Japan’s largest online marketplace for second-hand goods will start accepting bitcoin as a payment option from June, tapping into the growing demand for cryptocurrencies in the country.
Mercari Inc., Japan’s largest online platform for buying and selling second-hand goods, said it will begin accepting bitcoin payments from June this year, becoming one of the first major e-commerce players in the country to do so.
All Bitcoin Payments Converted into Japanese Yen
The company will process bitcoin transactions through its crypto subsidiary Melcoin Co., which was established in October 2020 and obtained a license from the Financial Services Agency as a registered crypto exchange operator in March 2021.
Melcoin will convert all bitcoin payments into Japanese yen at the market rate and transfer the funds to the sellers, while charging a 1% fee to the buyers1. The service will be available on the Mercari app, which has over 20 million monthly active users in Japan.
Promoting Adoption in Japan
Mercari said the move is aimed at providing more payment options to its users and expanding its customer base, as well as promoting the adoption of cryptocurrencies in Japan. The company also plans to add more crypto-related features and services in the future, such as allowing users to buy and sell bitcoin on its platform.
Bitcoin as a Legal Form of Payment
Japan is one of the most advanced markets for cryptocurrencies, with over 30 registered crypto exchanges and millions of active crypto users. The country was the first to recognize bitcoin as a legal form of payment in 2017, and has since introduced a comprehensive regulatory framework for the crypto industry.
Mercari is not the only e-commerce player in Japan that is embracing cryptocurrencies. Rakuten Inc., the country’s largest online retailer, launched its own crypto exchange in 2019 and enabled its users to convert their loyalty points into bitcoin, ether and bitcoin cash in 2020. The company also allows its users to pay with cryptocurrencies at its online and offline stores through its Rakuten Pay app.