Bitcoin is now legal in France and Europe.

Back in Sept 2012, the secretary of the Central Bank of Finland said that bitcoin is legal to use in Finland, many businesses have seized the opportunity to accept bitcoin. source1 and source2 with video

Now, , a bitcoin exchange operated by Paymium in France, has scored a partnership with Aqoba and Credit Mutuel that will allow it to operate as a bank. The move will provide Bitcoin-Central with protections afforded to payment service providers in Europe, including insurance on euro-denominated accounts worth up to 100,000 Euros. The insurance on deposits is only for euro-denominated deposits, and funds in euros are stored at the bank. Bitcoin balances are not stored at the bank, and are not insured. source 1 and source 2.

David from Paymium says:

We’re announcing today that is getting, through a partnership with Aqoba and the Credit Mutuel Arkéa, allowed to operate as a bank, (or more precisely a PSP which is basically the same as a bank, just without the debt-money issuing part).

Let’s go over a couple of them:

  • Our user’s funds will actually be held at the Credit Mutuel Arkéa under the user’s name, they will be separate from Paymium’s funds (on the other hand, all of other exchanges funds for example sit in the same account, and are considered by their bank to be their corporate property)
  • Our user’s accounts will be protected by the “Garantie des dépôts” which is the French equivalent of the American FDIC (the insurance cap applies to each account individually, and not to the sum of all user balances, so unless your EUR balance exceeds 100kEUR your fiat is 100% insured by the French taxpayer)
  • Each account will in a few months get its very own IBAN number, users will be able to use it as any other bank account, have their salaries and pensions sent there and have them automatically converted to Bitcoin if they so wish)
  • Each user will soon be able to order its own debit card that will use their EUR and BTC balance to honor purchases and cash withdrawals
  • We’ll have direct access to the banking networks which will let us 100% automate all incoming and outgoing transfers
  • Corporations will have an actual financial institution talking with them if they wish to start accepting Bitcoin and be safe from a regulatory point of view
  • Paymium will have a much better legal standing and a much higher attractivity for second and third-round investors
  • Paymium will be in a much better position to make its vision become true : make all our transactions, be they denominated in crypto or fiat currency, flow through the pipes of the Bitcoin network

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