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France Starts Selling Bitcoin At 6 Tobacco Shops – 6,500 By Next Month

An initiative to sell Bitcoin (BTC) in France’s 24,000 tobacco kiosks has tentatively launched despite votes of no confidence from the central bank and other sources.


6 Tobacconists Today, 6500 By February

As Reuters reported January 8 quoting organizer Adil Zakhar, six ‘Tabac’ shops in Paris began offering prepaid Bitcoin cards this week, with plans to roll out the scheme in rapid fashion to over 6500 as soon as next month.

“Some people find it complicated to get bitcoins online,” Zakhar told the publication.

They trust their local tobacco shop owner more than they would trust some remote anonymous website.

As co-founder of technology company KeplerK, Zakhar is presiding over a hotly contested move to bring Bitcoin into the French mainstream.

As Bitcoinist and others wrote in November, when the plan was announced, it met with opposition from parties including the Bank of France (BoF), officials denying they had sanctioned any form of Bitcoin sales by tobacconists.

This appeared to contradict the position of the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR), which operates under the auspices of the BoF and had given the go-ahead to KerplerK.

“…[N]o such deal is either being envisaged or under discussion,” the BoF said at the time.

Bitcoins And Bank Runs

The commencement of sales thus marks a further point in the confusing legislative environment surrounding cryptocurrency which has persisted in France.

yellow vest Paris Protests euro bitcoin

At the same time, both Bitcoin and banks continue to hit the mainstream media for other reasons.

Earlier this week, Bitcoinist reported on a fresh project by political grassroots movement the Gilets Jaunes, organizers calling for a run on the banks this Saturday, January 12.

Aiming to pressure the government “without the least bit of violence,” the so-called ‘Referendum des Percepteurs’ (‘Collectors’ Referendum’) closely mirrors a similar event in the Bitcoin world from last week – Trace Mayer’s Proof of Keys.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency users continue the search for a Bitcoin bounty hidden as part of a wall mural by Paris-based artist Pascal Boyart. An open wallet for contributions to the prize fund currently contains 0.287 BTC ($1155).

What do you think about France’s tobacconist Bitcoin sales? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Denmark Has Over 1,500 Restaurants That Accept Bitcoin

Strapped for cash with a bad case of the munchies? You’re in luck. If you live in Denmark, that is. You can now use your bitcoins again at Hungry.dk to order online takeaway from over 1,500 restaurants.


Denmark may be more famous for its pastries and its Vikings, but it seems the small Northern European country is breaking new terrain once again, just like its ancestors prior.

There aren’t all that many places that allow you to buy food with bitcoin and it’s not often that much of an incentive since you could end up losing out big time when the market goes up.

But still, it’s nice to know that there are companies blazing the trail for virtual currencies to use as a form of payment–and people who actually want to use their bitcoins in this way.

Buying with Bitcoins on Hungry.dk Since 2014

Actually, the fact that Hungry.dk accepts bitcoin payments isn’t really new since they were offering the service as far back as 2014 (light years when it comes to cryptocurrency evolution). However, as explained to Bitcoinist by a Hungry.dk representative:

We have accepted Bitcoins as a payment method for quite some time. We decided to remove the feature temporarily last year though because the average transaction time took too long, and the experience wasn’t the best.

The problems have since been solved, and we have added the option again… Hungry.dk handle the payment, so you will always be able to use Bitcoins with all the restaurants currently found on Hungry.dk.

Hungry.dk wasn’t the only merchant to cease bitcoin payments during the explosion in price and mass interest in 2017. In fact, last year may have seen an all-time high for bitcoin price 00 but it also caused an all-time low as far as merchant adoption was concerned.

We’re still waiting for the likes of Amazon and Apple to come around and, to be fair, sufficient demand from a bitcoin community comprised mainly of HODLers. But if you do find yourself in Copenhagen with a hunger attack, the option is there for you.


