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French holding company Havas has expanded its blockchain services offering, unveiling a new ‘platform‘ called Havas Sovereign Technologies.

According to a release, the new service offering will incorporate its existing blockchain practice, while offering clients guidance and support on related ‘digital sovereignty‘ activities such as NFTs and cryptocurrency.

What has Havas launched?

  • Havas Sovereign Technologies will offer clients “end-to-end support in appropriating innovations, protecting their reputation and mitigating the risks associated with new technologies,“ the company said in a statement.

  • It includes Havas Blockchain, which launched back in 2018, as well as “support on all subjects related to sovereign technologies“. That unit previously focused on supporting initial coin offerings in the cryptocurrency sector and drew upon Havas talent in its Paris base, Russia, Singapore, Japan and Korea.

  • Fabien Aufrechter, director of Havas Blockchain, will be heading up the new platform, which will be targeting public bodies and NGOs as well as brands and startups.

Why has Havas expanded its blockchain activities?

  • Blockchain technologies, such as cryptocurrencies and digital assets, are an expanding market. NFTs burst on to the mainstream earlier this year, and in August sales volumes on trading platform OpenSea reached $1.9bn, up from $148m in March.

  • Aufrechter said: “The technological leap of the last five years has turned digital sovereignty from a purely technological issue into a real strategic challenge. The issues of innovation, trust and technological security have become inescapable for both public and private players. With its expert and agile approach, Havas Sovereign Technologies will accompany brands and institutions in their quest to no longer offer ‘just technology’ but ‘the right technology’.“

  • It’s unclear how expanding into the blockchain sector will help Havas reduce its carbon footprint. The holding company has vowed to reach net zero in its direct emissions by 2025, though blockchain technologies involve very high energy consumption; a recent study estimated that one cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was generating a carbon footprint bigger than London. At the time of publication, Havas has not replied to a request for further comment.