Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has recently decided that it wants to swim in the waters of the crypto ocean and will be launching its own cryptocurrency known as Rakuten Coin. Rakuten first ventured in the crypto space by acquiring a Bitcoin wallet startup named Bitnet, and since then, the company has been experimenting and working on different potential applications of the blockchain technology.
The new Rakuten coin will be of course based on the blockchain technology and will be used as a part of the company’s points-based loyalty rewards system known as Rakuten Super Points. The basic aim is to encourage loyalty service worldwide thereby expanding the company’s global dominance and help its customers to buy good across different Rakuten services and markets.
According to the report by TechCrunch, Rakuten’s CEO Hiroshi Mikitani spoke about this idea on stage at the Mobile World Congress recently held in Barcelona, where he described the new digital asset as a “borderless” currency. Moreover, the company also aims to use the Rakuten Coin to attract global customers such that it could mitigate the exchange rate fees.
This announcement comes at a time when the crypto markets have attained a global acceptance through its ever-growing investor community. Moreover, big business corporations are also now feeling more comfortable and confident to venture in the crypto-space thereby figuring out their own cryptocurrency strategies. Companies are now willing to tap the opportunities in the crypto space and big giants are seen in the race of having an early lead by offering their own decentralized financial services.
Cryptos these days are being used for multiple reasons like international remittances, funding programs, currency speculation, etc. Rakuten wants is digital currency services to solve two major aspects of the company. The first is that the company is looking forward to creating ways to produce more transactions from international customers, which otherwise in case of fiat currencies are subdued due to the exchange rate fees. The second is that it wants to take the advantage of the crypto buzz out in the market and within investors and tap more customers to its loyalty-rewards program.
Rakuten, which is also called the Amazon of Japan, has a huge customer base globally with over $8 billion in revenues. Moreover, its loyalty program has been present over past 15 years and has awarded its customers a total over 1 trillion super Points that is equivalent to $9.1 billion. The idea is to tap into more customers and expand its business further across different global verticals by encashing on the recently popularised and revolutionary blockchain technology.
Taking on rival Amazon during his address at the MWC 2018, Mickitani said that Rakuten was “very different from Amazon. Basically, our concept is to recreate the network of retailers and merchants,” he said. “We do not want to disconnect [them from their customers] but function as a catalyst. That is our philosophy, how to empower society not just provide more convenience.”
Japan has been the most crypto-friendly nation across the globe and has even encouraged local business to foster and nurture different crypto ideas. However, to make sure that investor’s interests are being protected, the country has also put in place the necessary regulatory framework.