Rakuten (Japan’s Amazon) Soon to Accept Crypto?

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Japanese e-commerce platform Rakuten, the nation’s equivalent of Amazon, may soon be accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment on its platform. A recent earnings report offers several tantalizing pieces of information.

Released on February 12, the report shows that Rakuten is working on an initiative to include several payments options “embedded into one platform.” Rakuten, which serves over 29 countries and regions, operates in a variety of industries including fintech, digital content and communication services.

The company is looking to update the Rakuten Mobile Pay app. While there’s no guarantee that the update will support cryptocurrency payments, there’s speculation abound that this could be the case.

The update is expected to arrive on March 18.

Although the report was chiefly focused on Rakuten’s earnings, there are several tidbits of information that crypto enthusiasts might find interesting. Among other things, it mentions the inclusion of QR codes for payments — a sign that crypto acceptance may be on the horizon.

In January 2019, Rakuten began making changes to its corporate structure to support efforts in its cryptocurrency exchange, Everybody’s Bitcoin. Rakuten acquired the exchange in August 2018 for $2.4 million. This has contributed to the speculation that Rakuten may be thinking of allowing crypto payments.

Users will have to wait until March to see if these rumors are true.

Even if it turns out not to be the case, there is an overall positive takeaway for the market, given that a huge e-commerce platform is working in some form with cryptocurrencies. It may just be a matter of time before several more e-commerce platforms decide to do the same — perhaps even Amazon.

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