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Tobacco Shops in France Begin Selling Bitcoin Without Regulatory Say-So

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A number of tobacco shops located in Paris, France, have begun selling Bitcoin (BTC) for fiat in spite of regulatory vagueness according to a report by Reuters.

According to the report, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency can now be bought at six tobacco shops that can be found around Paris. However, in a disproving report, French magazine Capital has expressed that there are as many as 24 shops that are already participating in the experiment that is being supported by Keplerk, which is a cryptocurrency wallet provider.

Capital claims that customers can buy Bitcoin for the sums of 50, 100 or 250 euros. The tobacco shop then gives clients a ticket with an alphanumeric code and a QR code, which can then be used to acquire the purchased bitcoins via Keplerk’s website. The magazine also said that Keplerk gets a 7 percent fee on each payment, 1.25 of which is given to the tobacco shop.

The co-founder of Keplerk, Adil Zakhar revealed to Reuters that he plans to expand the project to 6,500 tobacco shops next month.

France’s tobacco federation has reportedly already acquired consent to trade Bitcoin in its shops from the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR), an independent agency that functions under the purview of the French central bank.

However, on the same day that the news was published, the country’s central bank rebuked the reports, saying that it had not sanctioned any deals associated with cryptocurrencies.

Moreover, French stock market regulator (AMF) published a related statement cautioning the public of the risks associated with dealing with cryptocurrencies. In addition, the AMF claimed that PAYSAFEBIT SASU — the legal entity behind Keplerk — was not even licensed by the country’s governing bodies.

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