Free Binance courses in France: education or illegal marketing?

With Simplon, Binance should democratize the blockchain at France and form 10.000 people. A survey from Financial Times pins a marketing operationin offence with the legislationand the French political support to the crypto exchange.

It’s probably not easy being in the communications and marketing department of Binance in recent months. The image of the leading cryptocurrency exchange has been seriously tarnished. In the United States, its practices have earned it a fine of over $4 billion.

As for CZ, during the bullrun heyday, he met with business leaders and politicians, including Emmanuel Macron in France in 2021. He is now banned from leaving the US and faces a prison sentence.


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The French state in search of foreign investment

For the Financial TimesIt’s not just on KYC and the fight against money laundering that Binance takes liberties. The site devotes an investigation to the exchange’s French adventures and the privileged welcome accorded by the French government.

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In November 2021, the government rolled out the red carpet for CZ and its company, which announced a 100 million euro investment and the establishment of a headquarters in Paris. This move was made possible by hundreds of Tech visas granted by the French government.

In addition to money, Binance also promised free training courses and PSAN registration – obtained in 2022 from the AMF, from which one of its legal experts had been recruited – to win the favor of French decision-makers.

Stéphanie Cabossioras stayed with Binance for just over a year. Before the conviction in the United States, the former Compliance Director, then Deputy Managing Director, resigned from her position.

Training as a pretext for recruiting customers?

Binance France is pinned by the FT for its free courses. To deliver training courses to 10,000 people, the company formed an educational partnership with Simplon. Simplon’s reputation in France has earned it the Grande École du numérique label.

This partnership is probably no longer in effect. Simplon no longer mentions it on its website. The information reported by the English newspaper to its founder Frédéric Bardeau could explain the distance taken by the training specialist.

Our mission was to make people understand and love blockchain and all its use cases beyond crypto,” he declares. “Not to mix genres and hard sell,” the founder continues.

“The day after the interview, promotional content about the partnership with Binance had disappeared from Simplon’s homepage,” notes the journalist from FT.

Increasing costs for Binance

The training program, ultimately delivered to less than a hundred participants, is said to have pursued commercial rather than educational objectives.

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An anonymous source specifies that the indicator monitored by the company was the number of customers recruited. However, according to the legal experts interviewed, Binance is prohibited from carrying out active canvassing operations in France, on pain of a fine (37,500 euros).

The company could not be unaware of this. Especially as it is already at the heart of an investigation into illegal promotion following a complaint from 15 investors – in addition to investigations into money laundering.

This new case, which has yet to be clarified, is unlikely to improve Binance’s image. But for the American daily, the latest news does not seem to call into question the confidence French political decision-makers have in the company.

Could it be that the silence of the government and its majority is above all a means of avoiding any self-criticism, a practice not much appreciated by politicians and their communicators?

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