10000 Retail Stores in France Offer Bitcoin, Ethereum Coupon for Sale

10,000 retail stores in France are now selling a coupon for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, and Litecoin. The latter is the effort of Digital Service, …
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10,000 retail stores in France are now selling a coupon for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, and Litecoin. The latter is the effort of Digital Service, a cryptocurrency company and Ingenico, a leading firm in payment solutions. Their partnership led to the launch of DIGYCODE which gives people the ease of purchasing virtual currencies, reports a media outlet on February 16.

10,000 Retail Shops in France to Trade Virtual Currencies

Per the report, Digital Service and Ingenico have collaborated to enable 10,000 retail shops in France to sell virtual currencies. These stores are offering cryptocurrency vouchers worth €20, €50, and €200 for sale. The vouchers can then be redeemed for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, and Litecoin on Digycode’s website.

Reportedly, Digital Service was able to raise revenue of $2.8 billion in 2017. In 2018 there were only 50 shops in the area offering the Digycode coupon for sale. Therefore, more shops have been incorporated to make it easy for people to walk-in and make crypto purchases.

Giving Confidence to Customers to Purchase Cryptocurrency

Christopher Villegas, CEO of Digital Service stated that DIGYCODE had been provided for those who do not want to leave their bank information online. These are people who may also be reluctant to make purchases due to the fear of being scammed. Therefore, it provides an easier means for them to buy these assets and from a trusted platform.

The CEO also added that the service protects customers from the volatility of digital assets. In this case, the price of the cryptocurrency is determined as at when a request is made by the user to transfer these funds to their wallet.

Christopher Villegas also said:

The deployment of DIGYCODE is the result of a partnership between Digital Service and Ingenico , and tobacconists equipped with a Devlyx cash register are therefore eligible to sell our product for their customers.

Higher Fees in Comparison to Cryptocurrency Exchanges

While this service makes it easier for people to purchase digital currencies, the fee is higher. In this case, 8 percent will be charged for each transaction. The higher fee has been attributed to the fact that it is being shared by three providers which are Ingenico, tobacconist, and Digital Service.

On January 9, BTCNN reported that Tobacco stores in France are now selling bitcoin. The latter was made possible by Kerplek, a French Fintech group. Here, customers at Tabacs can obtain vouchers and then redeem it for Bitcoin on the Kerplek website.

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10000 French Tobacco shops to sell Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), XRP and Dash …

French Crypto startup Digycode has partnered with Paris based payments giant Ingenico to enable over 10,000 retails shops to sell coupons of …

Around 10,000 Tobacco shops in France are set to sell Cryptocurrency coupons.

French Crypto startup Digycode has partnered with Paris based payments giant Ingenico to enable over 10,000 retails shops to sell coupons of Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Litecoin (LTC) and Dash.

The firm sold its coupons in 50 shops as of 2018, after its collaboration with Ingenico Digycode’s coupons will be sold in over 10,000 shops across France. Users can buy coupons worth 20, 50 or 200 Euros and then redeem it on their website, the firm will charge users an 8% fee for their service.

In an interview with the local Crypto news outlet Cryptonaute, CEO of Digycode said:

“The deployment of DIGYCODE is the result of a partnership between Digital Service and Ingenico, and tobacconists equipped with a Devlyx cash register are therefore eligible to sell our product for their customers”

J-3 avant le déploiement national de @DIGYCODE ! #BTC#ETH#LTC#DASH#tabac#presse#newspic.twitter.com/VU0tvSeqi3

— DIGYCODE (@DIGYCODE) February 8, 2019

In January another startup named Kerplerk had announced that 6500 tobacco shops in France were set to jump on the Crypto bandwagon and sell Bitcoin coupons for 50 to 200 Euros. The French trust their local tobacco shops more than random websites, so it makes sense to sell Cryptocurrencies in these ‘Tabac’ shops.

Adil Zakhar, Co-founder of Kerplerk said in an interview with Reuters:

“Some people find it complicated to get bitcoins on-line, They trust their local tobacco shop owner more than they would trust some remote anonymous website.”

France is going through a political turmoil where trust in the government and banks are lower than ever among the citizens. The Yellow Vest French protestors have even tried to cause a bank run to reduce the power of the Euro currency, Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin serve as a hedge against the centrally planned monetary system which may be attractive to some French citizens.

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10000 retail shops in France will sell BTC, XRP, LTC, Dash and Ethereum

The 10,000 retail shops in France will sell Bitcoin, XRP, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash, according to the CEO of Digital Services Christopher Villegas.

The French crypto startup, Digycode, is expanding to over 10,000 points of sale all over France, through a collaboration with Paris-based payments giant Ingenico.

According to the DailyHodl, the crypto startup will offer prepaid coupons that can be purchased in three available increments, being 20, 50, or 200 euro.

