Major retailers in Japan rush to adopt bitcoin payments

19 April, 2017, 03:01 | Author: Glen Fletcher
  • World's First Bitcoin ATM Debuts In Vancouver Canada

As the cryptocurrency revolution gathers storm in the country, the Japanese retail outlets are moving fast to capitalize on the technology and economic shift by including Bitcoin as an additional payment option. On April 1, 2017, Japan officially recognized bitcoin as a method of payment. Eventually, one can hope for a similar trend to catch up with other countries, making Bitcoin the leading digital currency in the world.

The step will enable over 260,000 outlets across the country to start accepting bitcoin. But now, the addition of 260,000 merchants accepting Bitcoin through AirRegi makes cryptocurrency payment option nearly as prevalent as Suica and Rakuten's Edy electronic payments which are currently accepted at 380,000 and 470,000 locations respectively.

Bic Camera, a Tokyo-based consumer electronics retail chain with stores across Japan has partnered bitFlyer, Japan's largest bitcoin exchange, to accept bitcoin payments. Businesses interested in introducing the new payment option can choose to install the bitcoin payment system alone. The app is also compatible with Alipay, the payment platform developed by Alibaba Group Holding. Coincheck will convert the digital currency into yen and then transfer the funds to the store. That company is partnering with bitFlyer for its payment process, and is expected to launch a trial of its system at two of its outlets at the end of the week.

Customers can pay a maximum of ¥100,000 in bitcoins per transaction, but they need to pay commissions. Those purchases will also receive reward points using the same model applied to cash payments.

The cryptocurrency is now trading 3.08 per cent higher at $1,171 on the back of Japan's decision to allow it to be used as a legal method of payment last week and news of a potential online bitcoin payment system.

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