From Jan 1 of 2019, around 4000 French Tobacco stores will get a license to start selling Bitcoin to customers according to recent reports by France news site, Europe1.
This mainstream adoption of Bitcoin was made possible because The France Tobacco Commision got permission to sell bitcoins from the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR).
To this end, the Commision partnered with a crypto startup, KerplerK to issue bitcoin vouchers. Customers can buy these vouchers at tobacco shops for anywhere between 50, 100 and 250 euros and then redeem them on the KerplerK website.
The new process will make it easier for members of the public who already buy products such as cigarettes and phone vouchers also to buy Bitcoin. The little twist to the latest development is that the Central Bank of France has denied approving the move.
We’re Not In An Agreement With Tobacconists - French Central Bank
Following the announcement of the move, the French central bank issued a notice that the project was not approved by them but by the ACPR while operates independently from them.
The notice reads in part,
“Contrary to what was asserted this morning […] without prior verification, no such agreement has been signed with the aim of allowing Bitcoin sales by tobacconists. Also, no such deal is either being envisaged or under discussion.”
It is clear to understand this does not mean that the project will be canceled. Instead, it merely says that the central bank does not want to be held responsible for anything outcome of the approval.
As per the report, the French ACPR gave its consent to the move because “there is no choice.” The digital currency has already become a part of consumers buying behavior, and there was no reason to stop the penetration.
The government of France is already working towards the regulation of ICOs as we reported earlier. However, a clear decision on mainstream crypto usage such as in tobacco shops has not been announced by the government.
Whether the latest mode of crypto adoption leads to regulation in the country will be worth keeping an eye out for.