Bitcoin and Japan have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship, but every now and then, a ray of sunshine breaks through the grey clouds. One of Japan’s largest internet infrastructure firms , called GMO, will be supporting Bitcoin payments.
Or to be more precise, GMO’s payment solution, called GMO Payment Gateway (or GMO-PG in short) will support Bitcoin as a payment option, alongside the more traditional options which include credit cards and wire transfers. As ost Bitcoin enthusiasts have always said, there is no reason Bitcoin can’t coexist with other payment options.
In order to allow for Bitcoin transactions to occur, GMO-PG has made a partnership with BitFlyer, a Bitcoin marketplace and settlement service. Users will be able to pay with Bitcoin starting in November, but no official date was announced at this point in time.
A partnership between a top internet infrastructure firm and a nine-month old Bitcoin settlement service might seem like a surprise to most people. However, even though we in the Western world might not have heard much about BitFlyer yet, that doesn’t mean they haven’t come a long way in a very short period of time.
BitFlyer claims to be the largest Bitcoin company in Japan, and is also the leader of the Japan Authority of Digital Assets. Another impressive aspect is the fact their are being represented by Nishimura & Asahi where legal matters are concerned, as they are one of Japan’s top law firms.
So what could this partnership mean for Japan? For GMO-PG, it is a big gamble to start working with Bitcoin, especially because Japan’s government keeps refusing to declare Bitcoin as a currency.
But there is a bright side to taking such a gamble as well. GMO-PG is the most-used credit card processing company , as their network spans over 48,000 online stores. in comparison, this is a bigger network than Rakuten, just to give you an idea.
Despite Japan’s government negative stance towards Bitcoin and digital currency, GMO noted in ther statement that “things are changing in Japan’s regulatory environment”. Whether or not GMO will be able to convince its 48,000 merchants to accept Bitcoin as a payment method remains to be seen of course.