Rakuten Japan's E-Commerce Giant To Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency

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Over the last few months we have heard many rumours of international e-commerce companies looking to adopt cryptocurrencies and even releasing there own cryptocurrencies. But until now they where just rumours. However yesterday (27th Feb.) we witnessed this rumor being transformed into reality in the near future.

Japan’s largest e-commerce company Rakuten, with a  market capitalization of over $12.5 billion, is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency called Rakuten Coin based on Blockchain Technology and the existing Rakuten Super Points loyalty program.

The big announcement was made by Rakuten CEO and founder Hiroshi Mikitani during his speech at Mobile World Conference in Barcelona on 27th of February.

Mikitani went as far as describing the newly announced asset as a “board less currency,” underlining Rakuten’s vision of differentiating itself from its online rivals, like Amazon, Alibaba or eBay and “recreating” the relationship between retailers and merchants.

 

“Basically, our concept is to recreate the network of retailers and merchants. We do not want to disconnect [them from their customers] but function as a catalyst. That is our philosophy, how to empower society not just provide more convenience,” Mikitani said.

 

Rakuten Super Points loyalty system was launched 15 years ago and it has played a significant role in Rakuten’s success since then. Resulting ina  total issuance of over 1 trillion Super Points to Rakuten’s loyal customers, this roughly equates to $9.1 billion.

The points are obtained every time a customer makes a purchase on Rakuten’s marketplace and can be used to discount future purchases or buy certain products or services on the shopping platform.

Rakuten intends to implement the Blockchain-based loyalty program to attract and engage customers, and use the growing interest in cryptocurrencies to recruit new loyalty members on a global scale.

Rakuten, however, have not released any details regarding the launch date for the service.

This latest announcement comes almost two years after the Japanese Rakuten acquired the intellectual property assets of Bitcoin payment processor, BitNet, and opened the Rakuten Blockchain Lab to explore applications for Blockchain in e-commerce and fintech.

What are your thoughts on this subject, are you in favour of retail business releasing their own cryptocurrencies. In addition, do you think other e-commerce giants will follow suit and introduce there own cryptocurrencies as well?

 

Source: Ana Alexandre, Cointelegraph

 

Bogdan Maslea