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 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 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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  • Aho


  • Naresh Jain


  • Great

    • Ulf-Jochen Froitzheim

      Can anyone of you nerds here tell me why you want to pay for physical goods in legitimate brick-and-mortar stores, or for offline services, with a hugely volatile speculation object falsely branded as a “currency”? Adrenaline junkies fascinated by something that makes them feel like almost-outlaw adventurers? Everyone but reality-adverse true believers knows that Bitcoin is not for paying bills but for gambling.

      • MC Kuky

        Fiat money (all form of current money, paper and coins) always keep losing purchasing power. There is no scarcity in Fiat money, government legalized private banks to print money as they see fit, which effectively is them stealing wealth from us (by government creating debt). Bitcoin is limited in supply (21 million – little under) and is not possible to counterfeit it, or steal it (unless you don’t know what you are doing, leave it at exchange or lose your wallet) and is not controlled by government or rich. Its use is no different to money (or gold), it is a tool used to exchange goods, and why use it?

        1. to start moving away from current corrupt system
        2. with more mass adoption, its purchasing power will increase… and then will not lose its value the same way Fiat money does.

        that’s why

        • Nada Aca

          The same losing of purchasing power is also an extra incentive to spend it, so it goes to other people, and in turn they can trade themselves. Currency in that way serves its purpose. Certainly, it’s terrible when there’s too much inflation, but that inlation, in itself, isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it’s well controlled. It’s also part of the government’s funding, another form of taxation, and in turn the government provides many basic services. Moving power from the public into private hands is what libertarians and capitalists want, but I doubt it works out as well for the population at large. Don’t get me wrong I think there’s plenty of abuse in governments, but the alternative sure looks worse when there’s no accountability to absolutely no one but yourself.

          Bitcoin is also a fiduciary currency. This means it lacks intrinsic value, the artificial scarcity is an illusion when you can always have other alt-coins. As you might have noticed them around.

          If you were to remove taxation and the will to support your govenment, there’s no reason for the average person to pick one or another beyond self interest. That is unless a key industry and decides to trade only with this currency and can get away with it since you have a monopoly. As you take power away from governments, the individuals in charge these industrial conglomerates would only increase their influence and have the true authority in terms of what currency is worth anything at all. Provided they also have the force to hold on their industries..

          1. System has corruption, yes. That doesn’t mean what rises from the ashes of the current one has likelihood of it being any better. The source of corruption is human, and you aren’t updating humans. That’s something for the true transhumanist era, but by then we probably won’t even need an artifact like currency anymore.

          2. If for some crazy reason Btc somehow becomes the primary media, and also crushes the other alts, and we ignore the TPS and other current shortcomings, that is so. Yet it’s definitely not a good thing, it’s a currency that disfavors investments altogether, and there’s certainly no good reason to loan it with the way there’s only ever so much of it. You know many inventions wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without such loans facilitated by the current design, right?

          Anyway, in such a world you get richer money-wise by taking out other large coin holders. You don’t even need their wallets, cause now the pool is suddenly smaller.

          Again, there’s no reason for it to ever happen. Unless the groups that own armed forces and food production decide to force that currency in particular. Money facilitates trade, the real worth is always in the goods. Money can change, the basic needs are still there.

      • Animaniac

        I’ve been purchasing goods and services using Bitcoin lately following the price increase. At some point there’s no point in just holding and sitting on them. The Bitcoin economy is beginning to turn… . the “price” of Bitcoin will eventually stabilize but not after meteoric ups and downs… when it’s on a high I tend to spend a little. Not enough to damage my holding levels though… but just enough to enjoy it a little bit. This seems quite sensible to me- and there’s no reason why many others are not doing the exact same thing as me.

  • DeepDiver

    We’ll see. Honestly, despite the increased interest in Japan in the past 6 months, I’ve not come across a single shop that accepts Bitcoin (apart from Bic Camera & a few bars where they have the BTC meetups).

    • Animaniac

      it’ll come… by the end of 2017/18 it’s going to be everywhere in Japan.

      • Panda

        i see

    • MC Kuky


  • Animaniac


    • Roger Ver

      You look like you must be in Japan.

      • Animaniac

        Roger Ver, is that really you? If so, I have some questions…

        • Roger Ver

          Yes, it is really me. I was actually thinking of doing an AMA on /r/BTC soon.

