Amid tensions after the Coincheck hack, Peach Aviation, Japan’s largest budget airline, has announced the continuation of its plan to introduce a Bitcoin payment acceptance system for ticket payments.
Peach Aviation partnered with Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitpoint Japan to introduce the service.
After the attack on Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, in which $527 million worth of NEM token were stolen, the airline’s plan came under question. But in response to media questions, the airline clarified today the current status of the project.
Confirming the postponement, a spokesperson of Peach Airlines told Nikkei Online: “We are reviewing the timing of service start.”
The spokesperson said that the delay was due to “the fluctuation of the Bitcoin market [which] has been intensifying since the end of 2017.”
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The spokeswoman also added that Peach would “like to start the service [but is] waiting for the market to settle. I’m actually preparing the settlement system.”
Bitpoint Japan also released a statement: ”We will notify you as to the specific service start time and its contents as soon as it is finalized. Currently, we are working diligently to realize this service.”
After the first announcement in May last year, both parties planned to introduce various cryptocurrency-based services at airports, like Bitcoin ATMs and Bitcoin payments at souvenir shops, restaurants, and accommodation facilities.
By introducing these services, the airline plans to encourage visitors from across the world to visit Japan.
After its initial announcement in May 2017, Bloomberg quoted Shinichi Inoue, CEO of Peach Airlines: “We want to encourage visitors from overseas and the revitalization of Japan’s regions … This is a real first step in partnerships for Japan and we are aiming for more company and service tie-ups.”
Japan and Bitcoin
Japan is one of the few countries that has embraced cryptocurrency. The government of the island nation considers digital coins to be a legal mode of payment. Numerous businesses in Japan now accept Bitcoin, including the country’s largest car dealership and its largest chain of consumer electronics.