new information infrastructure. Decentralized finance is originally digital; operates on a decentralized infrastructure and is open to all, both in terms of use and consultation and participation in its construction. To draw a parallel with the Internet, DEFI is revolutionizing finance as the Internet has done for information. Indeed, the first information revolution was the printing press, and then the telegram, the telephone, the radio, the television, and, of course, the Internet. The Internet encompasses all other revolutions in one: you can listen, read text and watch videos in one place. Moreover, the Internet has not only revolutionized access to content, but has also democratized the creation of this content. Finance has not experienced such a revolution. Of course, the vast majority of financial transactions today are performed electronically, financial players use the Internet to communicate and the speed of execution has significantly improved. However, we cannot yet talk about democratization because the creation of new financial instruments, contracts and agreements remains the prerogative of several major traditional players. The market is still closed, completely controlled by intermediaries. If we compare the information revolution with the one in finance, for some analysts we are barely at the beginning of the printing phase. DEFI therefore wants to be an internet of traditional finance and to democratize the majority approach to the creation and use of financial instruments without intermediaries. Of course, complex issues of regulation, and especially investor protection, are raised here.

How do traditional financial players react to the emergence of DEFI? After the initial phase of criticism, can we talk about the institutionalization of DEFI?

Jamil: After strong hesitation and a phase of thinking and testing that continues to this day, institutional players see a leading role for Blockchain technology and DEFI in the digital transformation of the sector in the years to come. At the level of direct investment, although there are few quantitative reports on the exact levels of participation of institutional investors in digital property markets, qualitative data based on surveys suggest growing interest and investment in crypto-assets. Investors are gradually moving from the education phase to the real investment phase, although this is currently slowed by volatility and the accompanying decline in the stock and cryptocurrency markets. This last point is also interesting because it illustrates the institutionalization of DEFI and the danger it can pose to small owners / individual investors who until then represented a significant part of the market. Indeed, the financial actors present in DEFI have adopted the use of crypto-assets for the purpose of portfolio diversification and optimization, given the apparently unrelated nature between the traditional financial market and the decentralized finance market. This assumption is now overturned by the positive and growing correlation of cryptocurrencies with traditional asset classes. Increased participation of institutional investors, what we call the institutionalization of DEFI, creates channels of infection between decentralized finance and traditional finance and this, in essence, leads to risks for micro-level investors, for whom the world of cryptocurrencies is smaller and less alternative to reduce risk. diversification of their portfolios.

Biography of the event speaker:

  • Mirel Bran is a correspondent for Le Monde in Bucharest and host of a program on Radio France Internationale Romania entitled “We come from the future”. He will launch Romania’s first NFT (Non Fungible Token) book on June 22nd at the French Institute in Bucharest.
  • Benjamin Rameau, former director of Binance, is the founder of Jenny DAO and co-founder of Exotic Markets. He is also a business angel in about 150 blockchain projects. He was a pioneer of the NFT ecosystem.
  • Alexandru Stanescu is a partner in the law firm SLV Legal and a member of the board of directors of ThinkBLOCKtank (European Association of Lawyers Specializing in Blockchain based in Luxembourg). He regularly advises start-ups and scaling in the blockchain ecosystem, including stock exchanges, payment providers, crypto asset managers and NFT creators.
  • Constantin Rotariu is the co-founder of Bitcoin Romania, a company that connects the traditional and digital retail world through a network of bitcoin ATMs. For 8 years, it has been promoting the huge opportunities offered by cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as a personal and / or business investment.
  • Ioana Frincu is an expert in innovation strategy, with many years of experience in the development and management of Blockchain financial technology solutions. She founded the first blockchain development company in Romania. Currently, the CTO is in EQIFi and EQIBank.

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