Subsidiary d’EDF launched in 2020, Exaion accelerates this year with multiple blockchain products in preparation. L’ambition of the startup to become the ” One stop shop “and the trusted third party companies for their Web3 projects.
Fatih Balyelithe CEO and co-founder of Exaionlikes to underline it. Exaion and Forge are the first two Web3 subsidiaries created by large groups in France, namely EDF and Société Générale. With Forge, the banking group has established itself as a key player in the tokenization of finance in Europe.
With Exaion, Forge’s partner for the past two years, EDF intends to occupy a place that is currently vacant on the Old Continent, namely that of blockchain infrastructure technology provider for businesses, especially those seeking reinsurance.
First blockchain infrastructure management platform
Employing 50 people, mainly in France, Exaion has started to expand internationally by recently opening an office in Canada with the ambition to cover the North American market. To grow, the startup relies on three main markets, “with different maturities”: the metaverse (3D cloud), the blockchain and edge computing.
In the blockchain segment, the company offers Exaion Node, which encompasses both infrastructure and turnkey solutions. Fatih Balyeli, who was speaking to executives and innovation leaders at the DIMS 2023emphasizes that Node constitutes “the first blockchain infrastructure management platform in Europe”.
For the CEO, this is a real differentiator and a competitive advantage for a subsidiary of a large group aspiring to become a “ one-stop shop ” for companies, traditional and pure-players of the Web3, for their blockchain projects.
“We are the only European player to offer a blockchain infrastructure management service, but the only one in the world to own our own infrastructure “, insists the startup’s co-founder to distinguish himself from his competitors, all of whom are linked to hyperscalers. This distinction is not just rhetorical.
We developed from scratch a decentralized infrastructure, dedicated to Web3 in terms of architecture, design and IT equipment. Today, the coupling of platform and infrastructure dedicated to Web3 is unique,” he says.
Sovereign and eco-responsible approach
Exaion can thus distinguish itself on the market by claiming a sovereign approachbased on the operation of two redundant data centers located in Normandy. Its affiliation with EDF also reassures us of the robustness of its infrastructure and its internal requirements in terms of regulations and security.
These arguments indeed weighed two years earlier in SG Forge’s choice of the company for the issuance on the Ethereum blockchain of a €100 million EIB bond in security token format.
Node allowed us to guarantee high availability and access to the blockchain to pass our transactions, pay gas fees with clean ether provided by Exaion and derived from its mining activity,” said Stéphane Duzan, co-founder of Société Générale Forge.
Exaion also claims a eco-responsible approach with operations that have a footprint of 38g of CO2 per kWh. “On average, it is 350g for our main North American competitors, and 600g in Asia,” says Fatih Balyeli.
The company is thus responding to the growing importance given to environmental issues and the subject of responsible digital technology. It could also find an interest in supporting the Proof of Climate awaReness (PoCR) blockchain co-constructed by Seb and Crédit Agricole. However, Exaion is not just an infrastructure provider.
Companies have a one-stop shop. They can come to us, ask for advice on which protocol to use, the most suitable for their use case, develop smart contracts for them, integrate them on the platform, manage the cloud part for them, etc.”
Around 15 blockchain protocols supported by 2023
This positioning has allowed Exaion to create a customer base in the banking world. The startup also claims customers in the logistics or the luxury“where companies try to create engagement with their communities”.
We also work with Web3 pure-players such as Dogami, Billy, Ubisoft (…) or even Casino for its stablecoin Lugh”, quotes the CEO.
The French blockchain player plans to expand its offering even further. Node currently supports 7 protocols. By the end of the year, it will be fifteen, it announced at the event including RoyalsBlue.com was the press partner.
This compatibility will allow Exaion to support its customers’ NFT projects on a larger number of networks. The EDF’s Web3 branch is already supporting brands in this segment.
To manage storage, it is also working on integrating the IPFS technology. The distributed peer-to-peer file system provides a technical and decentralized answer to the storage, sharing and management of NFTs.
The problem of the storage of non-fungible tokens is of interest to multinationals in the development of their NFT retail campaigns. This is the case for L’Oréal, as Laurent Carrie, the director of the cosmetics giant’s Tech Factory, could testify. Exaion is therefore preparing the support of IPFS.
Exaion to be Filecoin’s mainstay on IPFS and NFT
We are working on it. We are adding a new service around the Filecoin protocol, specialized in IPFS. We will become one of the pillars of Filecoin in the coming weeks and months,” says Fatih Balyeli.
And other new features are in the works and/or currently being tested with a few customers.
We’re going to implement an NFT indexer, an indexer on transfers and on all transactions,” continues the CEO, which will build on its Big Data components.
The startup is also preparing the launch of a staking service. A Oracle service was also created. The objective is simple: to cover “all corporate needs in the Web3 world at 360°”. In the luxury sector, this includes the implementation of NFTs and their transfer to different immersive platforms of the metaverse.
Exaion also intends to participate in the improvement of the user experience, deemed poor and even considered “a real blocking point”. However, a collaborative approach is needed to remove “this barrier to entry”, described as “one of the last barriers to mass adoption “.
We are exchanging with the banking sector, but also with La Poste and currently with Ledger,” says the executive, referring in particular to the wallet maker’s Enterprise solution. “We are trying to find a solution to design a French answer” to this UX hurdle.
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