Rakuten ‘thinking about’ bitcoin acceptance

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Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten is considering accepting bitcoin as a payment method, making it one of the largest Japanese companies to take an interest in the cryptocurrency.

Chief Executive Hiroshit Mitikani spoke at the Rakuten Financial Conference in Tokyo, noting that his company “probably will” accept bitcoin because they “would like to be open”.

Mitikani, whose company previously formed a department to study digital currencies and invest in US bitcoin ventures, did not specify when a decision might be reached.

Japan’s bitcoin industry is growing, despite the failure of Tokyo-based exchange Mount Gox  last year. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party supported the launch of the cryptocurrency industry’s self-governing body, the Japan Authority of Digital Assets, and the country is seeing a growing number of startups enter the fray.

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