It’s been a couple of weeks since La Maison du Bitcoin (‘The House of Bitcoin’) had opened its doors to the public in Paris. We’ve decided that it’s time to have a chat with one of co-funders Eric Larchevêque and ask about first achievements and difficulties he and his team team have faced so far.
La Maison du Bitcoin is a 220-square-metre space that is located in the heart of the city and offers flexible co-working space and assistance for Bitcoin companies, along with workshops, hackathons, meetups and a Lamassu bitcoin ATM.
Eric Larchevêque says: ‘Since the launch, we have had a constant influx of a few dozens of visitors per day. Majority is ‘Bitcoin curious’ and we spend a lot of time explaining the basics. The ATM is mostly used by seasoned bitcoiners as a very convenient way to access Bitcoins’.
Eric also says that they will start advertising services of La Maison du Bitcoin (mainly exchange and ATM) in September, when centre will be fully operating. For now, extensive media coverage as well as word-of-mouth marketing is driving all the publicity.
The House of Bitcoin is open for the visitors Monday through Friday from 9AM – 7PM. Talking about startups there are 3 of them in the house already:
Chronocoin allows buying BTC with credit card and receiving them on a card by DHL.
BTChip offers hardware wallets to secure BTC holdings.
MasterXchange is for BTC/Mastercoin exchange.
The plan of La Maison du Bitcoin is to reach 10 more startups, so space will be fully packed. In order to join The House of Bitcoin startupers have to meet two requirements: one strong CTO and a fully Bitcoin related project with an impressive technical approach.
When we asked Eric about the difference between The House of Bitcoin in Paris and the others of its kind, he said: ‘We try to be ‘meta’: cater to the general public (evangelization), the enterprises (training), the bitcoiners (BTC exchange) and the entrepreneurs (cowork)’.
La Maison du Bitcoin is operating under the jurisdiction of France and EU. They are a fully incorporated French company. Right now regulation of Bitcoin in Europe is still a question, so Eric Larchevêque and his team are negotiating with regulators to explain their major motives and goals and not to bring down the innovation.
When talking about outlook of other cryptocurrencies like Litecoin or Dogecoin in The House of Bitcoin, Eric says: ‘It is not in our vision. We are trying to be focused on Bitcoin, mainly for image/comprehension reasons. It is already a very complex endeavor, adding other cryptos would be too confusing. Of course, all cryptos and technologies are welcome for our startups’.
For the end we asked Eric if they trade or/and mine Bitcoins in The House of Bitcoin? He said: ‘We do not trade at all. We mine for educational and demonstration purposes, so we don’t pay much of an attention to mining pools. I don’t trade or mine personally’.
Now we’re waiting for the next trip to Paris, so we could visit La Maison du Bitcoin. If you’re lucky to live in there – don’t hesitate walking in, meeting Eric or someone from the team and chatting about Bitcoin. And please, leave us a comment on how did you like The House of Bitcoin.