Japan is getting one step closer to using cryptocurrencies as actual currencies, thanks to Rakuten Wallet.
Rakuten’s online crypto wallet has started a new service that allows users in Japan to charge their Rakuten Cash with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum for free. Rakuten Cash can be used not only for Rakuten’s many online services, but also at physical locations throughout Japan, making the three virtual currencies more “real” than ever.
Rakuten Wallet? Rakuten Cash? Rakuten Pay? What does it all mean?
Rakuten Wallet is one of Rakuten’s many innovative fintech companies. Launched in 2017 as a “virtual currency exchange service,” it allows users to store, trade and even exchange Rakuten Points for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum.
Until now, when Rakuten Wallet users converted cryptocurrencies into Japanese yen and wired them to a bank account, a 300-yen fee would be charged for the transfer. Since last month’s announcement, users can now convert crypto assets into yen and charge them to Rakuten Cash for free.
We strongly believe in the potential of cryptocurrencies and the expansion of their usage.Tatsuya Yamada, president of Rakuten Wallet, Inc.
So, what is Rakuten Cash? As the name suggests, Rakuten Cash is another type of e-money used within the Rakuten Ecosystem. It is closely related to the number one loyalty points program in Japan in overall customer satisfaction loyalty program ― Rakuten Points. Unlike Rakuten Points, which are earned by interacting with Rakuten’s various services, Rakuten Cash is essentially electronic money, which can also be charged from such sources as Rakuten Card, Rakuten Bank or from sales on the Rakuten flea market app, Rakuma.
Rakuten Cash and Rakuten Points are largely identical in how they can be used. Thanks to the innovative Rakuten Pay service, they can now be used within the wider Rakuten Ecosystem.
Rakuten Pay ― again, as the name suggests ― allows users to pay for goods and services at participating physical and online businesses through a dedicated app, using either a connected credit card or whatever combination of Points or Cash the user has.
Rakuten’s cashless payment services can currently be used at more than five million online and offline locations throughout Japan, including major convenience stores, restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations and transportation lines.
What does this mean for crypto?
So how does this bring cryptocurrency closer to everyday use? Well, it now costs nothing for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash or Ethereum holders using Rakuten Wallet in Japan to convert their assets into Rakuten Cash on the fly and use them in the real world through Rakuten Pay, or for other Rakuten services.
Users can convert between 1,000 and 100,000 Japanese yen worth of the cryptocurrency via their Rakuten Wallet each month, whether in a lump sum or in small increments. Not only is this process now free, it also allows shoppers to receive one Rakuten Point for every 100 yen spent (including tax) when Rakuten Cash is used in conjunction with the Rakuten Pay app ― naturally, the earned points can be used for further shopping through Rakuten Pay.
“We strongly believe in the potential of cryptocurrencies and the expansion of their usage,” shares Tatsuya Yamada, president of Rakuten Wallet, Inc. “The Rakuten Ecosystem is a vital platform in supporting this expansion, and Rakuten Wallet is committed to the proliferation of cryptocurrency in daily life.”
Starting this spring, Rakuten Wallet functionality will be integrated directly into the Rakuten Pay app alongside automated functions for charging Rakuten Cash with cryptocurrency, making the experience of spending cryptocurrency more seamless than ever before.
It is the first time a company in Japan has provided this level of freedom and flexibility to cryptocurrency holders. Thanks to Rakuten Wallet, virtual currencies just became a little more tangible.