Featured image from Pixabay, Bitcoinist archives

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Want Bitcoin Black Friday Deals? Open Coinmarketcap!

Despite the plummeting prices of late, Bitcoin Black Friday deals are still plenty online. Discounted timepieces and cryptocurrency wallets flood the market but perhaps the best deal out there is Bitcoin itself.


Bitcoin Black Friday 2018

Traditionally, the Friday after Thanksgiving marks a period of massive discounts throughout all the industries. The world of cryptocurrencies also seems to be riding the wave with Bitcoin Black Friday, as numerous interesting deals can be found all over the internet.

Popular Bitcoin and cryptocurrency hardware wallet Ledger Nano S is currently running a promotion which can save you half the price of the device.

Bitcoin Black Friday Bitcoinist

If you fancy yourself a Bitcoin-inspired timepiece, you can check out Cryptomatic and get 21% discount for the occasion.

Other promotions include:

Promotions spread on cryptocurrency trading platforms as well, where traders can further increase their profits by taking advantage of temporarily reduced spread, fees, and whatnot.

SimpleFX, for example, has a Black Friday promotion, which reduces spread by 50% on every symbol until 21:50 UTC on November 23rd.

This year has even gone artistic, as a BitPay-promoting music-video was released on YouTube, themed after Rebecca Black’s 2011 hit “Friday.”

The musical masterpiece includes profound lines such as “Everyone’s adopting Bitcoin, don’t be a weirdo”, and “They don’t take cryptocurrency, they should take cryptocurrency. Excuse me, sir, what currency will you take?”

Many more deals are available at the official Bitcoin Black Friday website.

Biggest Black Friday Sale of them All

All of the above aside, the tumbling November prices might have created the biggest ongoing sale out there – that of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin (BTC) 00 itself has lost over $2,000 in the last 10 days alone, causing some to believe that the crash has created a buyers’ market.

“Savvy investors understand that digital currencies are the future of money and, as such, they will be capitalizing on the lower prices in order to build their portfolios and shore-up their positions,” said Nigel Green, CEO and Founder of financial company deVere Group.

Naturally, the trend has been picked up by Twitter, as users quickly recognized the best deals on the block:

What do you think of 2018’s lack of Black Friday deals for cryptocurrencies? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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New $25,000 Hublot ‘Blockchain Watch’ Buyable Only With Bitcoin

Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot has opened pre-orders for its limited edition Big Bang watch commemorating Bitcoin’s 10th anniversary.


Hublot Will Only Accept Bitcoin

Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Hublot has unveiled a special timepiece in collaboration with OS Limited (OSL) to commemorate Bitcoin’s 10th anniversary.

The new hand-assembled limited edition ‘Big Bang’ model is now available for pre-sale to celebrate the upcoming 10th anniversary of Bitcoin 00. And in the spirit of crypto, the homepage even displays a project roadmap. 

At a $25,000 price tag, the watch can only be bought for bitcoin and will be limited to 210 pieces as a symbolic nod to the 21 million bitcoin that will ever exist.

Hublot

“Paying homage to both the Big Bang series and Blockchain technology, the watch features Big Bang’s signature industrial design as well as aesthetics inspired from cryptocurrency. To no surprise, ‘210’ was chosen for a reason,” the official announcement reads.

This Big Bang watch was created to commemorate the 10th anniversary of this epochal invention including the fact that only 21 million bitcoins will ever exist in this world. 

Hublot adds that the timepiece represents “a fusion between top-notch Swiss watchmaking and cutting-edge FinTech.”

KYC for Watches?

Hublot has partnered with Octagon Strategy Limited (OSL) to promote the new model, which will be officially launched on November 6th and will be delivered to customers January 3, 2019.

OSL, a digital asset brokerage firm, will help process customer data during the pre-sale and promises customers “a safe and secure” shopping experience.

However, the pre-sale registration may raise some eyebrows from the many Bitcoin fans who favor privacy.

