October 10 will mark a historic day for the French crypto community as cryptocurrency startup Keplerk relaunches its Bitcoin payments service in more than 5,200 tobacco shops located across the country.
Good news for Bitcoin buyers
According to French news channel BFM TV, users will now be able to buy Bitcoin using 50-, 100- or 250-euro coupons at French tobacco shops. Payment terminals will be provided Bimedia, which is a Kelperk partner. When the service first began in January this year, less than half a dozen shops were selling Bitcoin to users, but that number has grown exponentially over the course of the year. Adil Zakhar, the co-founder of Keplerk said at the time that the initiative will be expanded to about 6,500 shops by February. However, the French authorities have never actively endorsed digital currencies.
More people are adopting crypto in France
France is waking up to the possibilities of digital currency and adoption here is growing at a fast pace. According to some reports on September, 30 French retailer companies, including Sephora and Decathlon, will start accepting Bitcoin payments at over 25,000 points-of-sale in the first few months of 2020. Even Domino’s Pizza France jumped into the crypto bandwagon last month when it launched an ordering competition that would give away prizes worth $110,000 in cash or Bitcoin.
Earlier in September, Bruno Le Maire, the French economy minister, said that the authorities don’t intend to tax crypto-to-crypto trades in the country. However, taxes may be applied whenever the digital coins are traded for fiat currencies. While the country seems relatively open to crypto use, it is against Facebook’s digital currency Libra. The country has pledged that it would not allow Libra within its bounds alongside Germany.
The French government believes that Facebook’s digital currency Libra will be a threat to the monetary sovereignty of the country. A private company with billions of users which does not adhere to the prevalent anti-money laundering and terrorism financing laws. France, instead, wants to launch a stablecoin of its own. It is interested in launching a central bank-backed digital currency and has even proposed the same to the European authorities.
If the French continues with their plans, it will become the first major economy in the world to launch a central bank-backed digital currency and open new pathways for the crypto community.