Japanese bitcoin startup BITPoint is in discussions with a payment terminal operator to integrate bitcoin payments, a move that could see hundreds of thousands of Japanese retail storefronts to accept the cryptocurrency.
Japan’s appetite for bitcoin is increasing. Last year, Japan’s cabinet passed bills to recognize digital currencies as the equivalent of money. The legislation, which effectively sees bitcoin as a recognized method of payment akin to prepaid cash cards or gift certificates, kicked into effect last month.
In July, Japan will also stop imposing the 8% consumption tax on bitcoin buying through exchanges. The move to end this taxation will almost certainly increase adoption and demand of bitcoin among adopters in what is already one of the world’s top three bitcoin trading markets.
Major Japanese companies – even banks – are seizing the opportunity to provide supply in anticipation of the boom in demand, with up to 18 companies applying for a new license from regulators to establish bitcoin exchanges. Japanese internet giant GMO is among 10 out of the 18 companies who are new entrants to Japan’s bitcoin industry.
An executive from Tokyo-based bitFlyer, Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange, estimated that up 300,000 Japanese stores could soon be accepting bitcoin, this year.
Tokyo-based BITPoint, another bitcoin startup and exchange, is joining the cadre of bitcoin services firms looking to enable bitcoin payments nationwide.
According to Bloomberg, BITPoint is in in talks with a retail payment terminal services provider to implement bitcoin payments at the very core. Speaking to the publication, BITPoint president Genki Oda revealed his company was in discussions with an unnamed “retail-related company”.
By going through a company providing payment terminal services to shops, we have the possibility of increasing its use at one stroke. It’s easier than talking to lots of individual retailers.
BITPoint is also enabling bitcoin payments at Peach, an international low-cost carrier in the region that became the first airline in Japan to accept bitcoin.
BITPoint joins the likes of bitcoin companies Coincheck and bitFlyer in enabling retail storefronts to accept the world’s most recognized cryptocurrency.
Earlier this year, Bic Camera and Recruit Lifestyle, two Japanese retail giants, began accepting bitcoin payments using point-of-sale systems at stores. A Recruit-developed POS app will also support bitcoin, a move that will see some 260,000 retail locations and eateries using the app in Japan, accept bitcoin.
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