Cryptocurrency news: French tobacco shops to sell Bitcoin in 2019

French tobacco retailers are getting ready to sell Bitcoin to their customers next year, in a bid to bring crypto to the forefront of European retail.

Bitcoin to be sold at French tobacco shops
Source: Bloomberg

While the crypto-craze may be fading, in France it’s just about to begin. Bitcoins will be sold at some of France’s tobacco shops as early as next year.

The brains behind the initiative is French fintech company, Keplerk, who said said it has secured a contract with a local cash register software provider to give tobacco shops the option to sell cryptocurrency to their customers.

Keplerk said the tobacco shop owners will sell customers a voucher which can be used to obtain bitcoins via an electronic wallet owned by Keplerk.

The tobacco shops will be the first brick and mortar shops to sell bitcoins anywhere in the world.

"Tobacco shop owners are the best channel as they are trusted by customers and they are used to sell vouchers such as credit for mobile phones," said Keplerk's director for strategy and development, Adil Zakhar.

Keplerk said it will charge a 7% commission fee on every transaction to help finance the initiative.

The crypto project has been in the works for the past year and a half, but not all are on-board.

Bitcoin critics cautious after fall

French regulators, and the country's central bank, have warned customers about the potential risks associated with investing into cryptocurrencies. The central bank said it does not administer the Keplerk project.

"Those are purely speculative assets and not currencies.

Those who invest in bitcoin or other crypto-assets do it at their own risk," the Central Bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

Many investors remain critical of crypto, after Bitcoin lost three-quarters of its value, falling below $4,500 on Tuesday.

The fall began to show last Wednesday where Bitcoin was trading at US$6,386.73, before making a sudden plunge to around US$6,268.78 the next day and shedding 13.78% in under 7 hours.

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