One of Japan’s largest online retailers, Rakuten, is considering adding Bitcoin payments through its mobile payment app. An upgrade to the app is scheduled to be introduced in March of this year.
Rakuten, often referred to as the Amazon of Japan, is the largest online retailer in the Land of the Rising Sun. According to Rakuten’s latest annual earnings report, an update for its mobile payment network, Rakuten Pay, is scheduled for March.
In August of last year, the online retailer already mentioned:
We have been considering entry into the cryptocurrency exchange industry as the Rakuten Group. In order to provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly, we believe it is necessary for us to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function.
On October 1st, 2018, Rakuten acquired “Everybody’s Bitcoin” a digital asset exchange from Tokyo, Japan. The e-commerce giant paid for $2.4 million for the acquisition. According to Rakuten, the online retailer acquired the crypto exchange because “the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future.”
Although it is currently not confirmed whether bitcoin or other digital assets will be supported in the upcoming version of the payment app, the report from Rakuten states that “all payment solutions will be embedded into one platform.” Furthermore, the report shows that paid card payments and transactions using QR codes might also be supported.
It will be exciting to see if Rakuten will actually add Bitcoin payments to Rakuten Pay next month. If so, Bitcoin might see another bullish sentiment.