Customers in France can now shop at tobacco shops with Bitcoin
A France-based fintech company has decided to integrate cryptocurrency with the sale of tobacco. Keplerk, a cryptocurrency facilitator, has established deals to enable customers to shop at French tobacco shops using Bitcoin, according to a report by Reuters on Thursday.
Local cash register software providers have entered into contracts with Keplerk to enable cryptocurrency payments in select tobacco shops. The company has been optimizing the process of selling Bitcoin directly to retail customers for over a year.
“Tobacco shop owners are the best channel as they are trusted by customers and they are used to sell vouchers such as credit for mobile phones,” Adil Zakhar, director for strategy and development at Keplerk, told Reuters.
These tobacco shops sell more than just cigarettes. Small-scale lottery tickets, credit for mobile phone payments, and media streaming services are also sold in such shops.
France has around 24,000 tobacco shops that could potentially be cryptocurrency intermediaries. Keplerk will charge a 7 percent commission fee on every transaction from these shops.
In order to pay using cryptocurrencies, customers can buy vouchers that will allow them to avail BTC through an e-wallet operated by Keplerk. The company pointed out that these shops would essentially be the first stores in the world to physically sell Bitcoin.
The French government, like most governments, has warned citizens about the risks of this highly speculative market. The country’s central bank clarified that the Keplerk initiative did not fall under its purview.
“Those are purely speculative assets and not currencies. Those who invest in bitcoin or other crypto-assets do it at their own risk,” the Banque de France said in a statement on Wednesday.
Image via Shutterstock
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