“Mercari Embraces Crypto-Friendly Japan, Announces Plans to Accept Bitcoin”


Mercari, a popular Japanese online marketplace, announced plans to allow users to make purchases using bitcoin starting in June. This will be made possible through their virtual currency trading service, Mercoin, which is exclusive to Mercari users. This move highlights Japan’s reputation as a crypto-friendly environment and marks a significant step for Mercoin, which was launched in 2023 to enable users to buy and sell bitcoin through the Mercari app.

According to the company, users can buy bitcoin for as little as 1 yen, using funds from their bank accounts, sales proceeds, or loyalty points earned from selling items on Mercari. This makes it easy for even inexperienced users to invest in bitcoin in a low-stress manner.

The Mercoin trading service has already garnered over a million users in less than a year, and Mercari itself boasts over 22 million active monthly users. This growth is a testament to the popularity of digital assets in Japan, where they have been recognized as legitimate forms of money since 2016. The country’s Payment Services Act officially recognizes crypto assets as payment methods and regulates the industry through the Financial Services Agency.

In an effort to attract more businesses and platforms dealing in digital assets, Japan has also loosened its cryptocurrency tax laws. This has led to international companies like Binance and Rakuten, a competitor to Mercari, entering the Japanese market. Rakuten even allows its users to convert loyalty points into cryptocurrency.

The question now is whether this competition will lead to more American businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments. The new FASB accounting rule for 2024 allows companies to hold bitcoin under fair value treatment, which may entice more businesses to accept it as a form of payment. This could lead to a further increase in the adoption of cryptocurrency in the mainstream market.

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