Yamada Denki, one of the largest consumer electronics retail chains in Japan, has launched bitcoin payments at two Tokyo-based stores before a planned nationwide rollout in all its stores.
Launched over the weekend, the retailer is now accepting bitcoin at a store based in Shinjuku, a major commercial center that houses the one-half of the world’s busiest railway station and location that sees plenty of foreign visitors according to the retailer. The second store is located adjacent to Tokyo’s primary business district.
The retailer threw its support for bitcoin adoption among consumers, stating:
“In addition to diversifying means, we will implement initiatives to improve bitcoin recognition and usage promotion. With the introduction of bitcoin payment service, we respond to the diverse needs of our customers both in Japan and overseas.”
Payments in bitcoin will see a cap of 300,000 yen ($2,670). The retailer has partnered major Japanese bitcoin exchange and services firm bitFlyer to enable bitcoin payments using the latter’s point-of-sale (Pos) payments infrastructure.
While testing bitcoin payments at the two stores, Yamada Denki stressed it is aiming at a nationwide deployment of the service afterwards.
Upon announcing the partnership, bitFlyer revealed a marked increase of bitcoin-accepting retail stores whose transactional settlements exceeds tens of millions of yen per month. [T]hrough collaboration with Yamada Denki, we are improving convenience for more customers in Japan and overseas,” bitFlyer added in its press release.
Yamada Denki’s initiative to accept bitcoin follows competitor and electronics retailer Bic Camera announced its own trial to accept bitcoin – also in partnership with bitFlyer – in April last year. The trial proved beyond successful. Come July, a ‘more-than-expected’ popularity of bitcoin payments spurred Bic Camera into accepting bitcoin payments across all 40 stores nationwide. Just this week, South Korea’s largest e-commerce platform Wemepu launched bitcoin payments alongside 11 other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, NEO, and Litecoin, following a partnership with major Korean cryptocurrency exchange and services provider Bithumb.