Speaking at the annual Paris Blockchain Week Summit today, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao lauded France’s “pro-crypto regulations” as he announced that the crypto exchange is getting floorspace in Paris start-up incubator Station F.
CZ told the summit: “France is very uniquely positioned to be the leader of this industry in Europe.” The Binance CEO described the country as “very pro-business, pro-crypto regulations” and said that the “government’s attitude towards this industry has been phenomenal.”
Station F is currently the world’s largest business incubator. The building accommodates over a thousand startups and lists Microsoft, Google and Facebook as its partners.
The deal means that Binance’s selected startups will get free accommodation and access to various resources at Station F during their incubation period. They will also have access to support from Binance’s team and partners.
“Starting in France as a launchpad for Europe, we aim at using this space as our creative and innovative base”, said CZ in a press release accompanying the news.
Binance is banking on pro-crypto regulators to expand its operations globally, after years of arguing that the company had no headquarters.
Not every country has been quite as accommodating as the French, though. In 2021 alone, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, British, Cayman Islands and Malaysian Italian regulators all either issued consumer warnings about Binance, or took steps to limit the exchange’s services in their territory.
Since then, Binance has been on the hunt for more accommodating hosts. Last month, the exchange received a crypto-asset service provider license from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), while this week it announced that it had gained in-principle regulatory approval to operate in Abu Dhabi.
The Objective Moon initiative
Binance’s opening in Station F is part of “Objective Moon,” a €100 million Web3 and crypto investment initiative in France, which the exchange announced last November.
The initiative aims to develop a Binance Research and Development hub in France to recruit blockchain talent across the country and the continent.
Binance is also developing an online education programme for French learners. The programme will be created in partnership with online vocational learning platform OpenClassroom, non-profit entrepreneurial association France FinTech, and crypto hardware wallet maker Ledger.
The initiative also mentions an “Objective Moon Accelerator,” which will connect companies using decentralized ledger technology (DLT) in order to create a blockchain ecosystem in France and Europe. The DLT accelerator will be critical in developing security as blockchain technology continues to reach new audiences.
The best of Decrypt straight to your inbox.
Get the top stories curated daily, weekly roundups & deep dives straight to your inbox.