Japanese e-commerce platform DMM has announced it is accepting bitcoin as a payment option for its goods and services.
Also read: Japan’s Largest Bank is Building Its Own Digital Coin
DMM and Coincheck Reach Milestones
In a press release issued today, Coincheck Payment, which will provide the service to DMM’s 19 million users, said bitcoin payment would be available from March 1, 2016.
Users will be able to exchange bitcoin for points, which will then be readily spendable across the DMM empire, which ranges from online entertainment to theater tickets and even English tutoring.
“In these few years, bitcoin and the blockchain technology a core technology of bitcoin are attracting interests from people around the world,” the press release states. “Also because of a popularity of bitcoin, DMM.com decided to use coincheck payment faster than any other companies in Japan.”
Coincheck also indicated DMM’s plans to expand internationally in the near future, with bitcoin payment being part of the giant’s desire to offer more payment options to customers. In doing so, DMM is positioning itself to vie with the likes of Dell, Ratuken and Expedia among others, all of which began offering bitcoin payment options to customers over the past two years.
The move also represents a major milestone for Coincheck itself, which currently provides bitcoin payment options to around 1000 stores in Japan. The payment processor currently handles around 30 million yen ($264,000) in monthly transaction volumes, a figure which will likely increase significantly once the service is made available to DMM’s client base.
“[B]itcoin payment is spreading dramatically around the world,” Coincheck continued, adding that “Bitcoin transaction volume is increasing rapidly” in Japan itself.
Japan has seen a late resurgence in Bitcoin and blockchain interest over the past six months. Back in October, Q&A platform OKWave announced it would add an integrated Bitcoin tipping feature and wallet support.
More recently, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Japan’s largest Bank, confirmed it was developing its own digital currency in an effort to hold down expenses and increase efficiency. Known as MUFG Coin after the bank’s parent group, the currency is expected to be mainly employed for backend purposes, with further deployment among customers yet to be announced.
The move nonetheless is timely, following hot on the heels of Japan’s Central Bank’s confirmation that it would join the countries setting negative interest rates.
The news represented a first for Japan last month, with the figure set at minus 0.1% to offset a “further decline in crude oil prices and uncertainty such as over future developments in emerging and commodity-exporting economies, particularly the Chinese economy,” the Bank said.
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Image courtesy of DMM.