Beginning January 1, 2019, “Tabacs”, French tobacco shops, will begin offering Bitcoin coupons. This move will create thousands of points of sales selling Bitcoin throughout the country.
This new business model for tobacco shops will operate under the eye of the Central Bank, the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (translated: French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority, ACPR), the institution tasked with monitoring banks and insurance companies in France.
Beginning on the first of the year, consumers can purchase Bitcoin vouchers worth 50, 100, or 250 euros, at the 3,000 and 4,000 shops initially set up with the software to provide the service. The authorization issued by the ACPR is extended to the Fédération des Buralistes (translated: Federation of Tobacco shops) which has compiled more than 25,000 points of sales within the country. Tobacco users and soon-to-be crypto users have access to these shops 13 hours a day, everyday of the week. Customers will receive a ticket they can turn into bitcoin on the KeplerK website, according to the Federation of tobacconists at Europe.
The agreement was announced by Bimedia, the company that provides the POS machines for the tobacco shops, however the Bank of France denied any agreement with tobacconists.
“Contrary to what was stated this morning, (…) without prior verification, no agreement has been signed to allow the sale of bitcoin in tobacco shops,” said the institution in a statement. “No agreement is discussed or envisaged on the subject,” added the Bank of France.