Exclusive Coinhouse interview!
The blockchain ecosystem is growing and cryptocurrencies are of increasing interest to people from all around the world. However, access to this market is not always easy. For starters, using a wallet is not always the simplest of tasks. There are a slew of sites that aim to guide newcomers on their journey, and one of these is Coinhouse. Today, we have the chance to sit down with Romain Saguy, Chief Revenue Officer at Coinhouse.
What is Coinhouse?
Coinhouse is a platform based in France, and actually the first to be registered with the French financial regulator. This means we were the first regulated player in France where you could buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies in full compliance with strict anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing legislation. In the past, we called ourselves Maison de Bitcoin (House of Bitcoin), and had an interface where we could welcome customers and help them to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
So, from the very beginning, we have had a desire to democratise access to cryptocurrency in our DNA. As time passed, the needed to make it a more successful platform for the broader European market: we approached investors to support the company’s development and the site was renamed ‘Coinhouse’ for the international market.
Today, our mission remains focused on democratisation and promoting the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies among Europeans, enabling them to benefit from services based on these assets. We are convinced that the only viable way to enter these markets is through regulation. That is why we are a proactive player in French and European regulation. Since the beginning, we have shaped and adapted the regulatory framework of traditional finance to the world of digital assets.
What is the difference between Coinhouse and a classic exchange?
Coinhouse’s job has never been that of an exchange but that of a broker: we are a buy-sell intermediary that allows European players to have support in their own language with a regulated company in a neighbouring country, France!
While this may not apply to you Brits, if a European player tries to use an exchange like Bitfinex, Binance or Kraken, they will have a hard time trying to find a support team member who speaks French, for example, and is on hand and ready to answer any questions. On the other hand, Coinhouse has a team of multilingual experts, who can explain to you what the blockchain is, how different crypto projects work, and accompany you with your investments and managing your digital assets.
The second fundamental difference is that we are turning into crypto-bank: not only can you buy cryptocurrencies with the relevant support, we now can offer products similar to traditional financial products that you can find at a conventional bank, but with cryptocurrencies as the balance. The idea is to offer a ‘crypto savings account’ that allows you to manage your investments according to your risk profile.
For example, in October, a product dedicated to managing digital assets was launched. The product is an algorithmic trading system for Bitcoin that allows your capital to go to work, taking advantage of periods of rising assets while managing risk in the event of a market decline.
Our vision today is to position ourselves as a player who will accompany people who want to invest in cryptocurrencies and offer them solutions that let them diversify their portfolio, or access alternatives to traditional financial products.
Who is Coinhouse aimed at?
Our core target audience is not the crypto geek trader who logs into exchange platforms to buy / sell several times a week (by the way, beware of these platforms: they are not always compliant with the regulations of market regulators and do not offer the same protection to customers and their assets).
Instead, Coinhouse is aimed at the traditional investor, who wants to invest their savings through a regulated and recognised company. Some of them are interested in how cryptocurrencies work, but others simply want to benefit from the financial performance of these assets, without having to know the difference between proof-of-work and proof-of-stake.
They are more likely to be people looking for advice and support, based on our experience.
Finally, it’s a bit like when you sign up for a private pension plan: you select your level of risk, but you don’t necessarily have to understand the exact makeup of the portfolio with the specifics of the stocks within it. That’s your banker’s job. You, as an investor, value risk above all in relation to the expected performance.
When confronted with the cryptocurrency ecosystem, you’ll see that there are plenty of interesting projects to invest in. Still, it is extremely time-consuming to analyse projects one by one. Our research team does this analysis work and we make it available to our clients, making it easier for investors to benefit from the upside of crypto assets, without having to master the ins and outs.
So who is your target audience?
There are five different groups interested in crypto:
- The 18-24 age group: they are those who understand crypto well. It is a special group that often seeks to ‘go all in’ on projects that have potential to go ‘to the moon’ or ‘10x overnight’. In short – they still have a long way to go on risk and investment management.
