Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten announced that a major update of its Rakuten Pay mobile app will be released on March 18, according to the firm’s 2018 earnings release, published on Feb. 12. The app’s new structure appears to indicate that it will support cryptocurrency payments in addition to fiat.
As Cointelegraph reported in January, and the recent materials confirm, Rakuten — known informally as “Japan’s Amazon”— revealed a revision to its corporate structure. The restructured company includes the firm’s cryptocurrency exchange “Everybody’s Bitcoin” as part of a newly established payments subsidiary, Rakuten Payment. The payment subsidiary, which was previously its loyalty subsidiary under the name “Spotlight,” will also include the corporation’s prepaid card service, Rakuten Edy.
Rakuten acquired Japanese crypto exchange Everybody’s Bitcoin in August 2018 in a $2.4 million deal. At the time, company representatives reported that the firm was “considering entry into the cryptocurrency exchange industry” as it believes "the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future."
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