Tobacco shops in France have pressed ahead with plans to sell Bitcoin coupons. And the scheme is now live…
by Manoj Sharma for CNR
UPDATE: After a little confusion that at one stage suggesting French tobacco stores didn’t have permission to start selling Bitcoin, coupons for the currency have now gone on sale in 24 ‘tabacs’ in Paris. By Easter, over 6000 stores around France are expected to be offering the coupons, as per our news report from last November (see below).
French regulators at one stage had seemed to threaten to block the scheme. But, as per a Reuters report, it’s gone live this month.
Here’s that earlier story…
According to Europe 1, French shops popularly known as ‘Tabacs’ will be able to sell Bitcoin coupons from January 2019.
The tobacco shops in France are now authorized to sell digital currencies effective from the 1st of January 2019. The issuer of authorization, the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR), is the institution charged with monitoring all the transactions made by insurance companies and banks.
As per regulations, the tobacco shops can sell prepaid Bitcoin coupons, which will represent different values, ranging from 50 to 250 Euros. The software will be installed at the shops to allow direct purchase of these coupons.
The provider of the software, Bimedia, has also signed a further agreement. KeplerK, a cryptocurrency exchange, will allow the shops to offer digital assets. Anyone can buy the coupons and exchange them for cryptocurrencies allowed by KeplerK.
Commenting on this move by France’s government, Philippe Coy, the president of the Confederation of Tobacconists, said “it brings us closer to modern times of consumption, and brings us closer to the consumers”.
The supervisor of ACRP validated the process of buying cryptocurrencies for a pretty plain and simple reason: “there is no choice. Cryptocurrency is becoming a global currency, and it is better to accompany this inevitable movement as well as market and consumer demand.”
And that’s what’s got this over the line. Thus, from January, Bitcoin will have a retail face in French streets.