Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitflyer reported a 100% increase in the number of its users in just the past four months, as the company continues to grow crypto adoption in Japan by partnering with major stores.
Bitflyer’s Customers Reach 2 Million
Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, Bitflyer, recently announced that the number of its customers in March has exceeded 2 million.
According to Minkabu publication, the number of Bitflyer users was 1 million in November and 600,000 in June of last year. The March number represents a 100% increase in the number of users at the exchange during the four-month period.
The significant growth seen by Bitflyer follows the payment services act which went into effect in Japan in April of last year. It legalizes cryptocurrency as a method of payment in the country. Other exchanges also experienced substantial growth. The recently hacked Coincheck, for example, revealed at a press conference on March 8 that its accumulated number of accounts on that date was approximately 1.7 million. Bitflyer has also recently expanded into the US as well as Europe.
Increasing Bitcoin Adoption
On Monday, Bitflyer announced that it is providing bitcoin payment service to Samantha Thavasa Japan Co. Ltd, a Japanese luxury fashion house. The company manufactures and sells jewelry, handbags, and accessories, with over 130 retail stores in the country. Initially, bitcoin payments will be introduced at its Omotesando Gates store where customers with Bitflyer wallets can pay with bitcoin up to 100,000 yen per transaction.
Last week, the exchange started a campaign with Hapitas, a points site used by 1.8 million people, according to the site’s operator Ozvision. Points can be accumulated when shopping online or using services online. They can be exchanged for cash, gift certificates and now bitcoin. For the grand opening, Bitflyer is giving away 1,000 yen to the first 500 new “Trade Class” customers who deposit 5,000 Japanese yen within 30 days of account opening.
Bitcoin Users at Bic Camera
One of the largest retail chains that accepts bitcoin is Bic Camera, which partnered with Bitflyer to start accepting the digital currency in April of last year. Then in July, the company announced the rollout of this payment option to all of its stores.
In an interview with Itmedia, a Bic Camera spokesperson said that the company expected for most bitcoin users to be foreigners, adding:
It was assumed that Japanese [customers paying with bitcoin] would be about half at most. However, in fact, the majority of customers using bitcoin payments are Japanese.
He confirmed that “now we are introducing bitcoin payment to Sofmap and Kojima,” which are subsidiaries of Bic Camera. While five Sofmap stores and seven Kojima stores have already introduced bitcoin payments, he said the company does not plan to roll out this payment option to all of the subsidiaries, choosing to focus only on large stores with high demand.
Bic Camera initially set a cap for bitcoin payments to 100,000 yen but the limit was raised as the payment option rolled out to all stores. The company’s representative said the limit was raised to 300,000 yen because, on average, bitcoin payments are 2-3 times larger than other types of payments.
What do you think of Bitflyer’s growth and efforts in increasing cryptocurrency adoption? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Samantha Thavasa, and Bitflyer.
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