BITPoint Japan Co. just announced plans to give hundreds of thousands of Japanese retail outlets the ability to accept bitcoins as payment.
BITPoint has joined a flurry of businesses embracing digital currency regulations put in place by the Japanese government last month. Those regulations recognize digital currencies as a legitimate form of payment. They allow businesses to secure and audit cryptocurrencies while reducing their ability to be used as money laundering vehicles.
What Is BITPoint?
If the name “BITPoint” sounds familiar, it’s because the company made headlines last month after it allowed travelers to use bitcoin to pay for tickets through Peach Aviation Ltd. BITPoint partnered with Peach Aviation for that endeavor.
Now, BITPoint has partnered with an unnamed “retail-related company”, explained BITPoint’s President, Genki Oda, in a recent interview, to bring bitcoin payments to retailers across Japan.
By partnering with a large retail group, BITPoint can expand to hundreds of thousands of outlets in a single stroke – as opposed to talking to lots of individual retailers.
Oda also claims to be talking to “a big convenience store operator” about using the platform in stores, explained Oda.
That means you could see BITPoint at hundreds of thousands of retailers before the end of the year – and a growing number of convenience stores beginning in 2018.
BITPoint’s parent company is Remixpoint Co. Genki Oda, 36, runs both companies. As of May 2017, Remixpoint Co. had a market value of about $189 million.
An announcement about the convenience store deal could take place by early next year. After the news was announced, Remixpoint shares rose 18% to their daily price limit.
New Japanese Law Fuels Demand For Digital Currencies
On April 1, Japan formalized rules around digital currencies. The rules were designed to move digital currencies into the world of legitimate currencies. It also reduces their ability to be used as money laundering tools.
The regulations also introduced standards for security and audits.
Ever since the regulations were enacted, we’ve seen a surge in Japanese businesses accepting BTC as payment. Japanese restaurant booking website Gurunavi Inc., for example, recently announced plans to allow diners to pay with BTC starting later this year.
Meanwhile, institutional investors in Japan have been seriously considering BTC as an asset class due to the new regulations. Additionally, several large foreign exchange brokerages in Japan will begin bitcoin trading in the coming months to boost volumes.
Nevertheless, BITPoint President Genki Oda claims that he’s wary about the sudden rise in the price of bitcoin, and doesn’t believe it’s sustainable. Bitcoin also needs to overcome hurdles like long network confirmation times and high transaction fees.
Some people believe bitcoin will be the new global standard – while others believe it’s a trendy fad that will pass in time.
Ultimately, there’s little information about where BITPoint’s BTC payment platform will roll out in Japan. However, look for more details of the retail partnership to be announced over the coming days. Soon after, you could start seeing BITPoint at hundreds of thousands of retailers across Japan – and at convenience stores starting next year.