Department Store Operator Begins Testing Bitcoin Payments in Japan

Department store chain Marui has become the latest mainstream retailer in Japan to accept bitcoin payments, starting with a trial in a Tokyo store.

AccessTimeIconAug 9, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:48 a.m. UTC
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A department store chain has become the latest mainstream retailer in Japan to accept bitcoin payments.

In partnership with cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer, Tokyo-based Marui is testing bitcoin payments at one of its locations in Shinjuku. During the trial, which runs through October 31, it will set a cap of ¥100,000 (about $900) on bitcoin transactions.

The announcement is notable as Marui operates a number of department stores throughout Tokyo and Kyoto. Further, it comes at a time when merchants in Japan are showing an increasing interest in embracing cryptocurrency – one that finds them out of step with their peers internationally.

While news of mainstream merchants accepting bitcoin in the U.S. and Europe has largely declined, Marui's decision follows one made earlier this year by electronics seller Bic Camera, which embarked on a similar pilot, also in conjunction with bitFlyer.

Bic ultimately moved to roll out bitcoin payments to its other stores, citing the popularity of the option among customers.

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

Marui storefront image via TK Kurikawa/Shutterstock

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