“France will kill innovation in the blockchain”, estimates Hasheur, specialist in cryptocurrencies

Time, Owen Simonin, doesn’t have much. At 24, this successful entrepreneur runs Just Mining, the cryptocurrency investment platform he created in 2017. He is also, under the name of Hasheur, the most listened to influencer in France in the field. cryptocurrencies. And yet, it is long enough that he will speak on Tuesday, during the Assises Ethique et technologies du futur, organized in Laval by West France and Laval Virtual, and of which 20 Minutes is a partner. Has the dollar had its day? Is there still time to take a look at bitcoin? Owen Simonin spent 20 minutes with us to decipher the news of the moment …

Your YouTube channel has over 350,000 subscribers looking for cryptocurrency news. Bitcoin has definitely left its niche of experts …

We are in a middle ground. Mr. Everyone does indeed have easy access to cryptocurrencies, yet it is still a market that only those who are interested in the evolution of our world really look at. But we understood that if it was not yet obvious to everyone, it will be one day.

In Central America, that day is near. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele approved bitcoin as a legal currency on June 9. An important step for cryptocurrencies?

Especially on paper, because on a human scale, it only concerns 6 million people, a drop of water. But it shows those who doubted that Bitcoin is a real currency, which fulfills the three functions defined by Aristotle. Bitcoin is a medium of exchange, a unit of account and a store of value.

A volatile reserve, with particularly unstable prices …

Go tell that to those who live in a country where there is 30% inflation per week. Bitcoin is very, very young, so it’s normal for it to be volatile. But yes, Bitcoin is a currency with real organic value. Besides, if it is worth more than 34,000 dollars as I speak to you, it is because millions of people agree that it is worth so much.

At the same time, China is suspending cryptocurrency mining in Sichuan, one of the leading provinces in this area. Are there reasons to worry about the future of this cryptocurrency?

I cannot judge for the moment. No one knows what is on the mind of China. We have the impression that what bothers them is not bitcoin per se, but this very free system, this blockchain that works without God, without an omnipotent central body.

It is not the environmental cost of mining that motivates this decision?

It’s an excuse. Bitcoin consumes energy, it is true, but it is to this day one of the few resources that man knows how to generate in a renewable manner. In fact, much of this energy is green. And the bulk of transactions do not go through bitcoin but through other blockchains that consume much less. This debate is meaningless but it makes people talk. And bitcoin needs this to grow. If we don’t talk about it, people don’t care and don’t take the time to really understand what’s behind it.

In 2017, the criticisms concerned more the use of bitcoin by mafias for their illegal activities …

This is true, but nowadays a major and serious media that would say that bitcoin is used for money laundering is being dragged in the mud by its community. With Bitcoin, you are not anonymous but a pseudonym, hidden behind addresses. When the sales platforms put in place anti-money laundering measures and established who is behind each address, we quickly saw large child pornography sites fall. Not because they were using Bitcoin. No, it was over for a long, long time. But because they had used it years before, thinking they weren’t traceable. Using bitcoin for this type of activity is setting your death date in stone. We don’t know when or how, but we know it’s going to hit us. It’s silly.

One can imagine that this ability to track transactions motivates countries which, like China, want to create their own central bank digital currency …

The blockchain is like a pickaxe: a wonderful tool, which can also be driven into the skull of your neighbor. What I mean is that through its e-yuan project, China can make a neutral cryptocurrency, governed by the whole world, transparent for the people and for the State, but we will undoubtedly have an e- very different yuan. With citizens who will not be able to see anything in the blockchain, a state that will know who owns what, will be able to levy the tax at source and decide to transform a 10 note into an 8 note in one click if it wishes. At this stage, we must recognize that we do not know …

For its part, the ECB is considering its own digital version of the Euro. A version which, she assures, will put the protection of privacy at the center of its concerns. Is it credible?

For me, it will still be a restriction. Less serious than in China, because here we protect freedom of thought. But one can imagine that, thanks to this digital version of the euro, the governments will have visibility on everything, will be able to recover VAT easily, to fight against moonlighting. They are going to sweep away a part of the economy that they did not control until then.

Are these projects still compatible with the original spirit of cryptos?

By creating Bitcoin, we wanted to do technologically what no one had managed to do: embody trust. If you and I don’t know each other, thanks to this technology, we will be able to trust each other during a transaction because the algorithm, transparent and agnostic, oversees this exchange. The algorithm doesn’t care about our skin color, our gender or our religion. And it was about time!

And today, do you have the impression that the general public has confidence?

No, because you only trust Bitcoin when you understand how it works. Unfortunately, many people associate confidence with stability. Bitcoin may well lose 50% of its value tonight, but its technology will nonetheless be reliable and secure. A person who has understood this financial mechanism will know that the confidence we have in Bitcoin does not have to come from the money we have won or lost with it. It comes from protocol and its nature, from the fact that it is inviolable.

Your company Just Mining is one of the first in the sector to have obtained the PSAN status issued by the financial markets authority and which guarantees the reliability of the registered platforms. This type of official approval, issued by a centralized body, is also what gives the general public confidence …

PSAN kills the whole ecosystem. Because to succeed in having it, you need big resources, a complete, large team. For those who have it, it is very rewarding. It encouraged big institutions to come to us. It is proof of seriousness which also shows how rigorous France is. But the entrepreneur that I was five years ago who, thanks to an incremental journey, took the time to make mistakes, has absolutely no chance of success in France. I know five or six geniuses of cryptocurrency in France. They are all gone and they are right. This country is going to kill blockchain innovation. We want to protect everyone, that’s normal. But we cannot have innovation and security. It is a question of the cursor: it cannot be “0 or 1”. And France, unfortunately, makes a “1” …

 
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