Bitcoin Is Now Being Sold at Over 5,000 French Tobacco Shops

Michael LaVere
  • Keplerk is re-launching its service allowing French customers to purchase bitcoin in tobacco shops.
  • Program will be expanded from an initial six shops to more than 5200 across the country.

Keplerk has announced a “relaunch” of its crypto services allowing customers to purchase bitcoin at more than 5,000 French tobacco shops. 

According to the release published to Twitter Oct. 10, the French crypto startup will be issuing coupons at French tobacco shops allowing users to purchase BTC in 50, 100 or 250 euro denominations.

The service was originally launched in January 2019, before being suspended after less than two months amidst regulatory uncertainty and pressure from France’s central bank. 

While the initial program only involved six outlets, Keplerk says that customers will be able to purchase BTC in 5,200 tobacco shops across the country as apart of the relaunch, via a partnership with payment terminal provider Bimedia. 

Keplerk’s revival follows news of growing interest in bitcoin and crypto in France. Last month, it was reported that more than 25,000 major retailers, including sportswear giant Decathlon and beauty product supplier Sephora, would be accepting BTC payments beginning early next year. In addition, Domino’s France celebrated its 30th anniversary with a competition paying more than $100,000 in BTC as the grand prize. 

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BTC Now Below $8300, but Tom Lee Says ‘2020 Should Be Great for Bitcoin’

Siamak Masnavi

On Thursday (January 23), Thomas Lee, Co-Founder, Managing Partner, and the Head of Research at independent research boutique Fundstrat Global Advisors, while appearing as a guest on CNBC's post-market show "Fast Money", predicted that "2020 Should Be Great for Bitcoin" and explained why.

According to data from CryptoCompare, at press time (around 10:20 UTC on January 24), Bitcoin is trading at $8,273:

BTC-USD 24 Hour Chart on 24 Jan 2020.png

This is the first time that Bitcoin has traded below the $8,300 level since January 14, as you can see in the two-week BTC-USD price chart shown below:

BTC-USD 2 Week Chart on 24 Jan 2020.png

Since Bitcoin reached $9,151 at 01:00 (UTC) last Sunday (January 19), the BTC price has been steadily falling, perhaps in anticipation of the "traditional" slowdown in Bitcoin trading around the time of the Chinese New Year (which, this year, starts on 25 January 2020 and ends on 11 February 2021). This expected drop in Bitcoin trading volumes was something that Arthur Hayes, Co-Founder and CEO of crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX, predicted in a tweet he sent out yesterday:

However, Lee, does not seem concerned about the currently falling prices of Bitcoin and altcoins in the crypto market.

Lee, who was appearing on Fast Money to give his views on the stock, bond, and crypto markets, was asked by the shows's host, CNBC news anchor Brian Sullivan, if he was still bullish on Bitcoin.

Lee replied:

"Yeah, 2020 should be great for Bitcoin because you got number one the halvening happening -- the block reward for miners getting cut in half -- that's a good supply demand change. I think last year the White House killed the Bitcoin rally with their opposition, but with the presidential election cycle underway, it's not gonna be in the headlines, and that's bullish for Bitcoin. And then with geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, I think that's good for crypto... We're getting a lot more interest in it from our clients."

It is worth remembering that two weeks ago Lee tweeted about a report he had published on January 9 about the outlook for crypto in 2020. According to this report, there are three positive convergences/catalysts for Bitcoin in 2020:

  • Bitcoin halving/halvening (which is expected to take place around 12 May 2020).
  • Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
  • 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

Lee said at the time that the bottom line is that "financial markets tend to discount 1-3 months, and maybe 6 months (max)" and therefore the "highest probability is halvening not priced in."