France’s 26000 Tobacconists Licensed to Sell Bitcoin Coupons from January 2019

France’s 26000 Tobacconists Licensed to Sell Bitcoin Coupons from January 2019

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.