Japanese business conglomerate Rakuten will now allow users to easily spend their cryptocurrency on goods and services, as per a release last week, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash. The firm is one of the biggest business groups in Japan and runs its own crypto exchange, among other varied businesses.
As per the release, users can now easily exchange their crypto holdings for ‘Rakuten Cash,’ the firm’s own virtual currency, directly on the Rakuten Wallet app, which, in turn, can be used to purchase anything from electronics to clothing, to games and sporting goods.
The key thing is that there's no fee for swapping crypto to Rakuten Cash. So while the payments aren't made in cryptocurrency, it's an easy way for people who own cryptocurrency to use up their coins to buy goods.
The Cash can also be used to access and pay for the various services provided by the Rakuten group, such as payments service Rakuten Pay, cashback service Rakuten Point Card, and on Rakuten Ichiba—one of the most popular e-commerce sites in Japan that features millions of daily users and thousands of online vendors. The latter service is touted by pundits as the “Amazon of Japan,” a reference to the American e-commerce giant.
Rakuten has also come up with a points-based reward system to make the service more popular. The firm shall reward 1 point (1%) for every 100 yen worth of payments made via Rakuten Cash on its ‘Pay’ app, it said, in a move to increase the convenience of spending cryptocurrencies.
Meanwhile, the new feature is one in a long list of crypto-based developments introduced by Rakuten in the past few years. In August 2019, the firm launched a dedicated crypto trading app for users, while later in December that year, it introduced a new system for users to convert their ‘super’ points into cryptocurrency.