Buying crypto assets without getting scammed is a real obstacle course

The family bank Delubac & Cie has obtained its PSAN registration. It launches an offer for the purchase, sale and custody of crypto assets. Explanation from her managing partner Joël-Alexis Bialkiewicz.

The first French bank to obtain PSAN status from the AMF, Banque Delubac & Cie, is launching an offering in crypto assets. Why ?

Joel-Alexis Bialkiewicz: Personally, I have been interested in crypto assets for over ten years. Passionate about computer science since my youngest age, I have a PhD in theoretical computer science. I continued my career at the family bank. But in 2011, I started mining crypto assets on a personal basis. Thanks to my computer knowledge I can now fully understand the protocols used.

On a professional basis, the bank has decided to invest in crypto assets once a regulatory framework is in place. This was the case in 2019 with the Pacte Act, which then allowed the creation of the status of PSAN (service provider on digital assets). Last March we obtained this registration from the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). Since the middle of last year, we initially supported ecosystem players (platform, fintech, etc.) who often struggled to find a banking partner. Then we, as a banking institution, found it necessary to be able to guide our customers in crypto assets.

Why is support needed?

J.-AB.: Today, an investor faces a real obstacle course to buy crypto assets without getting scammed. There are thousands of sometimes erratic products. Some trading platforms have disappeared and taken away their clients’ assets. Several crypto-assets experience bugs in their protocols such as: ethereal classic (the ancestor of ethereum) but are still available for purchase. Others are not interested, such as dogecoin. Finally, there are very good tools to secure your assets such as Ledger or Trezor hardware wallets. But it still requires advanced computer knowledge and taking certain precautions. Anyway, it is very easy to make a mistake or get fooled by cyber criminals.

How does your offer differ?

J.-AB.: First, we offer the buy-sell and custody of three crypto assets: bitcoin, ethereum and tezos. The latter, less well-known, has similar characteristics to ethereum, but works with proof-of-stake (and not work), which requires much less power consumption. Next, we expand our selection to other crypto assets. But only for those we find interesting after a thorough analysis.

Our offer is aimed at companies, institutions and individuals. With only 100 euros, a private individual can open an account with us. He will thus have the guarantee that his crypto asset holdings are kept safe and in separate accounts. It will not be an operation analogous to a bank account, but a real vault dedicated to digital assets. As for a platform specializing in cryptocurrencies, it will have an online and mobile interface at its disposal. We reserve allocation advice for our private or professional clients.

What would be your tips for getting started with crypto assets?

J.-AB.: Many people think that jumping on the bandwagon is enough to make a lot of money. Some investors have even taken out a mortgage on their property to make massive investments. This is a serious mistake. You should be aware that it is possible to lose half your stake in one day! Crypto assets have a strong potential for upside but also downside effects. Only invest what you are willing to lose. But for a knowledgeable person, it would also be a mistake not to invest a small portion of his wealth in crypto assets. Like the internet bubble in the 2000s, some projects have survived and have shown promise. Today, the crypto asset market is full of innovations such as ICOs or NFTs, which we will also keep. But you have to figure it out and secure this kind of investment.

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