Bitcoin-Central Approved to Operate as Actual Bank, End of the World Clearly Nigh

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Well, folks, it looks like Bitcoin is truly here to stay as the alternative currency of choice. In fact, its “alternative” status might even soon come into question. Bitcoin isn’t regulated by any government, or central authority, and therefore the general public has been reluctant to trust in the otherwise intriguing currency. That just might change now that Bitcoin-Central, a known exchange, will essentially be allowed to operate as a bank under French law.

According to a post on Thursday made by one of the folks from Paymium, which runs the Bitcoin-Central, the exchange will be licensed as a payment service provider through a partnership with Aqoba and Credit Mutuel. That means that they’ll pretty much be a bank under European regulations, but they’ll lack “the debt-money issuing part.”

The list of benefits provided by this transition are many, according to Paymium’s representative:

  • Our user’s funds will actually be held at the Credit Mutuel 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

Assuming all of this pans out, this could be just the beginning of the popular Bitcoin exchanges cutting deals with traditional institutions for similar benefits. It obviously also makes Bitcoin-Central a major target for those looking to commit any kind Bitcoin-related fraud going forward.

(Bitcoin Forum via Hacker News, image via Zach Copley)

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