Rakuten Goes All In on Crypto: to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency‎

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten on Tuesday said that it will launch its ‎own cryptocurrency, dubbed ‘Rakuten Coin’, allowing users to redeem ‎their points of the company’s existing loyalty program, Rakuten ‎Super Points.‎

According to a TechCrunch report, Rakuten’s CEO Hiroshi Mikitani spoke about the idea at the Mobile ‎World Congress in Barcelona, where he described the new asset as ‎a “borderless currency”.

Customers using the new cryptocurrency will enjoy the benefit of ‎being able to earn and use Rakuten Super Points, also allowing ‎them to use their points on more than 70 services within the ‎Rakuten ecosystem.‎

Rakuten.com runs the fourth largest e-commerce business, trailing ‎only behind Alibaba, eBay and Amazon.

The sheer liquidity of Rakuten’s loyalty scheme is another area where the ‎program stands out. Rakuten members can earn and use points not only ‎across its different services in Japan, but also at ‎thousands of other locations across the country.‎

Launched over 15 years ago, ‎the rewards program allows users to ‎earn one point for every 100 yen spent on the site.‎

We don’t know all the details of this plan yet, including the launch date, but it seems that Rakuten aims to increase sales transactions ‎through eliminating exchange rate ‎fees for buyers overseas.

The move comes nearly two years after the e-retailer acquired Bitcoin payments startup Bitnet and opened a blockchain lab in the UK., ‎becoming one of the more noteworthy firms in the Asia-Pacific ‎region to hop on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

(Photo: Toomore Chiang, via flickr)

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