Retail Giant Rakuten Enables Bitcoin Payments for US Customers

The Japanese e-commerce giant has integrated with payment processor Bitnet, enabling customers based in the United States to pay with bitcoin.

AccessTimeIconMar 17, 2015 at 10:59 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:36 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

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:

"Not only can bitcoin support this vision by helping our merchants to compete globally, but it also has the potential to benefit society by enhancing the security, privacy, and convenience of financial transactions."

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.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, 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.