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According to an official announcement on December 24, Rakuten users in Japan can use this feature immediately, but they need to have an account in Rakuten Wallet, Rakuten's cryptocurrency exchange subsidiary.
The company says its customers can convert their loyalty points into three different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Minimum cryptocurrency purchase is $ 0.90
One Rakuten Super Point is worth 1 yen (about 0.009 USD), so users need at least 100 such points to meet the minimum requirements for redemption. In addition, crypto assets cannot be converted back to Rakuten Super Points, and the daily and monthly conversion transaction volume defaults to 30,000 points and 100,000 points, respectively.
Rakuten intends to increase adoption of cryptocurrencies
By launching this new service, Rakuten Wallet is clearly aiming to increase cryptocurrency adoption while promoting its loyalty program. The company said in the announcement:
"Rakuten Wallet hopes to reduce the barriers to entry into crypto asset trading by providing a simple and easy way for new users, including newbies who have no previous experience but are interested in crypto asset trading."
Rakuten launched its virtual currency exchange in March 2017 and is known for its acquisition of Everybody's Bitcoin, Japan's major cryptocurrency exchange, in 2018. Rakuten is often referred to as "the Amazon of Japan" and its valuation was $ 14.5 billion as of late December 2019.
Rakuten is not the only company that allows Japanese users to exchange loyalty program points into cryptocurrencies. In August 2019, the cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer partnered with technology service company Tpoint Japan to enable its Japanese customers to convert loyalty program points into bitcoin and receive rewards paid in cryptocurrency.