Rakuten.com’s Bitcoin Option Goes Live, Integration Via Bitnet

Japan-based e-commerce giant Rakuten.com has gone live with its bitcoin payment option, becoming one of the largest e-tailers providing the feature.

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. The company continues to grow, and helped by its acquisitions, has gradually made further inroads into the U.S. and other global markets.

Aside from e-commerce, the conglomerate also engages in banking services, media, travel and hotel booking, securities brokerage, professional sports and entertainment.

Rakuten first hinted at the possibility of accepting bitcoin last year, and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani reaffirmed the company’s willingness during a panel discussion at the Rakuten Financial Conference.

The functionality was provided by Bitnet, which has completed its second large-scale integration in as many months. Recently, Bitnet partnered with Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) to enable bitcoin payments for several major airlines.

On the latest integration, Rakuten.com President Fumio Kobayashi said: “Bitcoin turned the Internet into a secure, seamless global payment network. By integrating with Bitnet we are now offering consumers the industry standard in secure payments, and our merchants will benefit by receiving guaranteed payments. Both consumers and merchants will have peace of mind when participating in the Rakuten.com online marketplace.”

As part of the launch, Rakuten is running a promotion for shoppers paying with bitcoin.

(Photo: Rakuten)

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