If somebody were to ask you today, what all do you think would be up for sale at a French toobbaconist shop, Bitcoins will probably be the last thing that would come to your mind. However, that is exactly what has been put up for sale in few prominent tobacco shops in Paris.
A few, six to be precise, tobacco shops in Paris have began selling the top cryptocurrencies on the market at the moment, in addition to selling cigarettes and lottery tickets. The initiative, while seeming quite bizarre in the beginning, seems to have been implemented owing to the rising popularity of bitcoins.
The idea to offer this service came from Adil Zakhar. He is one of the co-founders of Keplerk, which is a French fintech group that has been charged with the responsibility of executing the service. Apparently the number of businesses that is estimated to run Bitcoins will be around 6500 by February.
Adil Zakhar told Reuters,
“Some people find it difficult to get bitcoins online. They trust their local tobacco shop owner more than an anonymous website.”
Well Zakhar might have made a profound statement right there, which raises a few different concerns. The anonymity of buying and trading in Bitcoins is completely made redundant if one decides to go purchsae it from their local shop.
The process will be this. The customer will be given a coupon card upon paying 50, 100 or 200 euros. This coupon card will have a QR code on it. By scanning the code, the amount will be directly credited to the customer’s electronic purse. Keplerk will charge a commission of 7% on every ticket sold, with the tobacco dealer receiving a stake of 1.25%. So in this manner, the publication of bitcoins will essentially not take place through the tobacconists.
This will be an interesting new development for Bitcoin on its journey to become a more widely accepted form of payment. If local shops start selling bitcoins, it will help raise more awareness about the cryptocurrency and would encourage more people to check it out.