Formerly known as the House of Bitcoin, Coinhouse has become in its almost 7 years of existence an essential platform for buying and selling cryptoactives. Manuel Valente explains the « Coinhouse philosophy » and answers our questions about the current market.
Can you briefly outline your background and Coinhouse?
Before the Coinhouse adventure, I was a developer, particularly in the field of cryptography. Coinhouse was created in 2014, with the aim of creating a place where everyone could come and discover the blockchain ecosystem in France. We have gradually evolved towards what we call a crypto-bank, i.e. a player offering services, above all online, around cryptoactives and with a strong consulting component. One of our main objectives is the democratisation of investment in cryptoactives in France.
Coinhouse is not just a platform for buying and selling cryptos. The site also offers a questionnaire to discover your profile with advice on how to invest according to the desired risk. There is a real desire to stand out from the crowd…
On most cryptoactives buying and selling platforms, once your account is created and validated, you are faced with a relatively complex and intimidating interface, and you have to deal with tools that can be dangerous to use, such as leverage, without any help. We take the opposite view: our platform is designed to be as simple to use as possible, and we provide a wealth of information so that our clients can manage their investment: several weekly newsletters, webinars to explain in detail the state of the market, model allocations highlighting the projects that we think are most interesting, and many other ideas in preparation. To our knowledge, we are the only platform on which it is possible to reach by phone a customer service in French, or to access a Premium* service for clients wishing to reach an advisor and be accompanied in their investments.
*The Premium service costs 39 €/month, but if you come from Android-MT, you will save 50 € over the year.
We recently did a very critical article about Christine Lagarde and her condescending statements about cryptomoney (plus the old refrain of « it’s used to buy drugs on the Darknet »). In 2021, isn’t that annoying?
The concern of governments and central banks is still the same: since the 2000s, a significant effort has been made in the banking market to drastically reduce tax evasion, money laundering and the financing of terrorism. And new financial vehicles should not be allowed to return to square one. These concerns should not be dismissed out of hand, and regulation of the players in the crypto ecosystem is a necessary thing to guarantee the security of customers and protect us against the problems mentioned.
On the other hand, there is always a message from governments or international bodies which revolves around « The blockade is great, but cryptomoney is useless ». We must therefore continue to provide information on this point. We believe that these two subjects are absolutely inseparable, and that the real wealth of the ecosystem lies in the public blockchains, first and foremost Bitcoin and Ethereum.
But when we see large financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank or Mastercard now launching payment or cryptoactive storage projects, we believe that this reticence will inevitably have to evolve rapidly.
What do you think of the madness around the Dogecoin and the recent acquisition of 1.5 billion in Bitcoin by Tesla Motors?
The current demand for Dogecoin is unfortunately a good indicator of the lack of knowledge of many people entering the market. It should be remembered that Dogecoin was originally a currency cloned from Bitcoin to make a joke, which has not been developed since 2017, and which the creator himself discourages buying. So I don’t think it has a bright future, whereas there are much more interesting projects at the moment, including everything that revolves around decentralized finance.
Coinhouse’s consulting approach is designed to prevent its clients from falling into this kind of trap, by providing information and advice on a daily basis.
The fact that Tesla Motors is investing heavily in Bitcoin is a good thing for the whole ecosystem: it legitimizes cryptoactives as financial instruments to be considered in a private or corporate portfolio, and it pulls demand strongly upwards.
It’s also interesting to note that, like MicroStrategy, which has invested over two billion dollars in Bitcoin, confidence in the dollar seems to be eroding and these companies are starting to transfer some of their liquidity into alternative products.
At one of our colleagues, you were talking excitedly about MakerDAO and DAI, can you tell us a little more in layman’s language?
Even today, you can still go to the Crédit Municipal and pawn a watch or a trinket in exchange for a corresponding amount in euros, and then pay back these euros a few months later to recover the object. MakerDAO is the same thing, except that instead of pawning an object, you pawn ethers, the asset of the Ethereum blockchain, in exchange for an asset whose rate is fixed against the dollar, the DAI.
This project is in fact the very first one that allowed to actively invest its cryptoactives and not just to keep them until the price goes up, while providing the whole market with a stable asset, the DAI, which is now used by the vast majority of decentralized finance projects. I think it still has a lot of potential.
Coinhouse: the right choice for your cryptosystems
You want to take your first steps in cryptology but you don’t know where to start? Why not start with the Coinhouse site? This company registered with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers allows you to buy Bitcoin and 16 other cryptomonnaies, but also to store your investments for free on its secure servers. The site offers a clear interface, advice and telephone assistance in French, and that’s where it all happens ».