          • Animaniac

            You really should. At the moment there appears to be two versions of Bitcoin that could emerge. The way it is framed according to my lowly understanding is that there will be a corporatized Bitcoin (Segwit2x) vs a sovereign Bitcoin (BIP148/UASF).

            Let me be as crystal clear as I can be, as a user of Bitcoin I will always support the most sovereign version of Bitcoin. The one that retains and strengthens excellent properties of hard Money as well as unalterable a-political decentralized sovereignty. Bitcoin is a no-mans-land public utility. There will be no slight of hand this time around as the central banks did to us all these years. If there’s even a scintilla of control over this utility by any single party – I will instantly liquidate my position of the bogus version of Bitcoin and stack up on the most sovereign decentralized version. At the moment that appears to align with Bitcoin Core’s vision of scaling under a UASF.

            If Bitcoin is not resilient enough against special interests and co-opting attempts then the whole crypto industry is dead on arrival.

          • clive mossmoon

            Blockstream is headed by two arrogant engineers who think they can reinvent bitcoin with a better version that fundamentally changes the way bitcoin works. Historically people with this type of know-it-all arrogance get smoked by the market.

          • Animaniac

            I want the truth about this scaling debate. I care not for the antics behind the scenes. The principles I outlined remain steadfast for most Bitcoin users. Whoever’s vision, be it Blockstream or Ver’s, I want a sovereign Bitcoin with balanced game theory dynamics.

          • MC Kuky

            Then think of this:

            The only way to have decentralized and uncontrolled Bitcoin (from any corporation or government) there must be massive hashing power in the network to prevent attacks and hacking.

            In order to get this massive hashing power, code is written in a way that it adds incentive to those that mine Bitcoin, and the incentives come in 2 forms. One is from blocks mined (the block reward) that miners then sell to other parties, and the other is from transaction fees.

            As time goes on, and more people mine Bitcoin, the hashing power increases, the difficulty goes up so the cost of mining same amount of Bitcoin increases, also every 4 years the number of block rewards halves. This means rewards from mining blocks decreases with time, and once all blocks are mined this rewards disappears.

            As time passes by there is also greater adoption of Bitcoin, more transactions, so the ever decreasing reward from mining blocks is countered by ever increasing number of transactions, and therefore fees from them.

            IF the Core developers keep blocks small, and add side chains that will be owned and controlled by the 3rd party (corporations) the the incentive for miners will diminish and eventually not be enough for miners to keep mining. This will make hashing power decrease over time and eventually not be high enough, and will eventually reach a point where network will no longer be protected by the hashing power.

            If this happens Bitcoin as we know it will be gone, and then corporations will have the control of it (its code) as then they won’t need lot of hashing power to take over the control.

            So bottom line is, control over what code is used must always stay with miners and never the developers or nodes or even users for that matter. Users will always be able to chose what crypto they like/want so there is no danger for them.

            The only danger is for network to be compromised, IF the miners start losing incentives, and this can happen in the transaction fees are “stolen from them” by this trick of Core propaganda, attacking integrity of miners, calling them cheats, and what not else, blaming the miners for scaling issue (when it is Core that added the 1MB limit and they are the ones that refuse to take it out) and then tick people to turn against miners, and with this BIP148 use nodes to force miners into submission.. and then add side chains.

            I hope people understand how important this really is, and to stop believing everything Core devs and their advocates say, as most of it is not true.

          • Steffen Søborg

            SegWit is getting adopted, how is that getting smoked?

            Also, the people who have the know-it-all arrogance are the big blockers. They think they are the only ones in bitcoin, and they think they are the only ones whos opinion matter.

          • MC Kuky

            You got the 2 reversed. The BIP148 is the one where corporations are using Bitcoin Core developers to code for them (they want to keep main Bitcoin blocks small and add their own side chains – also called secondary layers).

            SegWit2x is existing code with 1MB block size removed (that is the 2x part) and addition of SegWit, which should alegedly increase number of transactions by some 80% (estimate) with same block size.

            I would not believe Core developers and their advocates as after listening to them for some 6 months now, and listening to other side also, I have to conclusion that it is definitely them (Core developers) that are in the wrong, they are trying to force miners to use their code and no follow miner consensus.

