French Tobacconists’ Bitcoin Retail Plan Falls Apart

The French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR) and Banque de France, the country’s central bank, have jointly issued a notice with the Autorité des Marches Financiers (AMF), French stock market regulator, regarding “speculative” crypto assets.

The notice was posted as a PR on the AMF website.

What the Notice Had to Say

The notice was the result of rumours surrounding the Fédération des Buralistes, the national tobacco federation, obtaining permission to trade in Bitcoin in 2019.

Thanks to the growing murmurs, the three organisations jointly denied the news by announcing:

“[We] recall the risks associated with investing in speculative [crypto] assets, which are not well adapted to the profiles of unsophisticated private investors […]. Purchase, sale and investment in Bitcoins are currently carried out outside any regulated market.”

The Fédération des Buraliste joined hands with KeplerK, a local crypto wallet provider to release Bitcoin vouchers in denominations of €50, €100 and €250 across 4,000 local tobacco retailers.

While there were rumours of the ACPR approving the project, the central bank has refuted the claims. With the latest announcement, the authorities have made it clear that KeplerK is not authorised by any authority to carry out these services.

The report also added that the company must not be confused with other local companies, with similar names, operating in the country. These include Kepler capital markets and Kepler Cheuvreux.

Things Have Been This Way for a While

Banque de France issued several warnings last year regarding the nature of Bitcoin and how it can be very risky. Moreover, the AMF has also blacklisted several sites related to crypto investment.

However, there was a little softness when the country agreed to grant permission to companies interested in running ICOs. This was mainly done to improve the economy and attract global investors. But the authorities maintain that there are risks associated with cryptos.

What The Future Holds

While there isn’t much clarity, things are gradually changing with the Assemblée Nationale, the lower house of the French parliament, allegedly confirmed the bill which substantially decreases the taxation rate for Bitcoin gains.

Michael Wight

Michael is a freelance writer with special interest in finance and technology. He regularly trades cryptocurrencies and loves to share his knowledge with others.

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