Côme Prost-Boucle (Coinbase): "Having Coinbase in France is excellent news for the entire ecosystem".

Côme Prost-Boucle (Coinbase): "Having Coinbase in France is excellent news for the entire ecosystem".

Côme Prost-Boucle, who took over as head of Coinbase France two months ago, has been busy meeting with the crypto industry. His aim? To make the American platform the new heavyweight on the French market.

Arrived at the helm of Coinbase France two months ago, Côme Prost-Boucle has been stepping up his meetings with the crypto industry. His aim? To make the US platform the new heavyweight on the French market.

You took over as head of Coinbase France in February. How did your first two months go?

Very well, even if it was very intense with NFT Paris in February and Paris Blockchain Week in April! These are two not-to-be-missed events that show just how important a market France has become. In fact, that's why we set up an office in Paris.

What does France represent for Coinbase?

As the report by the Association for the Development of Digital Assets (Adan) showed very well, France is an important market for the crypto industry. More than one in ten French people have already bought cryptos (12%) and we are convinced that these figures will increase further to approach those of the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

The Adan report also showed that Coinbase already has more than 10% market share in France. Is it an advantage to arrive with an existing customer base?

Yes of course, and we want to build on that user base. Over the next few months, we'll be working on adapting our products as closely as possible to our French audience. We need to have the best onboarding, the best trading platform, and of course we will continue to listen to our customers.

The arrival of Coinbase in France has not attracted the same criticism as that of Binance in 2022. How do you explain this?

Effectively, but without going into too much detail on the subject, I think it's because Coinbase has an excellent reputation. We've been around for over 10 years, we're listed on the stock exchange, we're regulated and we have tens of millions of customers. Having a brand like Coinbase in France is great news for the whole ecosystem.

In a previous interview with us, Nana Marugesan explained that Coinbase didn't want to do everything itself, but that it needed partnerships. What partnerships are you planning in France?

Coinbase's objective is to offer the best possible services everywhere in the world. Partnering with local players has always been our strategy. That's what we're working on in France. We are in discussion with many of them.

Are you planning any specific announcements such as job creations or a programme for start-ups? Without always wanting to compare you, when it arrived in France, Binance created a programme for start-ups in partnership with Station F, which is the biggest incubator in Europe.

Yes of course, we want to be the leader in France so we're going to do a lot of things, but not necessarily in the same way as our competitors. Given that we want to bring in 1 billion users of onchain products, we're going to use all the means at our disposal to get there, and in particular to help developers create the right tools and applications.

Speaking of applications, your blockchain Base is enjoying some success. Is this also the case in France? Do you have any Base developers in France?

We organised our first Hackathon on Base during NFT Paris and we want to do others. We're seeing a real buzz around Base, which has become a pretty incredible asset for us. To get 1 billion people on board with onchain products, we'll need applications and it's on Base that we're going to create these applications.

On the model of what Apple has been able to do with the App Store?

That's one way of looking at it.

Are you more focused on retail or enterprise?

Coinbase has 3 pillars. There's the infrastructure part with Base, there are obviously retail customers and finally corporate customers who are investment funds, asset managers and banks. There is considerable interest from institutional clients, especially in Europe.

What is your objective for the end of the year in France?

We want to become the leaders in France, so that means increasing our number of users and our revenues. 80% of our revenues still come from the United States, so we need to strengthen markets like France.

The European MiCA regulation is dividing the industry. Some are playing the very good pupil while others explain that they will ignore MiCA. Which side do you come down on?

We are clearly on the side of regulation. It's common knowledge that we see MiCA as an opportunity for Europe. Giving visibility to start-ups in the ecosystem is fundamental. Some of the US industry and developers have moved to Europe precisely because there is visibility and regulatory stability.

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