Rollout of 260,000+ Bitcoin-Accepting Stores in Japan Begins

Rollout of 260,000+ Bitcoin-Accepting Stores in Japan Begins

Three months after Recruit Lifestyle partnered with Japanese bitcoin exchange Coincheck to enable over 260,000 retail stores to accept bitcoin, the company has finally announced on Monday that its point-of-sale app is now bitcoin-ready. Immediately, a chain of 334 eyeglasses stores using the app announced that it will accept the cryptocurrency starting July 10.

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

Air Regi Starts Handling Bitcoin Payments

Rollout of 260,000+ Bitcoin-Accepting Stores in Japan BeginsBitcoin.com reported in April about Recruit Lifestyle Co., Ltd. partnering with Japanese bitcoin exchange Coincheck for its point-of-sale (POS) app called “Mobile Payment for Air Regi” to accept bitcoin payments.

On Monday, almost three months later, Recruit Lifestyle finally announced that the Air Regi app now offers a bitcoin payment option starting on July 3. The announcement came two days after the law that removes the 8% consumption tax on bitcoin went into effect in Japan.

Currently, about 260,000 commercial facilities, food establishments, drugstores and other retail locations nationwide use this tablet-based POS system. Coincheck said in April that by this summer, bitcoin will become a payment option at all of these shops that use this proprietary app. The exchange explained:

Customer holding bitcoins can pay with bitcoin simply by scanning the barcode displayed on ‘Mobile payment for Air Regi’ app.

First Roll Out – 334 Eyeglasses Stores

Rollout of 260,000+ Bitcoin-Accepting Stores in Japan BeginsOn Monday, a chain of eyeglasses stores with 334 locations across Japan also announced that all of its stores will start accepting bitcoin beginning July 10. The chain is called Megane Super and it uses the Air Regi app.

The company expects its user base to increase, especially from Europe and the U.S., since the new form of payment will improve convenience, Kabutan reported. In addition, it believes adding the bitcoin payment option will attract tourists to the stores which already accept Alipay and Line Pay through Air Regi.

More than 260,000 Stores Coming

Kagayaki Kawabata, Coincheck International Business Developer, confirmed to Bitcoin.com that the eyeglasses stores are the first of the 260,000+ stores that will start accepting bitcoin using the Air Regi app. He added:

Some other stores are also preparing Air Regi bitcoin payments…Also, adding to existing 260,000 stores that already use Air Regi, we will cooperate with Recruit Lifestyle to expand the stores that accept bitcoin.

In addition to working with Recruit Lifestyle, Coincheck has also been busy signing up merchants to accept bitcoin directly. Recent additions to the exchange’s list of 5000+ bitcoin-accepting stores include popular capsule hotels, a property management company in Akihabara, and Kai Corporation which owns five unique restaurants in Japan.

Do you think Japanese consumers will start using bitcoin more with all these new shops accepting it? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Recruit Lifestyle, Megane Super, Air Regi, Coincheck


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