Japanese Retail Giant Accepts Bitcoin Nationwide after Successful Trial

Japanese electronics retailer Bic Camera will enable bitcoin payments across all stores in the country this month. Tokyo-based consumer electronics retail chain Bic Camera becomes the latest major retailer to accept bitcoin throughout Japan, a report confirmed today.

The trial proved to be beyond successful.

According to today’s report, the ‘more-than-expected’ popularity of bitcoin payments has led to Bic Camera expanding bitcoin payments at more than 40 stores domestically.

Bic Camera first announced a trial run of accepting bitcoin payments from shoppers at the retail group’s flagship store in Tokyo and another store in the city. Customers could pay up to ¥100,000 (approx. $900) for purchases of consumer electronics such as cameras, laptops, audio equipment and more.

The retailer partnered Tokyo-based bitFlyer, an industry startup and Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange, to install the point-of-sale (PoS) payments infrastructure. As a payments processor, bitFlyer’s gateway converts the bitcoin into fiat immediately upon payment. These fiat funds are then transferred to the retailer the following day. bitFlyer charges a 1% service fee on transactions.

Bitcoin’s growing popularity in Japan, following recent legislation that acknowledged bitcoin as a legal method of payment, will also see Bic Camera accept bitcoin at 139 subsidiary Kojima stores in suburbs across Japan.

Last month, bitFlyer’s chief financial officer Midori Kanemitsu revealed that the number of retail storefronts accepting bitcoin is “expected to rise to 300,000” this year. Japanese bitcoin startup BITPoint was revealed to be in discussions with a payments terminal operator that could see digital currencies accepted at hundreds of thousands of Japanese retailers.

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Japan also ended the 8% consumption tax on bitcoin purchases in July, making adoption attractive for new investors and consumers preferring cashless payments.

All of this, at a time when the Japanese government is making marked moves toward embracing cashless payments by mandating a growth strategy to double digital payments over the next decade.

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