Bitcoin to Be Accepted at 260,000 Stores in Japan by This Summer

Only a few days after bitcoin officially became a method of payment in Japan on April 1, two major Japanese retailers have partnered with Japanese bitcoin exchanges to start accepting the digital currency for payments.

Also read: Japan Declares Sale of Bitcoin Exempt from Consumption Tax

Bic Camera and Bitflyer

Bitcoin Will Be Accepted at 260,000 Stores in Japan by This Summer
Bic Camera, Nagoya Station

Bic Camera is a major consumer electronics retail chain in Japan. Many of its stores are either located in front of a train station or are directly connected to one, making them very easily accessible with lots of foot traffic. Bitflyer is the largest bitcoin exchange by volume.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, the two companies have partnered and Bic Camera will start a trial to accept bitcoin payments at two of its locations in Tokyo on Friday, using the Bitflyer’s payment system. The first location is Bic Camera’s flagship shop in Tokyo’s Yurakucho district, and the other is Bicqlo Bic Camera which is the hybrid outlet with Uniqlo located in Shinjuku. Usage trends at the two test stores will help the company decide whether other locations will accept bitcoin payments. The publication details:

Customers are allowed to pay up to 100,000 yen ($904) using the cryptocurrency, and they will also get reward points at the same rate as for cash payments.

Recruit Lifestyle and Coincheck

Meanwhile, another major Japanese bitcoin exchange, Coincheck, has partnered with Recruit Lifestyle, the retail support arm of human resources conglomerate Recruit Holdings. Coincheck confirmed the partnership to Bitcoin.com, adding that currently the company “holds 99% of bitcoin payment market share”.

By this summer, bitcoin will become a payment option at shops that use Recruit Lifestyle’s proprietary point-of-sale (POS) app called Airregi. Currently, 260,000 food establishments and other retail locations nationwide use this tablet-based POS system.

260,000 Stores Will Accept Bitcoin

While Nikkei reports that about 4,500 stores in Japan currently Bitcoin Will Be Accepted at 260,000 Stores in Japan by This Summeraccept bitcoin as payments, in an interview with Bitcoin.com in January, Coincheck revealed that more than 5,000 merchants and websites accept bitcoin through the company’s system.

Electronic money is popular in Japan. In addition to cash payments, some of the most popular electronic payment methods are Suica and Rakuten’s Edy, which are rechargeable contactless smart cards. While Suica is accepted at about 380,000 outlets and used as a fare card on train lines in Japan, Edy can be used at 470,000 locations nationwide.

The partnership with Recruit Lifestyle “will add 260,000 more stores that accept bitcoins”, Coincheck claims, adding that:

Bitcoin will be accepted at 260,000 shops by this summer.

How many of the 260,000 merchants do you think will actually start accepting bitcoin payments by this summer? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bic Camera, and Recruit Lifestyle


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  • Erik

    So 260,000 stores ? It’s great news ! but Bitcoin is not able to handle a volume of 1 transaction per day per store right now. 300.000 is about the maximum per daily volume it can handle. + no instant transaction so how is that going to work ?

    • RusAlexander

      You right Erik. And it seems for this reason LTC is getting higher. It is going to be test platform for SegWit

      • Erik

        Jupp agreed, it will be nice test platform, people will finally realize than that segwit and the off-chain and side chain tech will bring is not equal to the solution of DASH it’s instant sent technology, the sooner people realize this the better we are all off.

    • Mateus Miguel

      Unless the stores accept zero confirmation payments, otherwise it would be a long time waiting for a payment to be confirmed.

      I don’t see a scenario were people have to stay in a shop until seller confirms payment.
      In many occasions it takes more than 30 minutes for these confirmations.

      • Erik

        That would mean some KYC otherwise, I am afraid the double spend spread will start.

        • Mateus Miguel

          In practice the “double spend” can’t happen, once a payment is done even with zero confirmations it is automatically deducted from your balance. Also the wallet does not allow you to spend what is not there.

          This is easy to see if for exemple you have 2 wallets, try to send one amount to your second wallet and you can see that in fact the “double spend” theory does not exist.

          • De Wilde Weldoener

            It’s not people with normal wallets that are going to try double spending.
            It’s going to be people running a wallet they themselves coded, or a wallet they modified to allow this kind of abuse.

            This could be problem, imagine for a moment Bitcoin scaling is not fixed “soon”, usage grows, and confirmation times increase to 24 hours.
            That would mean that you would have 24 hours to spend the same balance at as many stores as you can manage.
            Once that catches on, merchants will have to stop accepting non-confirmation transactions.

            I don’t think it will ever get that bad though.

  • Rafael Kireyev

    If this year at least 100 thousand sellers will try to work with Bitcoin, then next year there will be millions of them.

    • Ethan S.

      Not true. BTC have scalability issues that new coins such as Ethereum do not have.

      Bitcoin = Dial Up (came first, slow)
      Ethereum = Google Fiber (came after, fast)

      • Brian Podumis

        Bad comparison. Ethereum is garbage infinite coin.

  • Nex

    Any big stores in the list?

  • caycepollard

    Bitcoins in the future could be worth ten thousand times what they are worth now, so why would anyone spend anyone Bitcoins that they have on anything? No-one is ever going to spend their Bitcoin in any of these shops, right?