- The 25-45 year olds: these are still rather young and are actually interested in crypto. This time, though, they are building a net worth or inheritance. They have a much more reasoned approach, with short-term or medium-term investment horizons of 6, 12 or 18 months. They know how to move from one platform to another and understand the difference between exchanges and brokers.
- The 45+ category: they have higher incomes or are wealthy already. They are familiar with traditional finance. They come to the crypto sector to diversify their portfolio for returns. They manage risk very well and do not invest more than 10% of their portfolio. They represent the highest volumes in absolute terms because their investment capacity is simply greater.
- Asset managers: these guys are struggling on the market because traditional products offer low returns. They are aware that in order to attract new customers and retain their existing customers, they will have to offer new products with higher returns. As a result, they are becoming more and more interested in cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, they are extremely careful: if your business is not regulated, they will never come to talk to you.
- Businesses, especially SMEs (small-medium enterprises): they may have cash to invest or are looking for investment opportunities. However, they do not always have satisfactory investment solutions. They are also interested in new products.
For these last three categories (45+, asset managers and companies), it is obviously essential to be a regulated player and perfectly compliant with regulators. This is our greatest strength today.
Does this mean you also manage taxes and tax returns?
No, we do not provide tax advice or support for filling out tax returns. It’s a whole other job in its own right.
Nevertheless, we are working on providing reporting models such as investment balance sheets to our premium clients to make it easier for them to declare investments.
To conclude, can we find out a little more about you?
My name is Romain Saguy. I arrived at Coinhouse at the beginning of September 2020 as Chief Revenue Officer.
I am therefore responsible for the reputation of the Coinhouse brand, attracting new customers and managing our relationship with customers via our sales and customer support teams. In other words, my job is to explain who we are to the public, make sure that you can find us if you are looking for us on the web, and that you have the best user experience and the best possible support when you use our services.
However, I have been involved in cryptocurrency for a while now. I fell down the rabbit hole in 2017, just a little too late, I’m afraid – in the middle of summer 2017, after the 30-40x of Ethereum. It was the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) era. There was the incredible bitcoin bull run at the end of 2017 and the dump that followed. In hindsight, it was the perfect time to fully understand the interest in and problems facing the ecosystem. Let’s not forget, it was also an opportunity to properly gauge the risks posed by these assets.
My professional career started in consulting, then at Google and LesFurets, a popular French price comparison website (think GoCompare or Confused.com). My primary area of expertise is therefore digital and e-commerce in general.
How did you end up at Coinhouse?
It’s just one of those lucky things: I was in the right place at the right time. I had just resigned from my job at LesFurets, and at the same time a friend had been contacted by a headhunter who was looking for someone for Coinhouse, and he passed over my details. I met with the team and passed Coinhouse’s recruitment process.
Above all, I think it is excellent timing: Coinhouse was registered by the French financial regulator at the beginning of 2021, so we have a legitimacy that is growing and we can explain to everyone who we are and what our added value is for individuals, companies, asset management companies, etc.
Finally, what role does Coinhouse play with respect to WPO’s ICO?
A trusted third-party platform is used to secure investments in BTC (Bitcoin) and ETH (Ethereum) as part of any ICO (Initial Coin Offering).
Today, if you want to invest in WPO and its GreenToken (GTK), you can place your funds in receivership at Coinhouse.
If the project is fully funded, you will receive WPO tokens you and you will have helped to finance the project. If the project does not get fully funded, investors will be reimbursed.
The best part about this system is that it protects investors from scams and fake websites when hunting for new coins.
You now know all about Coinhouse and its vision for the ecosystem. I’m sure this isn’t the last we hear of them, so follow CoinTribune to be the first to know of any updates. If the WPO ICO caught your interest, we also sat down with Barthelemy Rouer, CEO of WPO. See you in the next article!
Hi, Привет & Salut! I’m interested in two things: crypto and languages. So I’m really excited to be part of the multinational CoinTribune team, where I can share my crypto knowledge with people from around the world, one article at a time.