The only thing a customer needs to do to redeem the coupon, is to go on Digycode’s website by using a secret code, where the euro is converted into one of the available cryptocurrencies.

The 10,000 retail shops in France will sell Bitcoin, XRP, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash, according to the CEO of Digital Services Christopher Villegas.

‘The deployment of Digycode is the result of a partnership between Digital Service and Ingenico, and tobacconists equipped with a Devlyx cash registerare, therefore eligible to sell our product to their customers.’

Read more: What does Bill Gates have to say about Bitcoin?

Buy #XRP with @DIGYCODE in 10 000 point of sales in #France with #cash#crypto#news#CryptoNews#CryptoNews#cryptocurrenciespic.twitter.com/54QKWEOvcx

— DIGYCODE (@DIGYCODE) February 15, 2019

In January Chepicap reported that in an unprecedented show of adoption, more than 6500 tobacconist shops around France were given the green light to start selling Bitcoin.

Thanks to backing from fintech group, Kerplerk, France will see up to 6500 tobacconists to jump in on the Bitcoin bandwagon by the end of February.

Kerplunks co-founder, Adil Zakhar, said at the time that some people might find it complicated to purchase Bitcoin on-line.

‘They trust their local tobacco shop owner more than they would trust some remote anonymous website’, he said.

Even though the France’s tobacco federation was granted permission to sell crypto from the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority, the Central Bank of France is saying that it has not approved retail sales of cryptocurrency.

In addition to this statement, the Financial Markets Authority, which regulates the country’s stock market, said that no company is licensed to sell crypto in stores.

Somehow we think the French tobacconists are not going to take these statements in consideration.

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European car rental startup Virtuo inks about $23 mln

European car rental service Virtuo has raised 17.3 million pounds (about $23 million) in funding. The investors were Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and …

European car rental service Virtuo has raised 17.3 million pounds (about $23 million) in funding. The investors were Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and Raise Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

London, 12th February 2019

Car rental startup, Virtuo, stepped up its battle against the giant car rental companies today by announcing that it has raised £17.3m from Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and Raise Ventures to help it make a big push into the UK market in 2019. Virtuo, which currently operates in 21 locations in France and Belgium, also launches in Spain and in Germany in 2019, making it a truly pan-European rental option for drivers who are fed up with being served so poorly by the existing car hire sector.

Virtuo launched in London last summer, having been born out of frustration with traditional car rental. The Virtuo app allows users to book and unlock a pristine Mercedes A-Class or GLA in minutes, at stations across London, and the business has seen revenue grow by 10 times in the UK in the last seven months. As a whole, the company is growing at a rate of 200% per annum.

“Now is the right time for this investment, because we want to revolutionise car rental across Europe and show that with our service, there is simply no need to own a car anymore,” said Virtuo’s Co-founder, Karim Kaddoura. “Travel outside cities in many European countries is not well served. Here in the UK, the railways are becoming less efficient and increasingly expensive. We want to show a younger generation that cars are still a really convenient and cheap way to travel and that you don’t need to own a vehicle to be able to have on-demand and hassle-free access to it.”

Virtuo promises to eradicate the horrors of traditional car hire including hour-long queues at rental desks, unnecessary up-selling of insurance and accessories, never being able to get the car you actually booked, as well as opaque terms and conditions that make hiring stressful and steep penalties easy to incur. Virtuo users can complete all paperwork in the app before picking up a valeted car from their chosen spot and unlocking it with a smart key downloaded to their phone.

Through the app, drivers can extend and modify bookings in seconds and are rewarded for returning their car with extra fuel. The digital car key can be shared between four additional drivers, for no extra charge, and competitive rental rates vary depending on demand, period and rental duration.

Stéphane Pesqué, partner at Iris Capital, said: “Virtuo’s founders have created a business that is disrupting car rental from the ground up relying on a unique digital path for users. We love their attention to detail and their determination to perfect the customer experience, which will convince occasional and frequent drivers that Virtuo is the best solution when travelling for work and leisure in Europe. We are very proud to invest in them at this stage.”

Bernard Liautaud, managing partner of Balderton Capital, said: “Technology in cars and other areas of mobility is evolving rapidly, due to concerns over the environment and congestion. Given these shifts, renting a car as and when you need it is becoming a viable alternative to buying, particularly for younger people who have come of age as the sharing economy took off. The same way innovative tech companies are disrupting legacy players in sectors like finance, Virtuo, in which we first invested 18 months ago, is radically changing the way we hire a car.”

Virtuo is disrupting the car rental space with a product that sets out to fix all the pain points of traditional car rental. During 2019 the mobile-only car hire company will introduce the ability to pick up a vehicle in one place and drop it off elsewhere. It will also launch in Spain and Germany in June, further serving travellers who are frustrated by legacy car-rental companies.

