Paymium is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange, based in Paris, France (address: 73, rue du Chateau 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt). The legal information on Paymium’s website claims that it is a SAS with a capital of € 21 250, registered with the Registre du Commerce et des Sociétés de Nanterre Registry (Number 533 264 800). The platform was founded in 2011 and, according to its team, is “Europe’s first bitcoin exchange” (although this statement is in contradiction to Bitstamp’s claim to also be the first bitcoin exchange in Europe). It also highlights the statement of being the first European Bitcoin marketplace compliant with EU regulations on payment services. Paymium claims to be serving “several tens of thousands of European customers.” The information on its LinkedIn page is even more specific, pointing out on a customer base of 170 000 clients.
Paymium was founded by Pierre Noizat (alongside with Gonzague Grandval) who, at the time of this writing, serves as the CEO of the company. Prior to finding the exchange, he had worked at Orange, DirectTV, Canal+, and other companies in the field of security and cryptography. Noizat is also co-founder of the French Bitcoin Association. He is a renowned speaker on the topic of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, having talked at various conferences such as the Bitcoin Super Conference in Dallas, The New York Bitcoin Conference, Wired Retail in London, Vivatech, and PayForum in Paris.
Paymium claims to be offering the best rates on BTC/EUR trading. Regarding Bitcoin transfers, Paymium states that, in order to ensure maximum security, it processes transactions twice a day from Monday to Friday, plus once on Saturdays.
As a company, operating under the EU law, Paymium complies with GDPR and KYC policies. In its “Terms and Conditions”, the exchange clarifies that due to adhering to the Article R. 561-16-1 of the French Monetary and Financial Code, all clients should provide the platform with the following documents - a color scanned copy of a valid state-issued identity document (an ID card, a passport, a driver’s license or a residence/work permit) and a color scanned copy of a utility bill (water, gas, electricity, internet, telephone operator) dated from less than three months ago. For corporate clients, Paymium requires a scanned copy of the Company Statutes signed or authenticated, a certificate of corporate registration, dated from less than 3 months ago, a color scanned copy of a valid state-issued identity document bearing the name of the Director mentioned in the Statutes, and a color scanned copy of a utility bill with the name of the Director, dated from less than three months ago. The exchange also serves non-profit organizations. In order to register for its services, one should provide a copy of the registration document, a proof of activity (Balance Sheet, P&L, etc.), a list of the beneficial owners, an ID document of the beneficial owners that hold more than 25% of shares, and a bank detail information. Paymium claims to be storing the details mentioned above for five years after the end of its relationship with the particular client.
When it comes to customer support, it is worth noting that Paymium does a good job of ensuring a variety of support channels, such as email, social media, and a ticket system. The support is available Monday to Friday during regular business hours.
It is worth noting that in 2018, Paymium’s founders launched another platform as well. Blockchain.io, described by its team as a “Gateway to the Internet of Value” and the “European cryptocurrency exchange of trust for individual and institutional traders and investors”, is also headquartered in Paris and operates under the same European regulations as Paymium. The main difference between both exchanges is that Paymium operates as a cryptocurrency to fiat venue, while Blockchain.io operates as a cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency platform. Aside from that, Blockchain.io uses decentralized trade settlement.
When it comes to the exchange’s reputation, it is worth noting that there are several threads on Bitcointalk where different users accuse people, associated with Paymium (David François and Gonzague Grandval in particular), who happen to be also founders of Instawallet (an online wallet that was hacked several times) of running a scam scheme through the exchange. Several users report of lost funds, lack of assistance from the customer support, and blocked accounts.
However, this isn’t the only controversy related to Paymium and its founders. According to a Bitcointalk thread from April 2013 and claims from Paymium’s founder, Pierre Noizat, the exchange’s wallet service provider (Instawallet, his other company) had been hacked. Instawallet didn't reveal how many bitcoins were stolen nor the number of the affected wallets. However, they issued a statement saying that they had filed a police report about the case. In the Bitcointalk threads where Pierre Noizat took part to explain the problem, he was asked several times to provide the number of the police report that Paymium filed. However, he avoided answering, thus failed to provide any real proof that the report was filed indeed. All this made the scenario of an organized scam scheme way more probable.
Aside from that, Blockchain.io (Noizat’s other project) was sued by Blockchain.com for false advertising and trademark infringement. Blockchain.com even filed a SEC report. The New York Southern District Court denied motions by Paymium to dismiss the case. The court also found false statements, coming from Paymium, regarding filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), issued as an effort to save its face in front of its clients. At the time of this writing, the investigation is still in progress.