Leading online retailer of Japan Rakuten plans to transfer its loyalty program to a new blockchain-platform, as well as create its own cryptocurrency Rakuten Coin, reports TechCrunch.
The announcement was made by the head of the company Hiroshi Mikitani during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. He called the developed cryptocurrency “without borders”, although he did not specify the approximate terms for launching the project.
According to Mikitani, Rakuten Coin will be involved in the existing Rakuten Super Points loyalty program. Since its launch in 2003, platform users have been credited with more than 1 trillion bonus points worth $ 9.1 billion, but, not wanting to stop there, the company wants to provide additional ways to spend it. Stimulating users for various purchases within the loyalty program, the company’s management believes that it will further increase turnover during initial purchases.
At the moment, points are awarded for each purchase of goods, and in certain markets – and for sales.
Also, Rakuten plans to apply for the status of a mobile service provider and, if it receives a positive response, will be the fourth mobile phone operator in Japan.
The creation and launch of Rakuten Coin was the result of the company’s acquisition of the rights to develop Bitco Technologies Ltd, a Bitcoin start-up in 2016. Since March 2015, Rakuten marketplaces accept bitcoin.