Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce store, has reported that it will most likely start accepting payments after the month of April 2019. Rakuten is mostly known as the Amazon of Japan and has at least 50 million users in the country. , which without a doubt, would give a strong impulse in the adoption of cryptocurrencies.
The growing interest in Bitcoin
Rakuten investors have been very interested in Bitcoin since last year, when they acquired “Everybody’s Bitcoin”, an exchange without a Japanese license, which after negotiations that closed in September 2018, earned him the disbursement of 2.4 millions of dollars. The announcement of the purchase was published in a press release published on its official website.
Currently, Rakuten Inc. is undergoing a corporate restructuring in which its different businesses and subsidiaries will be consolidated into 4 main businesses: “Internet Service”, “Communication”, “Fintech” and “Settlements”, to which they are joined by about 60 types of secondary businesses. The restructuring of the company will be completed in April 2019.
According to the documents published by Rakuten, all Bitcoins will become part of the Settlements de Rakuten business instead of the Fintech business. Rakuten Settlements will be responsible for serving, processing and paying all payments for Rakuten’s business.
The previous relation between Rakuten and Bitcoin
Rakuten has publicly shown his support for cryptocurrency payments, and his acquisitions reinforce this image, which is maintained in his community, in which they declare:
The role of payments based on cryptocurrency in electronic commerce, offline retail and P2P payments will increase in the future.
Bitcoin will stop all service from March 2019. It is not clear when the service will be opened to the public, but if Rakuten decides to open it, it will only be after the corporate restructuring.
A future perspective
In their press release they also clarify the perspective and purpose of this action. They declare that the Rakuten Group does not currently limit its activities to electronic commerce, but offers more than 70 different services, from Internet services such as travel, digital content and communications, to FinTech (financial) services such as credit cards, banking, securities , insurance, etc. and electronic money. Additionally, these diverse services cover a wide range of life scenes and are organically linked around the membership, focusing on the Rakuten members, improving the cross-user activity within the Group’s services and expanding our own ecosystem of Rakuten.
In this environment, the Rakuten Group established Rakuten Blockchain Lab, an organization dedicated to research and development in Belfast, United Kingdom, which was the product of the Bitcoin BitNet acquisition in 2016. Since then, RBL has been investigating the technology of the chain of blocks. This in order to be able to provide without problems payment methods using cryptocurrencies.
In addition, they report that a growing number of clients, particularly currency clients, of Rakuten Securities, the securities company of the Rakuten Group, have been requesting the provision of a cryptocurrency exchange service, which is also part of the background of the Rakuten Group.