Virtuo facts

Virtuo service is available at six UK locations: Waterloo, Victoria, St Pancras, Marble Arch, Kensington High Street, Stratford International and will shortly be available in Earl’s Court, Shepherd’s Bush, London Bridge, Liverpool Street and Heathrow

Further UK locations – Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh – pending

France: 19 locations

Belgium: 2 locations

Virtuo has had 500,000 downloads of the app

Age bracket of Virtuo’s customer is 25-35

Average number of days of each rental: 4

80% of customers go for the compact A Class, while 20% take SUV

325 average miles per rental

How does Virtuo work:

Customers create their account by providing their driver’s license and a selfie. The whole process takes just a couple of minutes and only has to be carried out once

Once users have decided on their preferred model, Mercedes A-Class or GLA, they can choose the best insurance coverage and personalised options that suit their needs.

The Virtuo app guides users to their car – Virtuo has no rental desks- and takes them through every step of the process.

As customers get closer to their car, they can use the virtual key in the app to unlock it.

A quick damage report is carried out in the app using your phone’s camera

Virtuo’s tariff is from £35 per day in the UK, depending on demand, period and rental duration. The tariff includes up to 150 miles of travel, with the option to exceed this for a surcharge of £0.10 per mile. Up to 4 additional drivers can be registered for each car.

Virtuo’s customer service team can be contacted 24/7 through an integrated chat module that allows the user to ask questions and receive answers in real time.

About Virtuo:

Virtuo was founded out of the frustrations of renting a car from a traditional car rental company. Launched in France in 2016, the company provides a seamless, convenient and affordable way to lease premium cars, through a mobile app. Without paperwork and available 24/7, Virtuo’s cars can be rented from convenient locations like airports and railway stations in France, Belgium and the UK, with more locations opening in 2019. www.govirtuo.com

About Iris Capital

Iris Capital is a leading European VC specialized in the digital economy. It fuels entrepreneurs at various stages of maturity, from early-stage to growth equity. With its deep sector specialization and extensive experience acquired over 30+ years, as well as the backing of its corporate sponsors, Iris Capital provides active support to its portfolio companies, through its presence in Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Dubai.

For more information, visit www.iriscapital.com

About RAISE Ventures:

Founded in 2013 by Clara Gaymard and Gonzague de Blignières, the RAISE Group is organized around four complementary activities: RAISE Investments, RAISE REIM, RAISE Ventures and the RAISESHERPAS Endowment Fund.

– RAISE Investments is a €410 million development capital company targeting ITEs with strong growth potential and taking stakes of between €10 million and €50 million;

– RAISE REIM, a portfolio management company dedicated to real estate, whose first vehicle has a capital of 210M€;

– RAISE Ventures, a €60 million investment company targeting innovative start-ups, within which RAISE Media Investment, a media investment company, is integrated;

– The RAISESHERPAS Endowment Fund, a philanthropic structure with a budget of more than €22 million to support, finance and network startups in order to help them build sustainable adventures.

The RAISE Group is based on a financing mechanism that combines profitability and generosity, since the investment teams give 50% of their profit-sharing to finance the RAISESHERPAS Endowment Fund. This pioneering system in France makes it possible to create a virtuous ecosystem, combining large groups and institutional shareholders, TWAs and startups.

For more information: www.raise.co

About Balderton Capital:

Balderton Capital is Europe’s largest early stage venture capital investor, focused on European technology companies at Series A. Based in London, the firm manages $2.6bn and invests in entrepreneurs building globally ambitious businesses. Balderton’s Partners and advisory team include the founders and operational leaders of multi-billion dollar companies including Business Objects, Dropbox, Uber and Autonomy. Previous investments include Betfair (FTSE: BET), Magic Pony (Twitter), NaturalMotion (Zynga), Sunrise (Microsoft) and Yoox Net-a-Porter (BIT: YNAP). Among Balderton’s current portfolio of 76 companies are: Aircall, Carwow, Citymapper, Contentful, GoCardless, The Hut Group, Kobalt Music, Nutmeg, Prodigy Finance, Recorded Future, Revolut, ROLI, SOPHiA Genetics, Talend (NASDAQ: TLND), Vestiaire Collective, and Vivino. For more see http://www.balderton.com or follow @balderton.

SpaceX competitor Arianespace criticized for response to Falcon 9’s success

Despite major stumbles in 2015 and 2016 as a result of Falcon 9’s CRS-7 and Amos-6 failures, SpaceX appears to have dealt with the organizational …

Best known for the commercial success of its Ariane 5 workhorse rocket, European aerospace cooperative Arianespace was heavily critiqued in the latest annual report from France’s Cour des comptes (Court of Auditors) for what is perceived as an unsustainable and overly cautious response to the swift rise of SpaceX’s affordable and reusable Falcon 9 rocket.

