Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has integrated its US site with bitcoin payment processor Bitnet, enabling customers in America to pay with the digital currency.
Often considered a rival to Amazon, Rakuten has also confirmed plans to roll out bitcoin integration to both its German and Austrian e-commerce sites.
Yaz Iida, president of Rakuten USA, said the company's mission was to "empower the world through the Internet". He added:
Speaking about the integration, John McDonnell, co-founder and CEO at Bitnet, said that they were excited to join with Rakuten in helping both merchants and shoppers reap the benefits of this new technology.
He added: "Rakuten's global marketplaces are great examples of how digital currencies can impact global commerce."
Interest in bitcoin
The news comes after Rakuten's CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, one of Japan's wealthiest individuals, announced his company was considering accepting bitcoin just last month.
Rakuten is not new to the bitcoin space. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that the e-commerce giant had formed a department to study digital currencies and had invested in US-based bitcoin ventures such as Bitnet.
The Tokyo-based company employs over 14,000 people and operates 40 businesses worldwide. The company is expanding worldwide and currently operates throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania.
In Japan it operates a bank, an insurance company and even a professional baseball team.
Image via Shutterstock.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.