Rakuten plans to enable customers to choose bitcoin as a payment option by integrating Bitnet’s payment processing platform on a number of its marketplaces. The Japan-based Internet services giant will begin accepting the new payment method first on Rakuten.com in the US, to be followed by Rakuten.de in Germany and Rakuten.at in Austria.
The integration with Bitnet’s platform will make Rakuten one of the largest ecommerce companies in the world to begin accepting bitcoin. In addition to offering consumers enhanced security, privacy, and convenience, Rakuten merchants will immediately see the benefits of being able to use a digital currency, including instant global reach with no cross-border fees, no price volatility, and no fraud, risk or chargebacks.
Yaz Iida, President of Rakuten USA, noted:
Rakuten’s mission is to empower the world through the Internet. Not only can bitcoin support this vision by helping our merchants better compete globally, but it also has the potential to benefit society by enhancing the security, privacy, and convenience of financial transactions. This is one of the reasons why we invested in Bitnet last year and we look forward to working with them on our US marketplace.
John McDonnell, Co-Founder & CEO, Bitnet, said:
Rakuten’s global marketplaces are great examples of how digital currencies can impact global commerce. We’re excited to join with Rakuten in helping both merchants and shoppers reap the benefits of this new technology.
Tokyo-listed Rakuten is a global Internet services companies, with a focus on e-commerce, finance, and digital content. Founded in 1997 in Japan, Rakuten currently operates throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania with over 14,000 employees and partner staff worldwide.
The team behind Bitnet helped build and manage the world’s largest payment gateway, CyberSource (NASDAQ: CYBS), which was sold to Visa for $2 billion in 2010. Bitnet has offices in San Francisco, California and Belfast, Northern Ireland.