3 QUESTIONS TO KARIM SABBA , CO-FOUNDER OF WOORTON, AFGC, CRYPTOMONDAYSFR & PARIS BLOCKCHAIN WEEK (AND ITS SUMMIT 🚀)
They are our clients, our friends, good contacts or just people we met in the crypto-community. They have new vision, they are running great projects, they are developing new services or they just want to share their story. Once a week (maybe more or maybe less depending of your feedback!), Havas Blockchain will interview key people of the blockchain ecosystem.
1) Can you present your background and activities
After a rather traditional academic background (prep school, business school), I held various positions in asset management and investment banking. I left my latest position on a trading floor to pursue entrepreneurial projects.s
In 2016, I started trading cryptoassets as I saw tremendous upside potential in some assets. When I really started to dig in, I was hooked. I was amazed by the new models blockchain platforms could offer and by the power of community in this sector. When the market started to skyrocket, I decided to dive in full time and build something that could create value for the ecosystem.
The first thing that I did with my partners Charlie Méraud and Zahreddine Touag was to start a non-profit where professionals could gather together so that we would learn collectively and tackle regulation issues as a group. In early 2018, I was honored to be listed by Forbes in the 30 Under 30 Europe ranking for our work on the ecosystem.
After almost a year of meeting the French and European ecosystem, we saw an opportunity to address the liquidity problem that exist on most cryptoasset market and launched Woorton. Woorton is now one of the biggest market-makers in Europe working with dozens of clients all around the world and growing every day despite the bear market.
2) What is AFGC?
In June 2017, we created the AFGC (which roughly translates to French Digital Asset Association), it is a non-profit that gathers law firms, investment professionals, the « Big 4 » consulting firms, custodian banks and startups of the crypto ecosystem. Today, it is one of the most influent gathering in Europe and we work tirelessly on building a sustainable regulatory framework for the community of entrepreneurs, miners or investors.
The first two issues that we wanted to address were tax treatment of cryptoasset holdings and the regulation of secondary market players such as Woorton or exchanges. The reports have led to concrete propositions for policymakers and have helped shaped the current regulation framework.
We now have a community of 300 members, including 80 organizations, and we have quickly been joined by experts on various subjects. To engage this community, we have created a proper board of administration and 8 subcommittees (tax, accounting, legal, institutional investors, cybersecurity, blockchain use cases, ICOs & STOs and public affairs). Each committee is led by an expert in their field and produces bi-yearly reports on the state of their subject in France and proposals to be presented to policymakers.
2019 will be a big year for the AFGC as we will pick up the pace in terms of actions and we will start to reach out to European organizations with similar vision and values to start coordinating our efforts at the EU level.
3) Can you present us the Paris Blockchain Week Summit?
In March 2018, we started Crypto Mondays Paris, a free monthly meetup. In just a few months, it has become the official rendez-vous of the Paris blockchain and crypto community. With more than 3,000 members and 200–250 people gathering every month outstanding venues to enjoy talks from the best speakers in the industry. Crypto Mondays Paris is the best way get updates on the latest trends, exchange ideas and engage with peers in a budding industry where community is key.
To follow that path, and after seeing the impact of a small meetup on the community, we decided to go big and launch the first ever Paris Blockchain Week and organize the main event, Paris Blockchain Week Summit. We want to gather the global ecosystem in Paris for the first time. During the Summit, thousands of attendees will be able to see, sometimes for the first time in Paris, some of the best speakers in the world including: Dominik Schiener, Wei Zhou, Arthur Breitman, Edward Moncada, Muneeb Ali, Philipp Pieper, Nicolas Cary and many more.
In terms of content, we want to showcase issues and advances in three fields: technology, regulation and investments. We will do our best to provide content that is both technical and appealing to a wider audience. The two-day program will include:
- The state of mining
- Zero knowledge proof
- Non-fungible tokens
- STO regulation
- KYC-AML solutions
- On-chain funds
- Stable coins
- Decentralized exchanges
And many more…
We feel that France has a lot to offer. A lot has been done to welcome and retain blockchain and crypto organizations in the country but few people know it. The Paris Blockchain Week Summit is our contribution to the French ecosystem and a way to showcase the current regulatory framework and what’s to come and the best players in the French ecosystem to a global community.