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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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