- Mercari, a major Japanese e-commerce platform, will start accepting Bitcoin payments in June 2024, converting them to Japanese yen through its subsidiary Melcoin.
- This move reflects a growing integration of cryptocurrency into the Japanese e-commerce sector, with Mercari joining the ranks of platforms like Rakuten in offering cryptocurrency services.
Integrating Bitcoin into Japanese E-Commerce
In a move signaling significant progress in cryptocurrency adoption, Mercari, one of Japan’s largest e-commerce platforms, has announced plans to accept Bitcoin payments starting June 2024. This development reflects a broader trend within Japan, a country known for its crypto-friendly stance, to incorporate Bitcoin more substantially into its economy.
Melcoin: Facilitating the Transition
To facilitate this transition, Mercari will rely on its Tokyo-based cryptocurrency subsidiary, Melcoin. Melcoin’s primary role will be to convert Bitcoin payments into Japanese yen, thereby allowing vendors on the Mercari platform to receive fiat currency. While Mercari will continue to display prices in yen, buyers will have the option to make purchases using Bitcoin.
Despite not listing prices in Bitcoin, this addition offers customers increased flexibility in payment methods and marks a significant step in embedding cryptocurrency within the Japanese e-commerce landscape.
Mercari’s Crypto Ventures and User Base
Founded in 2013, Mercari has rapidly grown into Japan’s leading community marketplace platform, boasting a monthly user base of 22 million as of July 2023. The company’s expansion into international markets, especially Europe, has been a key aspect of its growth strategy.
Mercari’s venture into the cryptocurrency domain isn’t limited to accepting Bitcoin payments. The platform previously launched a Bitcoin trading service, allowing users to buy and sell Bitcoin using proceeds from their sales on Mercari. Additionally, the integration of a loyalty points system with its cryptocurrency services allows users to convert points into Bitcoin, seamlessly blending traditional e-commerce with digital currencies.
Rakuten and Mercari: Pioneers in Crypto Integration
Mercari joins Rakuten, another prominent Japanese e-commerce platform, in pioneering cryptocurrency integration within the retail sector. Rakuten, with its established presence in the crypto space, operates a wallet service and allows users to convert loyalty points into various cryptocurrencies.
Recent surveys show a strong preference among new Japanese crypto traders for platforms like Mercari and Rakuten, challenging the dominance of traditional crypto exchanges like bitFlyer.
Navigating the New E-Commerce Landscape
As Japan continues to explore major tax reforms in the crypto industry in 2024, the integration of Bitcoin into e-commerce platforms like Mercari signifies a new era in online retail. This trend not only enhances the utility of cryptocurrencies but also opens up new avenues for consumers to engage with digital assets in their everyday transactions. As these platforms evolve, they provide a gateway for wider cryptocurrency adoption and usage in the Japanese market.