Rakuten Wallet Launch Announced for March 30, 2019

Journalist:
March 25, 2019

Rakuten Inc. just announced their intention to terminate “All Bitcoins Inc.” and launch their own “Rakuten Wallet” on March 30. Businesses launching crypto wallets is nothing new, following companies like Line, KIK and KakaoTalk. The news comes after Rakuten completed their filings as a virtual currency exchange company (VCEX.)

The company stated:

Rakuten Wallet will contribute to the sound growth of the market as a virtual currency exchange company and will further enhance security and provide enhanced services so that more customers can use it safely and with confidence.

Rakuten will be filing another VCEX application for Rakuten Wallet in September 2019.

Rakuten Inc. (4755: JP) holds a market capitalization about one-tenth the size of GM’s profits, number ten on the Fortune 100 list.

What Does Rakuten Do?

Earning cashback on purchases can make large purchases a little more enticing if you pair it with decent discounts. Rakuten aggregates discounts and helps customers receive cash back on their online purchases.

Their offerings have struck a not-so-nice chord with the JFTC among Amazon Japan and Yahoo Japan.

They have begun making one-sided alterations to contracts with sellers, essentially forcing them into disadvantaged loyalty programs. Something that wouldn’t usually be an issue because the price difference would fall on them, but they aren’t footing the bill.

Rakuten has already submitted the appropriate VCEX filings necessary to operate as a crypto exchange. | Source: Shutterstock

How Can a VCEX License Impact Rakuten?

Because Rakuten is an e-commerce platform which specializes in discounts, they can alter their discounts and cashback offerings for using their Rakuten Wallet digital payments solution. Consumers benefit from restricted choices. Too many options will confuse buyers, but not having a mutually-beneficial option hurts both parties.

A VCEX license would let Rakuten cut out middlemen like PayPal and centralized banks. Rakuten would not likely cut them out, totally. Some users wouldn’t use their platform if they did. Which currency(ies) Rakuten Wallet will use remains to be seen. They may choose to accept pre-existing cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH and EOS, or create their own. Either will affect their product offerings.

What Does Rakuten Wallet Mean For Crypto?

We are another step closer to mass adoption but may end up two steps further away from decentralization. Taking power away from one entity with (limited) public insight and giving it to another with (more limited) public insight does not translate to decentralization. It translates to redistribution of power.

Rakuten, you have the potential to change the world for the better. Don’t squander your chance.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

Last modified (UTC): March 25, 2019 20:11

Matthew Proffitt @FinTechProffitt

Matthew is a startup coach, full-time freelance consultant, and fractional executive. He has helped clients raise more than $100 million in the ICO space since 2016. His expertise includes marketing, community building, and executive coaching. He has a passion for knowledge and all things finance. Matthew is currently working toward his Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst certification. Matthew is a CCN Markets contributor based in Small Town Tennessee, USA You can find Matthew on Twitter at https://twitter.com/fintechproffitt (@FinTechProffitt) or LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/fintechproffitt/ (@fintechproffitt) Or email him directly at: mproffittfreelance@gmail.com