In a move that could help legitimize and give way to the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies for day-to-day transactions on merchant websites, Rakuten, popularly known as the ‘Amazon’ of Japan, is likely to introduce Bitcoin as one of the means to make payments on their e-commerce website.
The Japanese giant, Rakuten, which is one of the biggest e-commerce and internet companies of its kind, is likely to introduce the cryptocurrency as a payment option sometime in April 2019 after the expected restructuring of the company. This is a step forward for a company that has already exhibited its inclination to wade into the cryptocurrency market after it acquired local cryptocurrency ‘Everybody’s Bitcoin’ in August 2018.
The acquisition in last August came after a rising number of foreign merchants and customers linked to Rakuten appealed for cryptocurrencies to be listed as a mode of payment on the e-commerce website. The company, in a statement, had said:
“The role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future.”
According to the documents released by the company, after the restructuring in April, Rakuten Settlements will be responsible for the serving, processing, and payment of all of Rakuten’s transactions, including those made by the use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Everybody’s Bitcoin itself will cease to be used as a mode of payment after March 2019.
Rakuten’s move is another step forward in cryptocurrencies gaining wider acceptability among the public. Despite the hype, the general perception about these digital currencies has been skepticism. If as suggested, Rakuten does go on to list Bitcoin as a mode of payment, it will reverse such a perception. The use of blockchain powered cryptocurrencies as a mode of exchange will also ensure that all transactions made on the e-commerce website are done quickly and seamlessly.
Furthermore, it may also signal a willingness among other e-commerce giants such as Amazon or Alibaba to experiment with the same, at least on a temporary basis, to check its viability in light of a growing number of consumers demanding the same.
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Bitcoin will likely be valued at $100,000 with a market cap of over $2 trillion before the end of 2021
The entire cryptocurrency market seems to be on the brighter side of the market since the beginning of the year. A majority of the coins have recorded significant recoveries from their 2018 slump, a period during which most coins lost over 90 percent of their value, when compared to their all-time highs. Among all the coins in the market, Bitcoin [BTC] aka the digital gold, was noted to be making a massive comeback as the coin breached the $11,000 mark after nearly 15 months. The coin however, soon retracted to settle below the $11,000 level.
According to CoinMarketCap, at press time, Bitcoin was trading at $10,887.27 with a market cap of $93.549 billion. The coin recorded a 24-hour trading volume of $20.757 billion for the past 24 hours and saw a massive rise of over 17 percent over the past seven days.
Anthony Pompliano, Co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital Assets, predicted that the largest digital currency could rise to reach $100,000, before the end of 2021. Pomp added that he was around 70-75 percent confident in this prediction. He stated,
“As I have previously said, making predictions is difficult […] Part of my process as a professional money manager is forming a thesis (price target), identifying a timeline (date), and establishing a confidence level. And then constantly re-evaluating those three aspects of my thought process as I receive new information.”
Pomp however, listed six pointers that have to be understood beforehand. First, this prediction is not an investment advice, and people should do their own research before investing in the digital currency. The second is with respect to Bitcoin’s volatility, with Pomp remarking that since it was a highly volatile market, the coin could witness a significant fall before being valued at $100,000. He stated,
“I anticipate that there will be numerous 20-30% drawdowns from new all-time highs as the asset continues to appreciate in value. These mini-boom/bust cycles should not cause panic, but rather need to be understood as natural market dynamics whenever an asset gains significant value in short periods of time.”
Further, the partner of the investment firm stated that the rise would be driven by several catalysts. This includes institutional adoption, exchange-traded funds and retail product approvals, global instability, governments all across the globe manipulating currencies, markets and economy. He went on to state,
“The market cap of Bitcoin will reach $2+ trillion when Bitcoin is worth $100,000. This is less than 1/3 the market cap of gold and less than 1/40 the global money supply.”
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