Category Archives: france cryptocurrency news

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France’s Yellow Vests Movement to Use Cryptocurrencies for Their Bank Initiative

Yellow Vests

The Gilets Jaunes, also known as The Yellow Vests may use cryptocurrencies to power their “bank run.” The banking move was announced on 7 January, aiming at the destabilization of France’s financial system by using social media accounts.

The movement has termed the bank run as a “Collectors’ Referendum.” In this latest demonstration, the public is expected to withdraw their savings from the banks and other financial institutions, at once, on 12 January. Although no mentions of the cryptocurrencies have been made yet, the demonstration can potentially benefit the cryptocurrency sector.

The bank run is indeed an act in which a lot of people withdraw their money from a particular bank. It is usually done when the public fears that the respective bank might not be able to function in the future.

In such a situation, the public may use bonds, insurances, gold or cryptocurrencies in place of the fiat currency. The decentralized structure of the blockchain technology, offering independence from banks, is certainly attractive because banks are closing up in the French small towns where the yellow vest movement draws most of its strength from. Along with that, some protestors were recently seen wearing the Yellow Vests saying “Buy Bitcoin”.

So it can be expected that the Yellow Vests may ask their supporters to turn towards cryptocurrencies. Recently, the success of blockchain-based money transfers in Venezuela has shown a way to the public across the world to opt for blockchain in a state of political turmoil.

Although the Yellow Vests may have taken the inspiration from history, it is important to note that in the past, bank runs happened due to uncertainty and rumors rather than on a voluntary basis. For example, the bank runs during the Great Depression and recently in the 2007-08 financial crises happened naturally. Hence, it would be a challenge to pull out such a grand scale bank run. Nevertheless, the cryptoverse may eye such an opportunity and show the world its true potential.

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French Tobacco Retailers to Sell Bitcoin Gift Cards Despite Regulatory Issues


Tobacco shops in France are now going to offer Bitcoin vouchers despite possible backlash from the authorities. Paris-based fintech company KeplerK has recently signed a contract with six tobacco centers in Paris, who are expected to have bitcoin vouchers from now on. These vouchers are similar to the gift cards offered by retailers. Using  KeplerK’s crypto wallet, the customers can claim the digital currency in lieu of these vouchers.

KeplerK co-founder Adil Zakhar stated that he expects the total number of tobacco outlets selling Bitcoin vouchers to reach 100 by Sunday. The company is also looking to increase this number to 6,500 by February, he added. This would enable more new users to join the cryptoverse.

Zakhar said that at the moment, people find it difficult to buy Bitcoin online. Moreover, the trust factor is also lacking. Therefore, the company aims to utilize the customer-tobacco seller relationship, which is based on trust.

The company might face regulatory roadblocks, however.

Apparently, French regulators are unsure about the legal status of KeplerK or the entity PAYSAFEBIT SASU, which is supporting the startup. It claims to have obtained an operational approval from Autorité Des Marchés Financiers (AMF). However, the liquidity status of the company is still under question. An excerpt from the French regulator’s statement states that the PAYSAFEBIT SASU (capital of EUR 50,000) is using KeplerK as a trading name. However, it has not acquired any regulatory approval from French or European authorities.

Although these vouchers may be attractive for the tobacco sellers, the customers might still be unaware of how to utilize them. Conventional gift cards are still preferred and it will take some effort for the tobacco retailers to make it popular. Couple it with the regulatory issues and it will be a difficult, but possibly achievable, proposition for KeplerK.


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French Stock Market Regulator Bans 21 Crypto-Related Websites

The French markets regulator has announced that it has blacklisted 20 new investment websites, mostly cryptocurrency-related ventures. The Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF) has maintained a blacklist for some time but, the recent addition to the list is much more wide-ranging than any other steps taken by the authority.

The reasons given for the blacklisting of these exchanges are “unauthorized operations and atypical investments”. These terms are normally used by the authorities to ban crypto-related projects and they can cover everything from scams to usual exchange operations. The AMD also advised French citizens investing in these new projects that “no advertising materials should make you overlook the fact that high returns always involve high risk”.

The move follows a similar trend in the region of blacklisting of cryptocurrency exchanges, including a recent example set by the Belgian watchdog Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) that added almost 28 new sites to its crypto-specific fraud list earlier this month. The Belgian authority also warned citizens against investing with fraudulent schemes.