That’s right. If you’d like to order a timepiece that costs tens of thousands of dollars, additional information such as the full name, address, and a phone number will be required. However, get ready to also upload copies of their government ID, passport and proof of address – as if you’re registering for a regulated Bitcoin exchange.

Not the First Bitcoin Watch

But Hublot is not the first brand to release a Bitcoin-inspired mechanical watch. Moreover, if spending tens of thousands of dollars on a timepiece is a no-no for you, Cryptomatic, which has been producing Bitcoin-themed watches since 2014, offers a much more affordable option at an $800 price point – or 30 times cheaper than Hublot’s new ‘Big Bang.’ 

Cryptomatic watches all flash the Bitcoin ฿ logo on the crown and includes 21 jewel bearings. The company intends to remain a small and exclusive brand while continuing making small runs of high-quality, hand-assembled watches, limited to a few hundred pieces.

Meanwhile, some other watch designs have also surfaced on social media as of late showcasing their own timepieces inspired by Bitcoin.

[Full disclosure: the author of this article owns a couple of Cryptomatic watches.]

Would you wear a Bitcoin-inspired watch? Share your comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, Hublot.com

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Financial Expert Pinpoints Signs Confirming Bullish Bitcoin Sentiment

Chris Kline, co-founder and COO at Bitcoin IRA, identifies the signs that lead him to predict Bitcoin price will reach USD $40,000 in the next few months.


Kline: Bitcoin Price Might Surpass USD $40,000 by the End of 2018

Bitcoin’s (BTC) 00 sustained steady rise towards the USD $7,000 price mark is causing investors to pore over data trying to identify indicators that can confirm whether the bearish trend is now reversing course.

In a Forbes article, Chris Kline identifies these Bitcoin bullish signs and predicts that “the price may well surpass $40,000 by the end of 2018 and could continue to climb as we enter 2019.”

Kline’s predictions are in line with those of billionaire investor Marc Lasry, who also forecasts that the Bitcoin price will reach USD $40,000 in a few years as the cryptocurrency continues to show signs of becoming more mainstream and more accessible to trade.

Kline’s optimism is based on the belief that the regulatory uncertainty affecting the crypto market is being resolved, and that the SEC will approve a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) soon.

Kline: Massive Increase in Institutional Adoption

Once the SEC approves Bitcoin ETFs, the pool of cryptocurrency investors will swell, releasing big money into the crypto market. According to Kline,

If the application is accepted, then I believe bitcoin will become far more accessible to a wider range of investors who wish to invest in a crypto fund rather than directly into crypto itself.

To illustrate that Wall Street and the crypto space have already begun to “intertwine,” Kline refers to the fact that Goldman Sachs reportedly plans to launch Bitcoin trading operations. And he forecasts that the rate of Bitcoin adoption among financial institutions will continue,

I believe that as more financial institutions build out crypto products and with the likely passage of bitcoin ETFs, more investors at both the individual and institutional level will get involved with bitcoin, which will reflect positively in the price.

On the other hand, several factors are buoying the sentiment that Bitcoin will become increasingly part of our ordinary life.

For example, in July 2018 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted MasterCard a patent for a method that speeds up cryptocurrency transactions. The granting of this patent has invigorated crypto investors because, as Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisor, put it “It’s really validating the idea that digital money, or blockchain-based money, is a valid form of transaction.”

With this in mind, Kline says that if the new MasterCard product reaches the market,

I predict cryptocurrency will become a much more ingrained part of our daily lives, as it will be a viable option at many of the places where we conduct our day-to-day transactions.

Kline also argues that in addition to the surge in Bitcoin’s price, momentum is also building from the blockchain perspective. To substantiate this argument, he points out that the number of daily transactions surpasses at least 230,000 on-chain transactions, “the highest since the beginning of the year.”

Do you think the approval of Bitcoin ETFs will increase the rate of adoption and trigger the release of big money into the crypto market? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, BitcoinIra, Shutterstock.