Cryptocurrencies: Toulouse users seek even more freedom despite instability

Bitcoins fresh out of the oven are placed on the table in the middle of the guests. A bar in Toulouse has turned this virtual currency into sweet delicacies. Attention to customers like no other. Ten people who were present that evening at the Bon Mixture in Blagnac (Haute-Garonne) meet over craft beers to discuss the latest cryptocurrency news. All the guests of the evening have one thing in common: they are investors in virtual currencies, but above all, enthusiasts of this technology, originally gathered in a Telegram group dedicated to the Toulouse cryptocurrency community.

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Despite the recent turmoil that their universe of virtual currencies has faced, there seems to be serenity in this hilarious moment. “You have to know how to survive the cycles, i.e. buy a cryptocurrency and hold it for at least three to four years, in which case you are fine. Cryptocurrency is not a short-term market,” says Hadrien, a 29-year-old wealth advisor from Toulouse and an investor in cryptocurrencies for several years. Although the fall of Silicon Valley Bank caused a small wave of panic in decentralized finance, all these investors are unanimous on one thing: stay calm in the face of lottery-like market volatility. “This is a hyper-gaming market, so its volatility is normal,” counters Valentin, also an investor in cryptocurrencies and a member of the same Telegram group that brings together 185 people in the Pink City.

“It’s true, we are in an abyss in the market. But the cryptocurrency market is cyclical in nature. After the rise in the price of bitcoin, there is always a correction,” comments Thomas Perrin, a former space engineer who is now engaged in due diligence of digital currencies.

Crazy curves that attract

If the market is currently going through a tough bear market period (a steady downward trend in financial value), it was primarily talked about because of its strong bull run (reverse trend). Bitcoin today exceeds 23,000 euros, but first of all it exceeded 53,000 euros in September 2021 after several months of endless growth. “It was this speculative side that attracted me to this,” says Nathan, co-owner of Le Bon Mixture, an establishment that has been accepting payments in cryptocurrencies for several months now.

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“There are a lot of tourists in the community who just walk by because they are attracted to the exponential curves. There is a dream to win the jackpot every time, let’s not hide it. For my part, I have been really trying for a year and a half to make my investments grow, but this remains primarily a passion, and not an absolute desire for financial gain, ”Valentin again testifies.

“Working in cryptocurrencies thinking about making money easily is the best way for me to lose it,” says Gregory Guittard, editorial director of Journal du Coin, which made the decision in 2022 to move all of its assets out of the decentralized financial system in the face of stress. despite his passion for the subject. And all these successes are based on the moral and practical golden rule: invest only those amounts that the cryptocurrency holder can lose.

Break away from the traditional banking system

For all users, this financial risk is also associated with distrust of the traditional banking system and the desire for freedom in order to break free from it. “My brother lives abroad, and when we want to send money to each other, we use cryptocurrencies, which are much faster and cheaper in transaction fees than banks,” says Heritage management consultant.

The latter, who also does not advise his clients on this matter, has decided to place part of his Livret A in a stablecoin, a cryptocurrency whose value correlates with the value of a fiat currency. With this investment, Adrian feels like his own bank, facing resistance from French banking players. “When in the past I wanted to buy cryptocurrency and informed my bank about it, they blocked my account for almost three days, warning me about the content of the transaction and its marking. So I couldn’t invest in time. However, cryptocurrency is the most transparent. Everything is recorded on the blockchain,” recalls Valentin, who is now a developer at ESN Web-atrio in Toulouse due to his work with virtual currencies.

“Blockchain is an open book. Everything is dated, falsification is excluded,” continues Hadrien.

“We can’t invest in France the way we want, it’s terrible,” adds former space engineer Thomas. This transparency and this freedom to invest in the blockchain where they want is an infallible guarantee of trust for its users, far beyond what can be experienced with traditional banks.

Offline learning

In addition, the sense of belonging to one’s “crypto” heritage is stronger than that which can be evoked by depositing in a traditional account. “With 1,000 euros in cryptocurrencies, we can access tools and investments that are usually not possible for the average person who does not have at least 500,000 euros or even a million in the regular banking system,” adds Hadrien. Premium marketplaces accessed by near-unanimous offline learning.

“During my incarceration, I had nothing to do and started consuming all the content on the subject like a bulimic because it was mentioned in the media and on the Internet,” recalls Nathan, who runs Le Bon Mixture. “I started getting interested in cryptocurrencies in December 2020. I trained quite quickly by watching videos, and fortunately I invested in a key period when it happened twice a day,” Thomas Perrin from Yellow Consulting testifies of him. But raising awareness of digital assets isn’t just about content consumption. In Toulouse, as elsewhere in France, more or less professional organizations with a more or less short existence offer mostly online training on the subject. “I have been learning blockchain through distance courses offered by Alyra,” illustrates, for example, Greg, a computer scientist and regular consumer of Good Blend and especially its “crypto” aperitifs to improve his portfolio of virtual currencies.

According to a study by KPMG since the beginning of 2022, 8% of the French have already invested in cryptocurrencies. This is more than the 6.7% share of the French who own shares in the company, according to the same study.

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