Japan E-commerce Firm Rakuten May Soon Support Crypto Payments
Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, often referred to as the ‘Amazon’ of Japan, intends to support payments in the form of Bitcoin and other cryptos in the future. A key update to its mobile app, Rakuten Pay, is being planned to be released later next month, as per the earnings report released last week. The announcement also indicates that the app may start supporting cryptocurrency payments along with fiat currencies.
Specifically, the announcement says that the forthcoming version of the app will supposedly include “all payment solutions embedded into one platform.” This has left many wondering whether it is an indirect method of disclosing its intention to support Bitcoin and other cryptos. The US e-commerce giant Amazon has been unmoved so far, despite the expectation of Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao that the former will soon introduce its own native cryptocurrency. However, Rakuten has been open to the plan of supporting crypto currencies.
Back in January, Rakuten amended its corporate structure to turn the company’s cryptocurrency exchange i.e., Everybody’s Bitcoin into a new firm for processing payments. Back in August 2018, the cryptocurrency exchange was acquired for $2.40 million. At that time, it was acclaimed as a major step forward for accepting cryptocurrencies as payments in its e-commerce site. Rakuten’s restructuring, which was affirmed in the recent earnings report, is another evidence for the claim that the firm is planning to accept cryptocurrencies as payment.
The company’s prepaid card service Rakuten Edy is also going through an overhaul that involves QR code implementation for scanning and payment. That can be construed as another indication of upcoming cryptocurrency payment facility. The company also reported 28.4% y-o-y increase in earnings to $1.30 billion in 2018.
For the past one month, the cryptocurrency market has been range bound. However, the market seems to have gathered momentum in the past few days, with Bitcoin crossing above the $3,600 level to trade at about $3,820 at the time of writing this article. There is also a string of positive news regarding Bitcoin ETF, which is waiting for approval by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Crypto enthusiasts believe that it is only a matter of time when the regulator will approve the listing of Bitcoin ETF proposed by major players in the cryptocurrency sector, for instance the Winklevoss twins. Assuming that the March update of Rakuten Edy will incorporate facility to pay via cryptocurrency, the adoption of cryptocurrencies is not far away.
While the cryptocurrency market may remain range bound, the adoption of Bitcoin and other altcoins is near an all-time high. It can be remembered that TRON (TRX) partnered with ALS Association to spruce up monitoring of donations through blockchain. The market was also taken by surprise when investment giant JP Morgan unveiled the launch of JPM Coin, totally contradicting the opinion of its CEO Jamie Dimon about cryptocurrencies.