The Ariane 6 rocket is at least a year from launch, but already French auditors are asking how it’s going to compete with SpaceX.https://t.co/7jCpGBrSXx

— Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) February 6, 2019

First spotted and discussed by Ars Technica’s Eric Berger, the French auditor’s 2019 report featured a full volume – 1 of 30 – dedicated to Ariane 6, a prospective next-gen Arianespace rocket selected for development by the EU in 2014. Despite the fact that Ariane 6 is at least a full year away from its first launch, Cour des comptes is already questioning the rocket’s ability to successfully make headway into an increasingly competitive market, competition that has already had a direct and tangible impact on Arianespace’s Ariane 5 launch vehicle.

“More than 50% of Falcon 9’s lifetime launches occurred in the last ~12% (24 months) of the rocket’s operational career.”

While other competitors certainly do exist, the fact remains that that said increase in launch market competition can be almost singlehandedly attributed to the rapid entrance of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket onto the commercial launch scene. Despite major stumbles in 2015 and 2016 as a result of Falcon 9’s CRS-7 and Amos-6 failures, SpaceX appears to have dealt with the organizational faults that allowed them to occur, culminating in an auspicious launch cadence over the course of 2017 and 2018. While Falcon 9 has technically been flying since mid-2010, a full 38 of the rocket’s 64 successful launches were completed in the last 24 months, meaning that more than 50% of Falcon 9’s launches have occurred in the last ~12% of the rocket’s operational life.

Critically, a number of European nations settled on Ariane 6 as the successor to Ariane 5 in 2014, at which point Falcon 9 had launched just 13 times (7 times commercially) and SpaceX was more than 12 months away from its first successful rocket recovery and ~30 months from its first commercial reuse. To the credit of Arianespace and the EU nations that supported the prospective Ariane 5 successor, Ariane 6 may have actually been able to reliably compete with Falcon 9’s pricing if it had begun launching within 12-24 months of the 2014 decision to build it and if SpaceX had simply sat on its laurels and ended development programs.

“This new launcher does not constitute a sustainable response in order to be competitive in a commercial market in stagnation,” the auditor’s report states. The Ariane 6 rocket design is too “cautious,” according to the report, relying on mostly traditional technologies.

— Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) February 6, 2019

Coasting on the race track

Of course, neither of those prerequisites to Ariane 6’s success occurred. SpaceX successfully reused the same Falcon 9 booster three times in just six months by the end of 2018, while Falcon Heavy is set to attempt its first two operational launches just a few months from now. Ariane 6 is still targeting a launch debut no earlier than (NET) 2020, while a handful of extremely limited reusable rocket R&D programs continue to limp towards nebulous targets with minimal funding. Meanwhile, thanks to Arianespace’s French heritage and the major financial support of French space agency CNES, Cour des comptes is in the right to be highly critical of a ~$3.9B rocket development program likely to cost France at least $600M before the first launch.

SpaceX has now been routinely reusing Falcon 9 rockets on commercial missions for nearly two years. (SpaceX)

As of January 2019, flight-proven Falcon 9 boosters have performed 19 commercial launches since March 2017. (SpaceX)

Nearly 60% of SpaceX’s 2018 launches were flown on flight-proven Falcon 9 boosters. (SpaceX)

Moving into 2019, SpaceX is likely just months away from its next triple and quadruple-reuse milestones. (Pauline Acalin)

Once Ariane 6 is ready to launch, it’s aspirational pricing will all but guarantee an inability to compete on an even global playing field. Divided into two versions, A62 and A64, Ariane 6 will cost at least 75 million Euros (~$85M) for performance equivalent to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 in its reusable configuration (base price: $62M), while the heavier A64 variant – capable of placing two heavy satellites (11,500 kg) into geostationary transfer orbit – will cost at least 90 million Euros (~$102M) per launch. Admittedly, $102M to launch a duo of large geostationary satellites would be easily competitive with Falcon 9 with per-customer costs around $50M, but this only holds true if the imminent commercial introduction of Falcon Heavy (list price: $90M) is ignored.

However, the market for large geostationary satellites has plummeted into the ground in the last two years, over the course of which just 12 have been ordered. Arianespace thus faces a conundrum where its cheaper Ariane 62 rocket is already too expensive to compete commercially and the potentially competitive Ariane 64 variant is only competitive for a commercial launch market that has withered to barely a third of its nominal demand in just two years time. Acknowledged by France’s auditors (and noted by Mr. Berger), the most probable outcome for Ariane 6 is one in which the very existence of the rocket will be predicated upon continual annual subsidies from the European Space Agency (ESA) in order to make up for the rocket’s inability to sustain commercial orders beyond a handful of discounted shoo-in contracts.


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