While France is welcoming more and more cryptocurrency and blockchain projects in the country, the AMF is also getting sweeping powers to grant licenses to new initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the country. The French government is hopeful that with commons sense legislation and legal framework, it will be able to attract investors from around the world.

Under the new set of rules, any company aiming to operate in the country will have to apply for a license with the AMF and provide detailed information regarding offer and issuer. Additional measures are also in place for new ICOs to protect investors from scams.


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Europe: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 27th April to 3rd May 2018


Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

European Union

European Commission to employ blockchain in fight against fake news: The European Commission (EC) has recently singled out the widespread issue of fake news on the internet as a major issue and is now looking to employ distributed ledger technology (DLT) to stop the spread of fake news on social media and on the web.

The first step from the EC will be to implement a ‘Code of Practice on Disinformation’, an EU program that is slated for publication by July 2018. The EC is saying that blockchain applications can help provide transparency and reliability of news on the internet. According to a press release announced on this subject:

“Innovative technologies, such as blockchain, can help preserve the integrity of content, validate the reliability of information and/or its sources, enable transparency and traceability, and promote trust in news displayed on the Internet.”


Lawyers file case against hacked crypto exchange BitGrail: BitGrail exchange’s troubles continue as a group of lawyers representing the victim traders whose digital currencies were lost during a recent hack on the BitGrail exchange filed a convincing case against the exchange.

The original hacking of the exchange was in February 2018 and saw a mammoth 17 million Nano tokens hacked worth around USD 187 million at the time. The exchange will probably have to file for bankruptcy if the verdict comes against it.


Authorities drop crypto tax after appeal by crypto community: The French government has eased gains taxes on cryptocurrencies after a Conseil d’Etat (Council of State) decision taken during this week. Previously, they could have been as much as 45% for larger users which, coupled with social security contributions, would see it swell to a whopping 62% but, the French government reduced it to 19% according to French Daily Le Monde.

Cryptocurrencies have also been placed in a category called “movable property” but crypto mining falls into a different category than trading. The move follows mixed reactions from the state machinery and government in France with the former proposing a ban and the latter easing restrictions to attract cryptocurrency investment in the country.

United Kingdom

Crypto union pushing UK government to regulate blockchain industry: While regulations are often seen as roadblocks, the British cryptocurrency union called CryptoUK is urging the government and the treasury to help regulate the industry in the country. The self-regulatory union is made up of eight members and they have been approaching influential MPs to use the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to regulate the industry.

The chair of CryptoUK and UK managing director of trading platform eToro, Iqbal Gandham, said:

“Introducing a requirement for the FCA to regulate the ‘on-off’ ramps between crypto and fiat currencies is well within the remit of HM Treasury. Based on our analysis, this could be achieved relatively easily, without the need for primary legislation, and would have a huge impact, both in reducing consumer risk and improving industry standards.”

The group is favoring regulating exchanges, brokers and platforms instead of currencies themselves.

Barclays refutes report of crypto trading desk: UK-based Barclays Bank has negated recent reports that it aims to set up a cryptocurrency trading desk like other financial players in the world such as Canada. Barclays UK has announced new ventures into blockchain technology but categorically denied setting up a trading desk for cryptocurrencies.

Barclays’ spokesman Andrew Smith said this in a statement:

“We constantly monitor developments in the digital currency space and will continue to have a dialogue with our clients on their needs and intentions in this market.”

Barclays CEO Jes Stately, however, has termed cryptocurrency a “real challenge”, suggesting the bank is still not ready to accept cryptocurrencies openly itself.


Putin plans to use crypto and blockchain to defy sanctions: Russia currently has been slapped with significant sanctions by the NATO bloc but according to Putin’s top economic advisor, the Russian government is looking to use cryptocurrencies and blockchain to avoid these sanctions.

Sergei Galzev, the advisor said, “We can settle accounts with our counterparties all over the world with no regard for sanctions.”

Putin is especially interested in cryptocurrencies since it was revealed that his opponent has been receiving campaign donations in Bitcoin and aims to use the anonymity and universal application of cryptocurrencies to strengthen the Russian government and its foreign influence around the world.

Siberian conditions appeal to crypto miners: Cheap electricity and cold climate in Siberia is found to be appealing to cryptocurrency miners around the world with many aiming to establish their mining set ups in this remote part of the world. The cold climate provides natural cooling to ASIC chips that produce a large amount of heat.

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