Iceblock: Supporting Asset Managers

Interview by Cryptonews of Alexis Abric, CEO and co-founded Iceblock, a startup offering a turnkey cryptocurrency investment solution for asset managers. The company has recently obtained its registration as a Digital Asset Service Provider (Psan), a coveted certification issued by the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF).

How did you enter the crypto space?

I entered the cryptocurrency space in 2017 as an investor and researcher in blockchain technology, leading me to contribute articles on the subject. I subsequently worked within the French ecosystem, notably with Equisafe, the first company to tokenize real estate on Ethereum. After two years in the Crypto Valley in Zug, Switzerland, where I supported companies like Aave, Swissborg, YouHodler, and smaller startups, leveraging my track record, I co-founded Iceblock with two partners in 2021.

What was the initial idea behind this project?

In 2021, amidst a soaring market, many in our network sought our advice to invest in cryptocurrencies based on our performance. Recognizing the potential risk of investing at the market's peak, we aimed to provide a rational investment strategy.

Can you define your solution? Is it an exchange?

It's a "crypto-as-a-service," meaning we aspire to be a "plug and play" solution for a family office or asset manager looking to integrate cryptocurrencies into their financial services and product portfolio. By using Iceblock, they could deploy their clients' capital into the crypto market with a SEPA transfer. We provide the infrastructure, including Fireblocks and AML and CTF procedures specific to the digital asset market, utilizing solutions like Scorechain or Syndicate.

Do you see strong demand from asset managers for crypto right now?

With the crypto market on the rise and the stock market relatively stable, demand from high-net-worth individuals for cryptocurrencies is indeed returning. However, it remains a modest demand within an overall portfolio strategy.

How many cryptocurrencies do you offer?

Our portfolios range from 3 to 39 cryptocurrencies, all with market capitalizations exceeding $200 million. We do not seek short-term volatility but aim to invest in the long-term growth of technology.

Why are you registered in France and not in Zug, Switzerland?

When I wanted to create Iceblock with my partners, Psan was gaining momentum in France. It was our home country, and Psan opens the door to MiCA in the long term, which Switzerland did not offer. It was a good legal opportunity and a stable legal framework to rely on in the long term.

How long does the Psan registration process take today?

We initiated the process in late January 2023 and were registered in October 2023. It's a relatively lengthy procedure, but I take this opportunity to commend the work of the AMF and the ACPR, who assisted us and were very proactive. A pleasant surprise for us.

What does this registration represent for you?

Everything! If we were not Psan, no asset manager would listen to us. For them, it's the minimum requirement. Without validation from these two institutional bodies, it's not even worth approaching them.

What are your development plans in the coming months?

We would like to create portfolios related to market sectors to be even more risk-adapted, allowing each asset manager to compose their portfolios. We also aim to continue developing our platform, enabling real-time visualization of our investors' performances.

Legally, the goal is to obtain the status of a Crypto Asset Service Provider (CASP) included in MiCA as soon as possible, starting from 2025. Countries like Germany, Belgium, or Luxembourg could be highly relevant for us.

Original article in French:

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