France’s regulatory overseer for banking and insurance, the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), has formally approved a new scheme that will see Bitcoin sold as an over-the-counter coupon within the country’s highly regulated network of licensed tobacconists.
A roll-out of the software permitting the sales of Bitcoin in coupon format will take place from January 1st, 2019 – with approximately 4000 tobacconists participating in an initial scheme which will see BTC sold in 50 Euro, 100 Euro and 250 Euro formats.
Latest in a Series of Initiatives
The news, announced on French public radio this morning, has aroused significant commentary, particularly as France’s 26,000 tobacconists are something of a national institution, serving as the only licensed vendors for tightly regulated products such as cigarettes and lottery tickets, and often acting as a de-facto community hub, particularly in the country’s smaller towns and villages.
“This [crypto phenomenon] is going to disrupt everyday citizens and existing political power structures at one and the same time,” announced a commentator on French public radio this morning.
France’s current administration has adopted what has largely been seen as a constructive approach to the cryptocurrency phenomenon. The country has been the first – and so far only – G7 member state to have created a formal legislative framework for ICOs back in September, and announced a more simplified tax code for holders of Bitcoin and other digital assets earlier this month.