Rakuten exchanges loyalty points for Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash

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  • Rakuten, also known as Japan’s Amazon, has introduced a service that allows customers to exchange points from its loyalty program for Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash.
  • The company intends to further strengthen the acceptance of cryptocurrencies in Japan.

Japan has long been regarded as a country that is particularly friendly to cryptocurrencies. In April 2017, the country passed the Payment Services Act, which regulates the trade in cryptocurrencies and defines them as a property value. But also in the corporate and banking sector there are numerous efforts to use cryptocurrencies. Some of the largest companies in the country accept Bitcoin as a means of payment.

According to a press release issued yesterday, Rakuten Group, a Japanese e-commerce and electronics giant with millions of customers worldwide, will continue to expand its commitment to cryptocurrencies and has launched a service that will make cryptocurrencies even more accessible to the public.

Rakuten Wallet Inc, a subsidiary of Rakuten Group and operator of a crypto exchange, announced yesterday that it has launched a service that allows users to convert Rakuten “Super Points” from Rakuten Group’s loyalty points program into Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash. The service is offered through the Rakuten Wallet app.

Rakuten, which is also known as Japan’s Amazon, says it hopes to increase the broad acceptance of crypto currencies in Japan with the program. The company stated in the publication:

By introducing the new service, Rakuten Wallet hopes to lower the barriers to entry for trading crypto assets by providing an easy and accessible way for new users, including inexperienced users interested in trading crypto assets without prior experience.

Rakuten has been committed to Bitcoin since 2015

The Japanese company can already look back on a longer history with regard to Bitcoin. Since 2015, Rakuten has been accepting payments with Bitcoin (BTC) via the payment provider Bitnet. Subsequently, the company invested in Bitnet to recruit two former employees of the start-up for a block-chain laboratory in Belfast following a takeover in 2016.

Since August this year, Rakuten has also been offering spot trading via the Rakuten Wallet, with yen pairs for BTC, BCH and ETH. In 2018, the company purchased Everybody’s Bitcoin, a crypto exchange licensed by the Financial Services Agency, for around USD 2.4 million.

In February 2018, Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani announced the Rakuten Coin initiative. The coin will be part of the company’s points-based loyalty reward system and is intended to support the expansion of the international customer base. The company intends to make the Rakuten Coin available for use in all of its business units, which include a travel company, an on-demand video service and the mobile messaging service Viber, in addition to the global marketplace.

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