Tobacco Shops in Paris Selling Bitcoin for Cash

Several tobacco shops in Paris, France, have just started selling Bitcoin (BTC) despite regulatory uncertainty, according to a Reuters report. On Tuesday, Jan. 8. Reuters noted that the world’s largest cryptocurrency is now available at six tobacco shops throughout Paris. However, according to the French magazine Capital, there are as many as 24 shops currently participating in the experiment backed by the French cryptocurrency wallet provider, Keplerk.

Adil Zakhar, the co-founder of Keplerk stated that it’s sometimes difficult for certain people to buy Bitcoin online because “they trust their local tobacco shop owner more than they would trust some remote anonymous website,” he said.

Late last year, Keplerk secured a contract with a local cash-register software provider in order to include an option for Tabac owners to sell vouchers redeemable for bitcoins in an electronic wallet that is held on the company platform.

Featured in the Reuters report, Cyril Azria, a tech enthusiast who was one of the first buyers declared: “I’ll use the bitcoins to buy some computer material on the internet and the rest to speculate,”
“It’s a good time to buy,” he said, after spending 150 euros on the crypto-currency.

A sticker of French startup Keplerk, indicating that clients can purchase bitcoins, is seen on a tobacco shop at Rueil-Malmaison, France, January 8, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

In November 2018, France’s tobacco federation obtained permission to trade Bitcoin in its shops from the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR), an independent agency that operates under the auspices of the French central bank. However, on the same day that the news broke, the country’s central bank denied the reports, saying that it had not passed any deals related to cryptocurrencies.

Moreover, French stock market regulator (AMF) issued a related statement reminding the public of the risks of dealing with digital assets. In addition to that, this institution stated the legal entity behind Keplerk, which is PAYSAFEBIT SASU, was not licensed by French authorities. Nonetheless, in a recent article according to Reuters it was reported that the French government has not imposed any ban on selling Bitcoin at tobacco shops.

It seems that France is continuing on demonstrating a mixed attitude towards cryptocurrencies for instance on December 2018, the French parliament rejected the majority of crypto-related amendments to the 2019 finance bill. This amendments were expected to ease taxation for entrepreneurs and traders.

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Khalil Liouane

Computer Engineering student, interested in blockchain tech startups creating innovative solutions that can shape a better future.If you are one of those startups email me: contact@decentral.news

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