Coinhouse, a private bank for the age of crypto finance

By: Cyril Bertrand

As Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies go mainstream and investors seek professional support, Coinhouse is becoming a leading private bank dedicated to crypto assets. We are thrilled to be part of their 2.4 million euros Series A round along with ConsenSys Ventures, Digital Currency Group and many others.

Cryptocurrencies are an asset class of their own

The wild years of blockchain seem to have come to a halt. Most of the noise is gone. This gives time and space for the serious players to stand out: those who work hard to build promising, economically viable projects. The real deal. They are now easier to spot, to listen to and to work with, whether you are a VC, a corporate or a global bank.

In a matter of years, cryptos have become a substantial class of assets. One that attracts varied types of investors, from occasional to expert (and soon to institutional), each with their dedicated strategy and risk profile. It’s become clear to us that such a class of assets would need its “private bank” and that Coinhouse is the best pick for the job. The team of 30 is based in Paris, and now works for 150 000 clients over Europe.

Bye-bye DIY

Am I really doing this? I asked myself as I sent my personal credit card details to an operator based in Central Europe. This was a few years ago, I was buying my first bitcoins in the middle of the goldrush. I was on duty: if you’re a VC with a focus on deep techs & impact, what’s a better way to learn about cryptocurrencies than to dive in yourself?

DIY investment is complex: multiple counterparts, downloading software on my computer… As an average and willing investor, I thought I could’ve gone the easier, safer way. With Coinhouse for example. Coinhouse was initially launched as a physical place for the general public to get familiar with cryptocurrencies. It quickly evolved to become a trusted partner for investors, helping them buy, sell and store their bitcoins with maximum security.

Private banking, redefined

Coinhouse could start looking like a private bank for investors of the crypto age. Beyond performance, they need information and technical support on transactions. They need service and value. For Coinhouse this means:

  • Offices. A real address in town, with real people to talk to for advice and information. When it comes to trust, this is a differentiator, amidst most international competitors operating online.
  • Availability. Coinhouse was developed as a layer above a number of industry platforms (Kraken, Coinbase, etc.) to make sure it has access to transactions at any given time, with the best fees available on the market.
  • Professional-grade content production. Providing asset-research and vision to their customers to help them to stay ahead and perform.

Compliance is strategic

One of the things I love about Coinhouse is how close they’ve been to the regulators since day 1. Every project there is led in coordination with the ACPR and AMF (French regulatory bodies). Such a strong compliance culture is the only way to get close to a private banking model. It’s also the only way Coinhouse will become a serious candidate for corporates and banks in search of credible partners for their crypto projects.

If you’re going to do bitcoin, go with the experts

There are some very serious crypto projects in France : Ledger, Stratumn, Paymium… and Coinhouse of course. We invested in Ledger and Coinhouse. It’s all about the team: founders, experts, and co­-investors all along.

First of all, there’s Nicolas Louvet, the CEO. He’s one of a kind. A veteran VC at Sofinnova & Serena, who invested in Ledger, with a great vision for the project. There’s also Eric Larchevêque, the co-founder of Ledger, who is a true mentor for the whole industry and who will work closely with Coinhouse.

And finally, there’s ConsenSys, the US based VC fund leading this round, and who is one of the best teams for all things crypto on a global scale. ConsenSys has built a portfolio of blockchain companies that support each other, as well as ConsenSys and the broader Ethereum ecosystem. Coinhouse has some serious back-up, and I can’t wait to see it thrive.