Biarritz on the wave of high technologies

Surfin’Bitcoin is the biggest bitcoin event in Europe. StackinSat

Events around cryptocurrencies, NFTs and innovative companies are multiplied in the Basque Country to speak to experts and educate the uninitiated.

Has France found its Silicon Valley? In four years, exposition in the field of technology has accelerated in the Basque Country and, in particular, in Biarritz. Several events are organized this summer to attract experts, entrepreneurs, as well as tourists and local newcomers.

“We have been working to develop local innovation for 30 years,” says Christel Rode, member of the Biarritz municipal council in charge of Smart City. Concept? “A city that must meet the needs of the population while conserving its resources and the environment.” According to the consultant, technology is part of everyday life and should be a means of making life easier for Biarros and Basques.

Already in 1985, the Estia Higher School of Advanced Industrial Technologies was established in Bidart, at the same time as the Isarbel industrial park near Biarritz. Since then, seventeen buildings have been erected that house various activities: an incubator, one hundred companies and two incubators, three laboratories… “Today we want to promote companies that create jobs, attract talent and look to the future,” adds the adviser.

Technology decentralization demonstrations

All summer long, the French movement Tech Pays Basque, created two years ago by a center of 130 members, promotes local startups at Galeries Lafayette in Biarritz. “The city is completely out of the way, so we have to double down on our innovation to attract new talent,” says a local French technician. “We must maintain our network, which already includes 40 technical communities in France and 60 worldwide.” The purpose of French Touch is to inform passers-by about the activities of the technology sector in the department. “Local startups lack the publicity and visibility to make young people aware of the dynamics here. You can work in a pleasant environment in Biarritz while achieving concrete results in your pursuit of meaning. Proof that after Covid, many entrepreneurs have returned to the region thanks to remote work.”

“I can’t stand Paris anymore, I hate this city,” exclaims Jonathan Herskovichi, creator of Surfin’Bitcoin. The event, which will take place on August 25, 26 and 27 at the Biarritz Casino, is the largest Bitcoin convention in Europe. It brings together big names in the sector of economy, jurisdiction and popularization of cryptocurrency. Among others, the Minister of Economy of El Salvador, a pioneer in digital currency payments, will be present.

The organizer and CEO of StackinSat, a bitcoin buying app, settled in the Basque Country four years ago. “There were few funds used in the interests of technology. In less than five years, momentum has been created, in particular thanks to the rapid and impressive development of the technopark.” This year’s goal is to make Bitcoin democratic for everyone, including newbies and naysayers. The first day will be free, with games and activities to win €10,000 in Bitcoin. Up to 1,500 people are expected within three days.

Another event scheduled for the end of August is NFT Biarritz, which takes place in the Connector Hall dedicated to business and innovation. With this day dedicated to NFT and web3, a whole week is breaking through in the Southwest under the sign of new technologies. The meeting wants to impose itself on the calendar. The conference, set up by two brothers from Biarritz, Franck and Damien Dupont, interrupts the centralization of French technology in Paris. “We are tired of these events that take place in the capital, very select and elitist,” says Franck Dupont. “In Biarritz, we created a more relaxed wave, in the sun, on vacation.”

At NFT Biarritz, a few lucky people will have the opportunity to discover Bitcoin Cuvée wines at the VIP Evening. OpenGem

Between roundtables, conferences and documentary screenings featuring guests of honor like the NBA and FIFA, the uninitiated will also be in the spotlight. “Several animations have been installed, including a hands-on workshop, to help attendees create their first NFT wallet or develop their first non-fungible token,” the organizer explains. “People have very strong opinions about these digital objects. They think it’s just pollution or speculation. We want to invite them to discuss it with us and make sure they have a good time. More events are planned for October, including raising awareness of technology for 400 high school students.


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