Financial regulators and the central bank in France have responded to news that tobacconists will begin selling Bitcoin in 2019. According to a statement, the institutions reiterated their warning regarding the risks linked with investing in or trading digital assets.
In a November 22 report by CoinWire, Paris-based crypto company Keplerk has collaborated with about 10,000 real-world points of sale to allow the sale of Bitcoin through printed vouchers.
Keplerk is convinced that tobacco shops are the best platform to introduce Bitcoin to non-traditional demographics.
However, a group of French financial regulators, together with the country’s central bank, has responded to the news. Based on a press release issued by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), and the Banque de France (France’s central bank), the institutions warn the public of the risks involved in purchasing and investing in digital assets.
The official statement indicates that crypto investments “are not well adapted to the profiles of unsophisticated private investors.”
The three financial institutions have also issued a reminder to people who are planning to embark on such investments, asserting that Keplerk’s scheme or any platform that involves Bitcoin and other crypto assets are beyond any regulated market.
It is apparent why the warning has been issued by France’s major financial institutions. However, releasing such a warning to French tobacconists accepting Bitcoin is somewhat outlandish.
It is highly unlikely that crypto traders will be rushing to the nearest local store and to buy so many Bitcoin through a voucher, they will be jeopardizing their own future. Instead, a possible scenario is that this scheme will be used by people who curious about cryptocurrency or those who want to make small purchases.
Notably, the French regulators have not attempted to eradicate Keplerk’s brick-and-mortar kiosks.