Rakuten, the largest online retailer in Japan, recently announced their intention to accept bitcoin as a means of payment. Well, the wait is over and shoppers can purchase goods on the US version of the Rakuten website via bitcoin starting today. This is the first step towards the e-commerce giant’s global rollout plan for bitcoin. In addition to announcing their acceptance of the digital currency, Rakuten has also claimed shoppers will get $30 off if they spend $100 or more when they pay with bitcoin over the next week.

Rakuten.com president comments on bitcoin

In addition to the official announcement related to Rakuten’s new bitcoin integration via payment processor Bitnet, Rakuten.com President Fumio Kobayashi stated, “Bitcoin turned the Internet into a secure, seamless global payment network. By integrating with Bitnet we are now offering consumers the industry standard in secure payments, and our merchants will benefit by receiving guaranteed payments.” He added that bitcoin can provide both consumers and merchants with “peace of mind” when using the Rakuten.com marketplace.

Multi-sig escrow services for high-value items

In a rather surprising move, Rakuten also announced multi-signature escrow support for certain high-value items on their marketplace. Shoppers may be cautious about the idea of purchasing an expensive item online without the protections that are normally provided by credit card companies, which seems to be why Rakuten decided to add multi-signature escrow support for certain products. The move makes Rakuten the largest company in the world to take advantage of the enhanced security offered to consumers via multi-signature transactions.

More promotions to come

A Rakuten spokesperson has claimed that the online retailer will be offering a $30 discount on bitcoin-powered purchases of $100 or more for the first week of April. The company has also noted, “These campaigns will continue throughout the course of the year to encourage adoption and repeat usage.” With the planned promotions and multi-signature support, it seems that Rakuten is on the digital currency train for the long haul.

Update: The title of this article previously stated Rakuten is offering a 30 percent discount on purchases made via bitcoin. That was likely misleading, and the title has been updated to present a more accurate summary of the news.

Featured image via priceminister.

You can follow @kyletorpey on Twitter.

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