Rakuten and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation are the latest giant companies adopting blockchain and crypto.

Japanese cryptocurrency market is expanding. One of the biggest e-commerce players in Japan, Rakuten is allowing cryptocurrency payments on their Rakuten Pay app update, scheduled for March 18th. In its update, the so-called “Japanese Amazon” would feature cryptocurrency payment solutions “packed into one platform”.

Rakuten stepped into the crypto sector with a corporate structure revision. The new rendition incorporates Rakuten’s crypto exchange – “Everybody’s Bitcoin” as a foundation of its payment subsidiary, which will also include Rakuten Edy, the company’s prepaid card service. Rakuten made a deal with Everybody’s Bitcoin in August 2018, closing the deal at $2,4 million. The main reason behind the acquisition is Rakuten’s plan to enter the crypto sector, as “more and more users are adopting cryptocurrencies and P2P payments via crypto products would grow exponentially”.

Other big players are also entering the crypto realm, as Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) managed to provide a working proof-of-concept (PoC) utilizing R3’s trading platform, called Marco Polo. Being the only Japanese bank to participate in Marco Polo, SMBC stated that in order to increase efficiency in the trading processes, the bank had established a partnership with Mitsui & Co.

The two companies conducted the PoC with a particular goal – increasing the productivity rate via Payment Commitment and Receivable Finance modules. The release date, for now, remains unclear, but SMBC states that as soon the PoC verification process is over, the company will incorporate it.

Marco Polo is a joint venture between R3 and the Irish fintech company TradeIX, and is a set of DLT tools targeted towards trading companies. Utilizing R3’s Corda, R3 managed to partner with 15 global payment providers under the Marco Polo consortium. Some of its members include BNP Paribas and ING, proving the value of such consortium.

In May 2018, Bangkok Bank, Thailand’s largest banking player, also joined the venture to streamline their trading services.

R3’s rapid growth from September 2015 is also significant – from nine members at its launch to over 300 members as of press time.

It’s clear that more and more Japanese companies will adopt cryptocurrencies, as the biggest players in the game are already joining the crypto sector. The Japanese government is also doing it’s best to simplify crypto taxations to help cryptocurrency adoption and retain tax avoidance.

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