Coinhouse is a subsidiary of the well-established bitcoin and Ether exchange ‘La Maison Du Bitcoin’ based out of Paris, France. As such, it is one of the few places where people can go and buy cryptocurrency for cash in France. It is also a regulated exchange. It must comply with French AML regulation as a financial institution, which resonates with mainstream customers. The fact that Coinhouse also has a physical address and a phone number which clients can call to get support, has helped its reputation elsewhere in the EU. We interviewed Coinhouse to find out more about how it operates and what its management thinks about the future of bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies.
The Origins of Coinhouse
Bitcoin Chaser: What was the inspiration behind Coinhouse and why did you launch it?
Coinhouse: Coinhouse has been created in order to provide the easiest, smoothest and most secure Bitcoin purchasing experience. We aim to provide the best services to our customers with instant delivery, secure transactions and very responsive customer support (direct phone line and fast online customer support). Our physical counter based in Paris provides us with a unique position given that our customers can come meet us and buy Bitcoin and Ether for cash.
Coinhouse Growth and Bitcoin Transaction Issues
BC: How fast is your business expanding?
CH: Coinhouse is a very fast growing business or sales volume has been constantly increasing since the first year of activity in 2014 moreover we are growing our team for 2017 in order to realize new projects.
BC: Do you see the block size and bitcoin transaction debates affecting your bitcoin side of the business at all?
CH: As our customers are investors willing to keep their coins rather than daily users, we think that we won’t be affected too much if the block size debate stays stuck. Moreover, we’ve planned to add more cryptocurrencies to Coinhouse’s offer.
Ethereum Governance Issues
BC: Do you see questions about Ethereum governance in the wake of the DAO fork affecting your Ether side of the business?
CH: We consider that most of our customers are not driven by ideological though when buying cryptocurrencies. We think that it won’t really influence purchasing behaviors.
International Business in the eyes of Coinhouse
BC: Your business is geared towards Europe, but do you see demand for your services coming from places in which there are a lot of capital controls and demonetization threats?
CH: We’ve recently seen high demand coming from Africa on Coinhouse. One of our future project is to find business partners in North Africa, South America and India in order to provide an easy access to Bitcoin to those populations.
BC: Which are the top 5 countries for Coinhouse by trading volume?
CH: France, Spain, Belgium, Great Britain and Italy.
The Future of Coinhouse
BC: Will you stick to being a gateway into the world of bitcoin and Ether, or have you explored other possibilities in the space, including the sale of other cryptocurrencies, becoming a cryptocurrency exchange or enabling other types of trading services?
CH: We have several really interesting projects for 2017. Follow us on twitter (@LaMaisonDUBTC) for the latest news.
Cryptocurrency Regulation in Europe
BC: How do you see the regulatory environment for your business in Europe?
CH: We are under the regulation of French authorities (AML) and we’re collaborating with them being totally transparent on our KYC procedures.
BC: Is there a significant difference between EU and non-EU countries or do you see regulatory convergence emerging?
CH: In Europe regulators aim to create a regulatory framework for KYC procedure (AML), we don’t have more information about regulation procedures in non-EU countries.
BC: Do you face regulatory challenges in Europe? If so, which?
CH: The only regulation is about KYC. ID documents are required even if you want to purchase 1 Euro worth of any coin.
The Future of Bitcoin and Ether
BC: What do you think will happen with bitcoin in 2 or 3 years?
CH: TO THE MOON!
BC: What do you think will happen with Ethereum and Ether in 2 or 3 years?
CH: Regarding all the future EIP (metropolis, CASPER and recently Ethereum enterprise), the dynamism of the Ethereum community and the focus on Smart Contract security following the DAO episode, we think that Ethereum has the potential to rapidly grow.
BC: For all those who are still on the fence, what would you tell them to convince them to join the world of bitcoin or Ethereum and buy a few coins?
CH: Bitcoin and more widely cryptocurrencies are amazing technologies which could lead to high capital gain however due to high volatility of the price it could also lead to serious loss. We advise everybody who would be willing to enter those markets to only invest what they can afford to lose.