According to reports Thursday 22nd November 2018, tobacco shops in France will be allowed to trade Bitcoin beginning January 2019. The news comes as a boost to the cryptocurrency space in France in what many have termed a rough year for cryptocurrencies across the globe. Tobacco shops will trade bitcoin through a partnership with French Fintech startup Keplerk.
It is reported that this initiative will affect roughly 24,000 tobacco shops in France. Buyers will get bitcoins in form of vouchers. The vouchers can get cashed in through Keplerk’s wallet. For every transaction, Keplerk will demand a 7% commission fee.
“The best channels to use to obtain cryptocurrency will be tobacco shop owners. They have the trust of customers and are also used to sell vouchers in the form of lottery tickets or as credit for mobile phones,” remarked Adil Zakhar, Keplerk director.
The Bank of France remarked that the monetary authority wasn’t going to supervise this project by Keplerk. It has warned French citizens on the various risks involved with buying cryptocurrencies from tobacco shop owners especially from those who had no knowledge of cryptocurrency.
“Cryptocurrencies are speculative assets. They are not currencies. Those who choose to invest in Bitcoin or other Crypto-assets do so at their own risk,” read a statement from the central bank of France.
Similar cryptocurrency trade initiatives have been launched especially in European countries. Earlier this year, a cryptocurrency trade project was launched in Australia. News-stands partnered with the Australian cryptocurrency agency, a partnership that authorized them to trade Bitcoin and Ether.
In July 2017, Austrian startup BitPanda entered into a partnership with Osterreichische Post, the country’s postal service. The partnership was forged with an aim of offering cryptocurrency vouchers. Bitcoin, ether, litecoin, and dash are some of the cryptocurrencies that trade at the postal service outlets. Buyers get the coins in denominations of 50, 100 and 500 EUR. 10,400 branches of the Osterreichische Post were authorized to trade cryptocurrencies.