Lots of the work that we do is unseen.
At Paymium we spent lots of time and energy talking about Bitcoin to our regulating bodies, the Banque de France, the ACP (French equivalent of the American SEC), TRACFIN (AML French supervising body) etc. We engaged all these resources with one goal in mind : get these people to know Bitcoin, advocate our beloved crypto-currency and listen to them, help them think until they finally reach the same conclusion as we did : there's nothing wrong with people being free.
There's nothing wrong with people freely exchanging value, we don't hurt anybody, we're not forcing anyone to use Bitcoin, we simply want to see our dream and the future of money become a reality.
After all this patient work and lobbying we're finally happy and proud to announce that Bitcoin-Central.net
becomes today the first Bitcoin exchange operating within the framework of European regulations. Since 2010 we kept learning, when mtgox got kicked out of France for not complying with the law we learnt from it, when our banks gave us a hard time we learnt from it, when we discussed with smart people on these very forums we learnt from it.
From monitoring the regulatory field we learned that TRACFIN knew about Bitcoin, that the ECB knew about Bitcoin. And that they were both worried.
So we felt that if no one went there, and told these people about Bitcoin, they would come to us anyway.
We're therefore extremely proud and happy to announce that Bitcoin-Central.net
will be raising the bar for all the other exchanges, at least the ones operating in Europe.We're announcing today that Bitcoin-Central.net is getting, through a partnership with Aqoba, allowed to operate like a bank
, (or more precisely like a PSP which is basically the same as a bank, just without the debt-money issuing part)
Some people might argue that regulation is a bad thing. We respect this opinion, but we'll have to agree to disagree.
But this is not only some regulatory detail, it has dramatic implications for us, our users, and... our competition
Let's go over a couple of them:
- Our user's funds will actually be held at Aqoba's partner financial institution under the user's name, they will be separate from Paymium's funds (on the other hand, all of other exchanges funds for example sit in the same account, and are considered by their bank to be their corporate property)
- Our user's accounts will be protected by the "Garantie des dépôts" which is the French equivalent of the American FDIC (the insurance cap applies to each account individually, and not to the sum of all user balances, so unless your EUR balance exceeds 100kEUR your fiat is 100% insured by the French taxpayer)
- Each account will in a few months get its very own IBAN number, users will be able to use it as any other bank account, have their salaries and pensions sent there and have them automatically converted to Bitcoin if they so wish)
- Each user will soon be able to order its own debit card that will use their EUR and BTC balance to honor purchases and cash withdrawals
- We'll have direct access to the banking networks which will let us 100% automate all incoming and outgoing transfers
- Corporations will have an actual financial institution talking with them if they wish to start accepting Bitcoin and be safe from a regulatory point of view
- Paymium will have a much better legal standing and a much higher attractivity for second and third-round investors
- Paymium will be in a much better position to make its vision become true : make all our transactions, be they denominated in crypto or fiat currency, flow through the pipes of the Bitcoin network
, that doesn't mean more hassle for our users, since we know exactly what is legally required we can already tell them that a simple ID will remain sufficient to fully verify an account.
It's a big day for me and Paymium, and it's a major milestone for this community.