          • Animaniac

            thank you for this. But won’t a 2mb block size raise barriers to entry for smaller miners and concentrate mining power in the hands of larger corporatized miners? Am I wrong?

          • MC Kuky

            No, this is just scare tactics from Blockstream funded Core developers. There is nothing wrong with bigger blocks, in fact it is how Bitcoin is designed to scale.

          • Animaniac

            So what does it all really boil down to? Segwit 1mb vs Segwit 2mb? It seems both sides want segwit anyway…

          • MC Kuky

            SegWit is not the issue, never was. Miners have nothing against it. SegWit is actually a little of shuffling of code to make available space within the block, be used more efficiently which would, according to the Core developers, create some 80% more transactions within the same block size.

            This is not a bad thing, but a good one, if it ends up working this way. Part of the code also adds few fixes, but the controversial part is the intention of the developers to not lift the 1M block size and to add side chains instead. They claim it is better way forwards, and at first I thought, OK…. but with time I got to understand that they were not telling the truth and are hiding the fact that this would screw with miners, and would make the miners lose a lot of their incentive to mine, from reduced transaction fees (because the blocks would be kept at 1MB).

            So what miners have problem with, and for a good reason, is that 1Mb block limit, which the Core developers do not want to remove.. that’s the real reason why we had and still have this political bull crap.

          • Animaniac

            So the heart of the issue is about scaling via sidechain functionality under a UASF/BIP148 while maintaining a 1mb block size instead of on-chain scaling via an increased block size to 2mb and above.

            Keeping a 1mb block size is like putting a leash on miners and restricting their economic gain from the overall system in the future. UASF and its sidechain functionality essentially invites new economic agents into the system- i.e. those that would develop and build features like the Lightning Network that would previously be impossible.

            This would result in alternative scaling solutions that effectively exclude miners from enjoying additional revenue. On-chain scaling via increasing the block size to 2mb or above effectively includes the miners a little more in the successes of Bitcoin’s future.

            Am I getting warmer on what going on?

            The one thing that still eludes me is why exactly the miners will earn higher transaction fees just by increasing the block size? Is it higher fee per transaction, or just higher overall transaction fees collected per block? That’s an important difference for end users…

          • MC Kuky

            Yes, that is the core of the issue.
            The higher fees came because blocks were always full and there is backlog in transactions. If the blocks were bigger, they could handle more transactions per block which would reduce or eliminate backlog, and fees would normalize again.

            Also people don’t understand one thing, in Bitcoin fee is set to be a percentage of Bitcoin, I think its 0.1% so fee is small if $ value of Bitcoin is small (which was the case in the past) but as Bitcoin value in $ terms rises so does the fee, in terms of $ also.

          • Jay

            The blocks are big enough. The mempool spam to further the big block agenda, has ceased. Bitcoin is working fine right now and, with normal use, does not need bigger blocks. A block size increase doesn’t even increase the transactions/second by all that much. It’s a bad way to scale up.

            Bigger blocks make the blockchain bigger, which will reduce the number of full nodes that people around the globe are willing to host. Therefore, bigger blocks lead to centralization.

            Centralized things, much like corporations, can be shut down by the government. Animaniac had it spot on.

          • Animaniac

            But then the argument is that bigger blocks specifically centralize nodes (a node is different from a miner right- or they one in the same?). However, given that more and more people are getting fibre and hdd/sdd costs are continually dropping – wouldn’t that counteract the effects of bigger blocks as we move into the future?

          • Jay

            SegWit2x wants to scale up from 1MB blocks to 8MB blocks. That’s not exactly a gradual improvement that moves along with the times. It’s fairly insane, actually.

            It’s true storage and bandwidth becomes cheaper as time goes on. And you’d *think* this would make it easy to keep up.

            But the reality of the situation is that (according to Luke Jr., Core dev), the number of full nodes is at an all time low.

            Bigger blocks will likely worsen that situation.

          • Animaniac

            in case others reading this are wondering. where can we monitor the number of full independent nodes over time? I’d like to take a look at that data

          • MC Kuky

            They won’t go from 1MB to 8MB. You people really don’t know how to think. What SegWit2x will do is lift the block size limit, set it to 8MB (I guess) but miners will use blocks as large as needed. If not many transactions happen, they won’t need to mine that large blocks, simple as that.

