As we mentioned in an earlier article, there was a rumour regarding Rakuten.com offering a 30% discount on Bitcoin purchases during the first week of April. According to an inside source, that rumour has now been confirmed, and this promotion will go live from April 1st until April 8th. Furthermore, the company also announced multi-sig escrow services for items of higher value.
Confirmed 30% Discount on Bitcoin Purchases
It is important to note this promotion is only valid for purchases made through the Rakuten.com website, as its international websites are not accepting Bitcoin just yet. In fact, there is no official word on whether or not this will ever happen, other than “it’s in our plans”, which means this promotion for the US website could be a make or break moment for Bitcoin payments on Rakuten.
As of today, March 31, 2015, customers can pay their Rakuten.com purchases with Bitcoin. However, it looks like most people will hold off until the first week of April before spending their bitcoins, as they will get a US$30 discount on orders worth US$100 or more. Not a bad promotion in my book, and we can only hope a lot of people will take advantage of this offer.
All Bitcoin payments on the Rakuten.com website will be handled by Bitnet, a company with offices in Belfast, United Kingdom, San Francisco, California, and the United States. All of Bitnet’s services run over their High Availability Cloud Infrastructure with a 99,95% guaranteed uptime. More information on Bitnet can be found here.
Upcoming Promotions & Discounts
While this is a first promotion/discount for Bitcoin payments on the Rakuten.com website, it looks like it will not be the last. According to the information we received, more campaigns will pop up during the remainder of 2015, both to reward customers paying Bitcoin and encourage adoption from new users at the same time.
Multi-sig Escrow Service
Last but not least, Rakuten.com made a shocking announcement by introducing multi-sig escrow support for items of high value. When you look at the Rakuten.com marketplace, you will find several more costly items, and it may feel a bit awkward to make such a large purchase on a marketplace.
In order to make both the seller and the buyer feel at ease, the multi-signature escrow service will be made available. The seller will only receive his/her money from the escrow wallet once the buyer confirms the goods have been delivered and are exactly as described. This way, both the buyer and seller are protected in a similar – yet better and more secure – fashion, compared to when using a credit card for the same transaction.
Source: Rakuten.com Spokesperson