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How does EDF participate in the Ethereum blockchain?


A major player in electricity distribution in France, EDF is also involved in the world of blockchains. As some media showed yesterday, the group would control 150 nodes of the Ethereum blockchain through its subsidiary Exaion! Let’s see why this element is not so trivial after all.

Exaion: EDF’s Web3 subsidiary!

Created in 2020, Exaion is EDF’s web3 subsidiary. If you don’t know this subsidiary exists, nothing could be more normal. Not having been created in a secretive way, the subsidiary of the electricity giant has not been given any attention in terms of communication. It must be said that in 2020, and this is still the case today, the blockchain was not yet unanimous.

Today, Exaion works on several blockchain networks such as Polkadot, Avalanche, Tezos or Cosmos. For each of these networks, the subsidiary plays the role of the transaction collector. For all these networks, this implies Exaion owns the digital assets linked to each blockchain. On these different protocols, Exaion manages about 300 different nodes. Yesterday, an article from The Big Whale revealed that Exaion was managing nearly 150 nodes on the Ethereum blockchain.

Good to know: The Exaion teams are present in France, in the EDF offices at La Défense. The EDF3 web subsidiary has around thirty people who have been working for over 2 years on web3 development on behalf of EDF.

As we have seen, Exaion is involved in blockchains by playing the role of a validator. A role that the company has for itself, but which it also offers as a service to other companies.

So, through Exaion, other companies can escronize the ETH they own to become a network validator. The advantage for these companies is that they can actively participate in the blockchain world without having to manage one or more nodes. Exaion effectively ensures this mission.

Why is EDF’s presence as a collector important?

For many, this revelation is above all symbolic. In fact, this is the first time that a French group of this size has invested so much in blockchain technologies. An aspect that is even more symbolic since the company is mostly owned by the state (83.69% according to the data on the distribution of the company’s share capital as of July 25, 2022).

But going beyond the symbolic scope, it looks like this news is finally good for us regarding the decentralization of the network. Why? Because most of the Ethereum collectors are American. As mentioned by Stanislas Barthélémi, analyst at Blockchain Partners.

It is very interesting to see that a player like EDF is involved in this matter. There is a real question of it French sovereignty. Although the blockchain is global, if the majority of collectors are in the United States, ultimately the entire ecosystem could be affected by the decisions of the United States legislators. The presence of the French state actor is highly symbolic and shows once again the ever-growing interest of large groups in crypto-currencies.

In addition, add new validators strengthens network security. In fact, the more nodes there are, the more difficult it will be to attack a significant part of the network. EDF not only works to make the Ethereum blockchain more secure, but also to rebalance the forces present on the validation chessboard.

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