Rakuten CEO at Tokyo Conference: We Will Probably Accept Bitcoin

Hiroshi Mikitani, chief executive at Japanese e-commerce conglomerate Rakuten, reaffirmed his company’s willingness to accept bitcoin. Rakuten’s e-commerce operation is

Hiroshi Mikitani, chief executive at Japanese e-commerce conglomerate Rakuten, reaffirmed his company’s willingness to accept bitcoin.

Rakuten’s e-commerce operation is the largest in Japan and one of the largest in the world, over the years buying out several e-commerce sites including Buy.com, Priceminister, Ikeda, Tradoria, Play.com, Wuaki.tv and Kobo. Aside from e-commerce, the conglomerate also engages in banking services, media, travel and hotel booking, securities brokerage, professional sports and entertainment.

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Last July, Mikitani first raised the possibility of future bitcoin acceptance. About a month later, Rakuten Super Logistics, a subsidiary of Rakuten, began accepting bitcoin for its shipping services.

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Speaking today at a panel on digital currencies and alternative payment methods at the Rakuten Financial Conference, Mikitani said:

“We are thinking about it, and we probably will…We would like to be open.”

He did not specify when a final decision will be made, saying it was a trade secret.

Should it move forward, Rakuten would become one of the largest companies to accept bitcoin payments. The company is publicly traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange with a market cap of over $21 billion.

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