            The MOST IMPORTANT thing in Bitcoin is that ITS CODE stays as is, under collective control of the miner, and that miner’s consensus is always maintained. This will prevent any code change that has real danger of killing off the decentralized nature of Bitcoin.

          • Jay

            It won’t go from 1MB to 8MB, you say. SegWit2x will set the block limit to 8MB, you say. How can those mutually exclusive ideas be true at the same time?

            Either you’re confused or gaslighting.

            Ofcourse miners won’t mine 8MB blocks when they can. Now why would they ever want to centralize Bitcoin and gain more power of it?

            Everybody knows that miners are entirely honest and run their operations selflessly, for the good of mankind.

          • MC Kuky

            Alright, little mistake in how I wrote it, I meant they won’t go from 1MB to 8MB straight away… the will go higher as needed. With more adoption, larger blocks will be needed.

            Look, most people don’t actually know what Capitalism and Communism are. This is because people were told fibs, and they were told this because the system they live it, well the people using the system to their advantage (I am talking about capitalism here, not Communism) want to keep the system going and the other one that would work against them they don’t want it… but in order to do this they need to lie to people, and this is exactly what has been happening past many decades.

            Bitcoin actually is designed to use system similar to Communist system. If you know what Communism is, you would see this is the case, but I won’t go much into details (I end up writing long replies)

            In short, it comes down to how Bitcoin is kept safe, and how to get that.

            So, Bitcoin is kept safe not by trust, and not by people, but by computer power (hashing power). The people are easily bought so that option is out the window. Developers fall into this category… developers can easily be bought to implement code that suits their employer (which happen to be Capitalists).

            So to keep the code safe from this hacking, we need lot of hashing power, and the only way to get it and have people do it freely, which is how you end up with decentralization, is to have incentives for the people to do this.

            Mining costs lot of money, it costs money in energy, hardware and maintenance and network costs. This cost needs to be justified by the people who mine, and this comes from incentives, which are from rewards when blocks are mined and from transaction fees.

            As time goes by, rewards from blocks is reducing, and with more adoption incentive from fees is increasing… so together they both add up to provide sufficient incentive for miners to keep mining, which in turns creates the needed hashing power.

            If the blocks are kept as they are now, and new side chains are added, the incentive for miners will keep diminishing.. as mined blocks reduce and eventually stop, and if number of transactions also doesn’t increase very soon this will make miners start mining at a loss… which will make them stop mining… and then what? Hashing power goes down… and Bitcoin will like this become vulnerable to takeover from government and/or corporations (capitalists)

            People that are just users, are naturally short sighted and not very insightful, they think miners are somehow in control… well they are.. they are supposed to be in control. I explained why. It has to be this way otherwise Bitcoin would have never become what it is.

            All other cryptos have some boss, some business behind it… and they are all therefore centralized and controlled by single entity. Bitcoin is the only one that is not… and this is exactly because miners themselves, collectively… are decentralized… but people don’t get this.

            If Core developers get their way, it really will mean, a start of the end of Bitcoin the way we know it… it will soon become corporate owned code.

            So people need to start think REALLY CAREFULLY about what they hear and read from both sides… and not just take for granted what someone says or writes.

            I encourage you to read carefully what I wrote… and you follow this more, hear from other people… but be a careful listener… once you realize what is going on, it is easy to pick up when someone lies. Sadly most people are still living in false reality in many things.

          • At this point you’ve lost everyone man. Also, your argument about bigger blocks is completely void of any network considerations or exponential scaling.

          • MC Kuky

            Well, if I lost you with this simple argument, then problem lies with your understanding.

          • Panda

            u tried

          • MC Kuky

            One of the arguments against increase of block size, by the Core developers, is that with larger blocks the blockchain will grow quicker (which it will, naturally) and that space to store the blockchain will become an issue. But correct, the HDD are getting cheaper, 8 TB drive is not that expensive, and to get to even 1TB it’ll still take a while, not to mention that every PC can hold more than 1 HDD as well… this is really not an issue…. but what they also fail to mention is that, even if they kept Bitcoin blocks at 1MB, the new layers (side chains) would also add to the exact same storage requirements… which for any HONEST person would show, that their argument is bollocks.

            1MB of Bitcoin block + 1MB of LN block is no different to 2MB Bitcoin block.

            How people fail to think every time someone talks rubbish about something, is beyond me. It just shows people don’t know much, nor do they even try.. instead they just absorb and trust whatever crap they hear.

