ResuPress Inc., a Tokyo-based bitcoin startup that runs a bitcoin exchange and storage service known as Coincheck, has announced that it starts accepting bitcoin as payment for electricity charges. The company makes an attractive offer promising bills four to six percent cheaper than the competition. ResuPress will continue accepting payments in yen while offering small bitcoin rebates to encourage use of the volatile currency.
“The use of bitcoin has been growing rapidly worldwide, but there are few places in Japan where you can spend it yet,” said ResuPress chief Koichiro Wada.
ResuPress has scheduled the launch of the service for November. Remarkably, it will be the first service offering paying off bills with bitcoin in Japan. The initiative is expected to become a milestone in public acceptance and understanding of bitcoin.
The startup has developed two payment plans. The first one suits bitcoin newcomers, light users and those who are only getting acquainted with the cryptocurrency. Payments will be accepted in yen with a rebate of four to six percent paid in bitcoin. This will give doubters an opportunity to appreciate bitcoin without risk.
The second plan, on the contrary, allows paying bills with bitcoin rather than yen and intended for dedicated bitcoin users.
ResuPress has revealed that it will launch its service first in Kanto, Kansai and Chubu and it will target 10,000 customers in the first year.
The startup is teaming up with Mitsuwa Sangyo Co., a Tokyo-based seller of propane gas, to provide power generated by Marubeni Power Retail Corp.
Bearing in mind Mt. Gox fiasco in 2014 and other hacking events, the distrustful attitude of customers to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies makes sense. However, a new law enacted this year and the Financial Services Agency acting as the industry’s watchdog will altogether help to improve confidence and avoid such cases in the future. The law recognizes the cryptocurrency as akin to money, giving it “asset-like value.”
Japan takes more steps to promote bitcoin. There is a new TV show called the BitGirls that was launched to introduce the concept of cryptocurrency and blockchain to a consumer audience, allowing the audience to vote for the girls they like. The show will start on October 2.
The BitGirls TV show is a reality programme where 10 young women will wear a variety of costumes and showcase different talents including balloon art, car racing and plastic model-building.
Each contestant represents a cryptocurrency, and the audience can support their favourite girl by purchasing her personal tokens, known as “Torekabu” – an amalgamation of the Japanese words “Toreka” (trading cards) and “Kabu” (stocks and shares). The popularity of girls on the show over others will affect the price of the tokens just like in real world.