Skip to main content
  • Register
  • Help
  • Contact us
  • Log out of your HL account

Amazon rival Rakuten is jumping into Bitcoin and crypto - is Amazon next

Amazon rival Rakuten, a Japan-based online retailer which has been expanding around the world in recent years.

Article originally published by Forbes. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

Amazon rival Rakuten, a Japan-based online retailer which has been expanding around the world in recent years, has begun accepting registrations for its new bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange, Rakuten Wallet - with bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors hoping other technology companies, such as U.S. online retail giant Amazon, will follow suit.

Rakuten, a sprawling company with operations across e-commerce, online banking, media and communications, has shown interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for some time, with the company saying last year “the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in peer-to-peer payments will grow in the future.”

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption is, though, struggling as the world’s traditional banks and payment providers rush to digitize their systems and many now expect the world’s biggest tech companies, from Rakuten and Amazon to micro-blogging site Twitter, to drive the next wave of bitcoin and crypto adoption.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency users need to have either a Rakuten Bank account or a Rakuten member ID in order to sign up to the service, however, with no indication yet when the wider public will be able to register.

The cryptocurrency exchange is scheduled to open to the public from June this year.

Amazon.com Inc.
$1,785.66 1.60%

Market closed | Prices delayed by at least 15 minutes
Switch to live prices |

Some big names in bitcoin and cryptocurrency have cheered the announcement, with the chief executive of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, repeating a past statement that this signals eventually “everyone will be in crypto.”

So far, Amazon has resisted calls for it to begin accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao, often known simply as CZ, previously saying he expects Amazon adoption to trigger the next bitcoin bull run. 

The widely-respected chief executive of bitcoin and crypto exchange Binance, Changpeng Zhao, said Rakuten’s move into crypto is just the beginning.

Rakuten Wallet, previously known as Everybody’s Bitcoin, was acquired by Rakuten for $2.4 million last August before being rebranded and “closed for refurbishment” in March.

Rakuten first began accepting bitcoin payments back in 2015, integrating bitcoin payments processor Bitnet into its U.S. website.

Meanwhile, Rakuten’s shares have leaped higher ahead of the initial public offering of U.S. digital scrapbooking startup Pinterest. Rakuten invested around $50 million in Pinterest in 2012. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors will be hoping Rakuten’s move into crypto will prove as lucrative. 

Elsewhere, other Japanese companies are looking to bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a future revenue driver. Yahoo! Japan (not part of the Yahoo that was bought by Verizon in 2017) owns some 40% of bitcoin and crypto exchange TaoTao.

This article was written by Billy Bambrough from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Article originally published by Forbes. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

Free news email alerts

  • Daily and weekly news
  • Major Publishers
Register