          • Animaniac

            exactly, once the problem is demystified, it becomes easy to see the bs and lies.

          • ocmone

            Are you really sure that the block size increase will actually be needed? SegWit will immediately offer space for enough transactions (at least for the moment). This can buy some valuable time for developers of second layer blockchains (such as lightning and others) to bring their solutions to the market.

            Once the majority of small, high-speed payment transactions travel via second layer blockchains (using the BTC blockchain only for consolidations), we probably end up not needing a block size increase at all.

            Finally, please allow me the question whether or not you are operating a node yourself. I did. Just to support the network back in the early days. And for me as a private person without mining ambitions, the ledger’s size simply became too big at some point. So I stopped. I don’t think I was the only person. This means ANY blocksize increase will hurt more ‘regular’ people who operate nodes for altruistic purposes.

            Ultimately only miners will operate nodes, handing all decisive power (on the bitcoin code) to the mining pools.

          • Animaniac

            I don’t think that’s necessarily true, data and hdd space grows cheaper and more abundant by the day.. I really can’t see how this would be a major barrier to running our own full nodes going into the future. Unless there’s something else to it…

          • MC Kuky

            Did you read my post as to WHY we should not have secondary layers in Bitcoin.. at least not have such layers that do not use miners to do the transactions. Lightning network is a side chain that Core developers have planed already, which won’t use miners but will use nodes to do the transactions. This will mean miners will not be getting fees from these transactions.. and that is the core of the problem.

            We might not need bigger blocks straight away IF SegWit proves to be more efficient…. but we will need it in very near future at least, and guaranteed to need it anyway, as mass adoption rises over the years.

            Also, don’t mix miners and nodes, they don’t operate the same way. Anyone can have miner to mine and one that is node only, but their function is not the same.

            Bottom line is, miners must always have incentives, if not, they will not be mining any more and that will put Bitcoin network in danger, if miners start dropping out due to lack of incentives, and that will reduce much needed hashing power that is used to keep the Bitcoin network safe.

          • MC Kuky

            The blocks are not big enough. Not sure how much you pay attention… but even right now as Bitcoin market is quite slow and quiet, there is still little backlog. The moment another frency starts, if blocks are not increased, it will create another scaling issue AGAIN and people will start complaining how Bitcoin is too slow and transaction fees to high.

            You people just can’t think few steps ahead, can you?

          • Roger Ver

            Sorry I’m out of energy for a super long reply, but the short version is that there are four potential chain forks at the moment. Segwit2X, UASF, MAHF, and the legacy chain. I think the MAHF is likely the be the most aligned with the honey badger of money we all want. I’ll have more energy for when I eventually do that AMA.

          • Animaniac

            Just so you know- after a lot of back and forth on this topic I’ve changed my mind over and over. But as of right now- I think Segwit2x is the most palatable middle ground for all parties. i.e. I think I am with you on this. Further, I concur with the CEO of Shapeshift as well on this matter. His piece on the scaling debate was extremely well written and made perfect sense to me. And given his philosophical approach to this industry- it adds further credence to his arguments.

  • Ronnie Moas

    Bitcoin market cap is now >$40 bln and Ethereum is approaching $30 bln. Looks as though there is legitimacy here. They have run up a lot already, but crypto-currencies are still just 1% of Gold ($8 trillion) and less than 1/10 of 1% compared to stocks and cash ($80 trillion). If this is legitimate and crypto-currencies capture 1.0%-1.5% of the market share, then you are looking at a situation where a $100,000 investment today could be worth more than $1,000,000 a few years (or more) down the line. This will either crash and burn … or continue to go higher and take market share away from stocks, other precious metals, bonds and currencies. I will be putting out a 40-page report on this in July. I am just now starting to familiarize myself with cryptocurrencies. At first glance my thought is that I think it would not hurt for people to take a shot on this and hold for a few years. If they lose a few bucks, at least they took a shot. In life, you miss every shot that you do not take. It will probably be more upsetting to watch it go up another 1,000% (from the sidelines).

    • Oskar

      Worth to read is the post from Deloitte that cryptocurrencies will most likely be 10% of the GDP 2025.
      That’s a raise of 100000% from now.
      I actually think 1% – 1.5% of GDP is possible in 2-3 years.