Japanese E-Commerce Giant Rakuten’s Payment App To Support Cryptocurrencies

News | February 18, 2019 By:

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten will be upgrading its mobile pay app next month, which may include support for cryptocurrency payments.

In its 2018 earnings release, the e-commerce giant announced that the new version of its mobile pay app, called Rakuten Pay, will be released on March 18. While the release does not specifically mention crypto payment support, Rakuten said that the new version of the app will feature “all payment solutions embedded into one platform.”

In 2015, Rakuten became one of the first major companies to accept bitcoin as a payment method. In August 2018, the company acquired Japanese crypto exchange Everybody’s Bitcoin for 265 million yen ($2.4M USD). The crypto exchange had been incorporated as part of Rakuten’s new payments subsidiary, Rakuten Payment, which previously acted as a base for the company’s loyalty program.

At the time, the company said that they expect that the role of crypto-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future.

“In order to provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly, we believe it is necessary for us to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function, and have been considering entry into the cryptocurrency exchange industry as the Rakuten Group,” Rakuten said.

Before acquiring Everybody’s Bitcoin, Rakuten announced plans to launch Rakuten Coin, which promises to create a “borderless” shopping experience and allow the customer base to purchase goods and services from other Rakuten offerings and regions.