Rakuten sets June launch date for crypto exchange

This will allow users to trade digital assets via a smartphone application. Opening an account will be free of charge and funds will be stored in a cold wallet

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten will launch its cryptocurrency exchange, Rakuten Wallet, in June.

This was recently renamed from Everybody’s Bitcoin and will start accepting applications for accounts in April. Rakuten acquired the exchange last year for 265 million yen, a few months after Japanese authorities issued a business improvement order against Everybody’s Bitcoin due to concerns about its risk management system.

Rakuten said at the time: “We expect that the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future. In order to provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly, we believe it is necessary for us to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function.”

It has now completed a restructuring process, including formulating a business improvement plan and strengthening business management and internal control systems.

Rakuten Coin

Last year, Rakuten announced that it was fusing blockchain technology and its Super Points loyalty programme to create its own cryptocurrency, Rakuten Coin.

Customers will be able to earn and use Super Points, also allowing ‎them to use their points on more than 70 services within the ‎Rakuten ecosystem.‎ The announcement was made by Rakuten CEO and founder Hiroshi Mikitani at Mobile World Congress.

“Basically, our concept is to recreate the network of retailers and merchants. We do not want to disconnect [them from their customers] but function as a catalyst. That is our philosophy, how to empower society not just provide more convenience,” he said.

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