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Bryan Yurcan
Bryan Yurcan
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Is Bitcoin Becoming a Bank?

A European Bitcoin exchange says it has been granted payments service provider status by French officials.

Interesting news in the world of digital, virtual currency today, as multiple outlets are already reacting the announcement that a European Bitcoin exchange has secured a license to operate as a payments service provider.

[See Also: Has Bitcoin Finally Arrived?]

A post on the Bitcoin Forum from digital payments company Paymium shares details on how Bitcoin-Central, an European Bitcoin exchange operated by Paymium, has secured a license to operate as a payments service provider (PSP) by the French government. Bitcoin-Central says it has partnered with Credit Mutuel and payments outfit Aqoba to secure the PSP status from French authorities.

"We're announcing today that Bitcoin-Central.net is getting, through a partnership with Aqoba and the Credit Mutuel, allowed to operate as a bank," the post reads.

Among the details offered in the post are that Bitcoin-Central user's funds will be held at Credit Mutuel under the user's name, they will be separate from Paymium's funds; user's accounts will be protected by the "Garantie des dépôts" which is the French equivalent of the American FDIC, and each account will, in a few months, get its own IBAN number, thus allowing holders 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.

Bitcoin is known for the Libertarian ideals of its users, and enthusiasts are usually very vocal about its value of not being associated with any central bank. In the post, Bitcoin-Central acknowledges that some Bitcoin users "might argue that regulation is a bad thing" as the currency moves in to a formal system.

"We respect this opinion, but we'll have to agree to disagree," the post reads.

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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