Japan’s Bic Camera to Accept Bitcoin Payments at All Stores

Chuan Tian
Jul 12, 2017 at 10:00 UTC
Updated Jul 13, 2017 at 03:48 UTC

A consumer electronics retailer in Japan is expanding a bitcoin payment option to all its stores nationwide.

According to Nikkei, Bic Camera, which began accepting bitcoin at several locations in April, is expanding the option after seeing unexpected levels of demand from spenders. The company is taking payments in the digital currency through a partnership with domestic bitcoin exchange bitFlyer, which it uses to convert bitcoin into yen upon acceptance.

Bic Camera sells a range of products, including cameras, personal computers and home appliances like dishwashers.

News that Bic Camera was taking bitcoin in a limited capacity came shortly after the Japanese government put in place new regulations around digital currencies and the exchange services that handle them. Among those was a legal definition for bitcoin as a kind of payment instrument.

Those rules came into being after the failure of Mt Gox, the now-defunct bitcoin exchange that collapsed in early 2014. Mt Gox’s CEO, Mark Karpeles, appeared in court yesterday and pleaded not guilty to embezzlement.

As for when the nationwide roll-out is happening, Nikkei reports that it could play out as early as this month. Kojima, a subsidiary brand of Bic Camera’s, is also expected to begin accepting bitcoin in the near future.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in bitFlyer.

Bic Camera store image via Shutterstock