Hiroshi Mikitani, chief executive at Japanese e-commerce conglomerate Rakuten, reaffirmed his company’s willingness to accept bitcoin.
Rakuten’s e-commerce operation is the largest in Japan and one of the largest in the world, over the years buying out several e-commerce sites including Buy.com, Priceminister, Ikeda, Tradoria, Play.com, Wuaki.tv and Kobo. Aside from e-commerce, the conglomerate also engages in banking services, media, travel and hotel booking, securities brokerage, professional sports and entertainment.
Last July, Mikitani first raised the possibility of future bitcoin acceptance. About a month later, Rakuten Super Logistics, a subsidiary of Rakuten, began accepting bitcoin for its shipping services.
Speaking today at a panel on digital currencies and alternative payment methods at the Rakuten Financial Conference, Mikitani said: “We are thinking about it, and we probably will…We would like to be open.”
He did not specify when a final decision will be made, saying it was a trade secret.
Should it move forward, Rakuten would become one of the largest companies to accept bitcoin payments. The company is publicly traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange with a market cap of over $21 billion.