Japanese e-tailer Rakuten’s latest move to boost crypto adoption


In what could boost the adoption of Bitcoins, Japanese retail giant Rakuten has said that it will allow its customers to convert their Rakuten Group loyalty points to cryptocurrencies, according to the company’s website. Rakuten in an announcement on December 24, said that the facility is available only for the e-tailer’s users in Japan who have an account with its crypto-exchange firm Rakuten Wallet.

Rakuten Wallet Inc, a consolidated subsidiary of Rakuten Group and operator of a crypto asset (virtual currency) exchange business, would now let users in the country convert their earned Rakuten Super Points to popular crypto-assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Rakuten Super Points can be exchanged from amounts of 100 Rakuten Super Points and above, the statement said adding that the users can log in to the app, and, after choosing “Points Exchange,” select the target exchange currency and amount. One Rakuten Super Point is equivalent to one Japanese Yen or $0.90 when converted to crypto assets, and when the exchange is complete it will be reflected in the transaction history on the customer’s smartphone app.

“Rakuten Wallet hopes to reduce the barriers of entry to crypto asset trading by providing an easy and more accessible way for new users to start, including novice users who are interested in crypto asset trading with no prior experience,” it added.

The $14 billion Japanese online retail giant launched its cryptocurrency exchange in 2017. Like Rakuten, there are few other companies that allow their customers to convert loyalty program points to Bitcoin, as well as earn rewards for paying in crypto.

While Rakuten’s intention is to increase the company’s online sales and loyalty program, it would also indirectly boost crypto adoption in the country, which is also known to be the birthplace of cryptocurrency.

Japan is probably the only country in the world that has openly supported the usage of cryptocurrencies. At a time, when major Asian economies such as China and India were tightening regulations making it difficult for crypto players to survive. Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has given approvals to 21crypto exchange operators in the country. Under its amended Fund Settlement Law and the Payment Services Act, cryptocurrency is termed as a legal means of payment and requires exchange operators to register with the FSA in the country.

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