Rakuten announced Rakuten Coin at MWC 2018

Japanese market giant made it first into cryptocurrency world unlike its rival Amazon
27 February 2018   1049

Today at MWC 2018 in Barcelona Japanese online retail behemoth Rakuten announced it's launching Rakuten Coin - its own native cryptocurrency. The initial purpose is Rakuten's loyalty program. Built on blockchain by means of its acquired blockchain startup Bitnet back in 2016, the company hopes to boost the interest on Rakuten Super Points loyalty program and encourage customers to spend those points across various Rakuten services and markets globally.

Naturally, because the initiative is blockchain backed, Rakuten tries to get rid of third party handlers and operators, thus cutting fees of purchases and delivery. With this in mind, Rakuten indirectly aims to drive more purchases as customers are encouraged to collect and spend loyalty points. Aside from retail business, Rakuten has its own MVNO mobile service that hopefully will turn into a full-fledged operator in the near future. This service is another potential use case of spending loyalty points.

Another minor goal of introducing company's own token is to attract more publicity to the blockchain world and cryptocurrency in particular. Especially in the perspective of Amazon yet to present anything viable on the table in terms of blockchain-related product. But recent event like domain purchase and partnership with Corda hints that Amazon is preparing something intriguing.

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.


Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani

Rakuten’s CEO

Experts Ask China Don't be in Rush For Own Crypto

Ex deputy chairman of the Bank of China said the CB should take part in the development of international regulation of crypto assets firstly
27 January 2020   126

China should strengthen cooperation with other countries to regulate the cryptocurrency industry, and not accelerate the development of its own digital currency, experts say. It is reported by the South China Morning Post.

So, the former deputy chairman of the People’s Bank of China, Zhu Min, noted that the central bank, which is developing a digital yuan in many ways as Facebook’s Libra response, should first of all take part in the development of international regulation of such assets.

Ba Shusong, chief China economist for the Hong Kong stock exchange, also believes that monitoring digital currencies requires a system that is controlled from different angles, as they have the potential to change the global financial system.

You would need to first improve the regulatory framework for [financial] technology. There is a need for global cooperation for an alternative regulatory framework.


Ba Shusong

Chief China economist for the Hong Kong stock exchange


Many fear that the popularity of Libra could strengthen the dominant role of the US dollar. At the same time, Deutsche Bank analysts believe that the digital yuan will undermine the primacy of the dollar in the global financial market.

Hiromi Yamaoka, the ex-head of the Bank of Japan supervisor of payment and settlement systems, also emphasized that the upcoming launch of Libra has caused competition among central banks seeking to make their currencies and services more attractive.

Something like Libra would make transactions costs much cheaper. Major central banks need to appeal that they, too, are making efforts to make settlement more efficient with better use of digital technology.


Hiromi Yamaoka

Former head of the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) division overseeing payment and settlement systems