The Havas Group continues to build its blockchain offering around the different areas of expertise of its agencies. Now Havas Blockchain in conjunction with ekino is launching a new strategic and tech support offering in response to growing market demand, particularly at international level (France, UK, US, Vietnam, India and Singapore).
Since its launch in March 2018, Havas Blockchain has been offering global and international communications support for companies operating in the blockchain ecosystem or launching ICOs. Winner of the international “Blockchain Innovation Marketing Award” in Beijing in October, Havas Blockchain has provided communications support to a number of clients, including Carrefour, Chain Accelerator and the ICOs launched by Talao and Sandblock. These two fundraising rounds raised several million euros for the development of a decentralized platform to connect major corporations and freelance talent (Talao), and a platform for converting loyalty programs (Sandblock), discount coupons and vouchers into cryptoassets.
In keeping with its “Together” strategy, Havas is collaborating with ekino, a digital consulting and implementation group. Conscious of the speed at which businesses and new innovations like blockchain are evolving, ekino’s teams integrate design, innovation, consulting, tech and data in order to support its clients in facing these new issues and achieving their digital transformation. Since its beginnings, ekino’s ambition has been to be a positive digital player which develops solutions that have a real impact on people’s lives.
The teams will help their clients to implement turnkey blockchain projects. The solution features a number of components:
- Technology-agnostic consulting.
- Technical audit solutions (due diligence, security, etc.).
- Project design and build services.
The Havas Blockchain solution is unique in two respects:
- Agnostic as regards both blockchain technologies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, RSK, etc.) and programming languages (Solidity, NodeJS, PHP, Java, ReactJS, etc).
- Pragmatic (ekino's teams are specialists in both centralized and decentralized architectures, and thus able to recommend the solutions best suited to the needs of each client).
"Since the launch of Havas Blockchain, we are gradually moving beyond the realm of communications consulting alone and assisting our clients in other areas, in particular in strategic consulting and governance with Havas Paris or in sports marketing with Havas Sports & Entertainment. Because we aim to provide our clients with an ever more comprehensive service package, we were naturally keen to develop a technology support solution from Havas Blockchain that would be both agnostic and pragmatic. To achieve that, we put our heads together with ekino's engineers, who have been working on this subject for over a year," explained Fabien Aufrechter, head of Havas Blockchain.
Expert digital teams digital building on initial experiments
"In developing our solution as part of Havas Blockchain services, we are signing up to a vision that is both ethical and pragmatic. Plenty of firms are promising their clients the moon right now, assuring them that blockchain is the answer to all their problems when, most of the time, that just isn't the case. This new technology is still only in its infancy and, as digital experts, we have a certain responsibility to live up to. First we need to fully understand this technology, explain it and make it work for the end client. We have a duty to inform our clients of the opportunities and the constraints this new technology involves, while at at the same time taking the user experience into account. Yes, blockchain is indeed a revolution, but it is not going to solve every business issue. More to the point, its widespread adoption will depend on its value in use," insisted Malo Gaudry, ekino's managing director. Ekino's expertise will provide the final link in the Havas Blockchain offering, providing end-to-end project coverage, from consulting to completion by way of communications.
Ekino's teams, headed by Hugo Briand, digital architect and Blockchain lead at ekino, have now been operational for over a year and are already trying out several solutions on blockchain technology. These include:
- A chatbot developed on Ethereum to detect fake news, and structured on a collaborative model. Users are awarded a reputational score and vote on the reliability of a news item.
- Joint experimentation with Prisma Media on introducing an HR token.This project will democratize the use of cryptocurrencies amongst the participants and identify user experience issues associated with the use of cryptocurrencies.
- The introduction of Bitcoin and Lightning Network nodes to enable clients to make payments in cryptocurrrencies, and to confirm transactions on these networks.
"This comprehensive offering enables our clients to open up to new opportunities and give a new dimension to their projects. Companies will now find the decentralized web easier to onboard thanks to a truly turnkey solution. It is from this angle that we are experimenting with solutions. It helps us find concrete use cases and identify he constraints associated with these architectures. A pragmatic approach is essential, especially when working with new technologies such as blockchain," added Briand.
A few months after Havas Sports & Entertainment's launch of the first blockchain-based fan loyalty program for sports organizations, the Group has already formed a number of strategic partnerships, with Blockchain Partner (consulting and project development) and Coinhouse (compliance) among others.
Havas Blockchain’s new offering is now operational.