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Naojiro Hisada shares Rakuten’s blockchain, cryptocurrency initiatives

At the recently held Japan Blockchain Conference in Yokohama, one of the key topics is the use of blockchain in various industries and enterprises. Japanese ecommerce giant and also one of the world’s top internet companies, Rakuten, shared at the conference the key blockchain-related initiatives that the firm is undertaking.

In October, Rakuten acquired cryptocurrency exchange Everybody’s Bitcoin Ltd. for a total of JPY256 million ($2.3 million). The move, according to the ecommerce giant, was boosted by its view that payments in cryptocurrency will continue to grow in the future—not just in e-commerce, but also in offline retail and peer-to-peer payments.

Naojiro Hisada, executive officer at Rakuten, tells CoinGeek that work is currently underway to overhaul the exchange’s entire system along with the original team from Everybody’s Bitcoin. He explains, “Of course, we have to respond to the security issue so we’re making the effort to [rewrite] the entire system.”

Everbody’s Bitcoin offers pairs for Bitcoin Core (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCHABC). Their website also indicates that they will make further announcements in the future regarding adding Bitcoin SV (BSV).

This year, Rakuten merged the service in their corporate structure with Rakuten Edy, a prepaid card service. In their 2018 earnings release, the firm named Rakuten Edy as one of the payment options that will now be available in their mobile app, which speculation leads one to believe they will be introducing crypto payments to their mobile offering.

There are other developments happening over at Rakuten. There’s the Rakuten Blockchain Lab, which aims to provide platform services for cryptocurrency, key custody and enterprise blockchain. Two of these projects are the Rakuten Energy Trading System (RETS) for data carbon offset trading and R-Star, a coin rewards system that the company rolled out internally.

“The R-Star is a little bit unique function, so this is kind of like an internal trial use case,” Hisada explains.

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