Rakuten, an e-commerce giant in Japan has always been one innovation and leaping forwarding with modern technology. One doesn’t becoming a giant by sitting in silence. That said, it should shock nobody that the company has decided to launch their very own cryptocurrency.
The news broke this Tuesday in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress event. It was there that Hiroshi Mikitani, the Rakuten CEO introduced the world to the Rakuten Coin. The coin will be part of Rakuten’s points-based loyalty rewards systems. They are releasing this coin with the hopes that it will help them boost their number of international customers.
At the moment there has been know information released concerning an actual release date. That said, Rakuten has stated that their new cryptocurrency will be available for use with every single one of their businesses. The bulk of these businesses include an on-demand video service, a travel company, Viber, a cellular phone service specializing in messaging and Kobo, Rakuten’s eReading service.
Cryptocurrency isn’t anything new for Rakuten, in fact the company has been associated with cryptocurrencies for a few years now. Their relationship with virtual currency dates back to 2015. It was at this time that the company began accepting Bitcoin for purchases. They did this via the payment processor known as Bitnet. It was after this move that Raku began investing in Bitnet and then hired two of the companies former employees to create a blockchain for them that was based in Belfast.
Zeroing in on the popularity of cryptocurrency, one can only imagine what this move will to further Rakuten’s growth. Given that virtual currency (although gaining in popularity) is still new, most companies aren’t accepting it as currency. Opening up to it while the blaze is growing can be a very wise business move on part of Rakuten.