Japanese Rakuten launches own cryptocurrency :

On the occasion of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Japanese online shopping giant Rakuten multiplies the strategic announcements. After announcing the disappearance of the brand PriceMinister, which had fallen into the bosom of the Asian group for 200 million euros in 2011, for the benefit of Rakuten in France since March 1, the Japanese behemoth has expressed its ambitions on the cryptocurrency market.

In Barcelona, Hiroshi Mikitani, head of the number of e-commerce in Japan, has announced the launch of its own virtual currency, called the "Rakuten Coin". For now, no launch date has been communicated, but Hiroshi Mikitani has already called the Rakuten Coin "currency without borders", which could reduce exchange costs.

A stepping stone for international customer loyalty
With its cryptocurrency, Rakuten intends to attract a wider clientele internationally. In this sense, the Japanese giant wants to link its virtual currency to its loyalty program Rakuten Super Points. Indeed, the Japanese firm wants to take advantage of cryptocurrencies to reward the loyalty of its customers. Since its launch in 2003, Rakuten's loyalty program has awarded more than $ 9 billion worth of loyalty points to its customers. By adding its cryptocurrency, the Japanese group hopes to boost its sales worldwide, insofar as it will be available for all its activities, whether for its marketplace, video-on-demand or its Viber mobile messaging.

The launch of the Rakuten Coin confirms the ambitions of the firm headed by Hiroshi Mikitani on the cryptocurrency market. As early as 2014, Amazon's Japanese rival showed the muscles in this sector by focusing on Bitnet, an intermediary specializing in bitcoins. This resulted in Rakuten's participation in the $ 14.5 million round of the FX platform. In 2016, the Japanese giant decided to start higher speed by repurchasing Bitnet. Also in 2016, Rakuten announced the creation of a blockchain laboratory in Belfast, Northern Ireland.