American Express B2B and Digital Payments Tracker June 2024 Banner

eCommerce Platform Mercari to Begin Accepting Bitcoin Payments 


Japanese eCommerce giant Mercari will reportedly begin accepting bitcoin payments on its platform in June. 

While prices for products listed on Mercari’s flea market app will be displayed in Japanese yen, users will have the option to purchase them with bitcoin, Cointelegraph reported Monday (Jan. 8), citing a paywalled article by Nikkei. 

Vendors and sellers, however, will receive the paid bitcoin in local fiat currency as the marketplace converts the cryptocurrency through its exchange partner in real time, according to the report. 

Mercari did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment. 

This move positions Mercari as a gateway for crypto adoption in Japan, the report said. The company, which is one of the country’s largest consumer-to-consumer eCommerce marketplaces, with 22 million monthly users, also offers several other crypto-oriented products and services. 

The firm aims to encourage further adoption of bitcoin in Japan, which is already known for its pro-crypto regulations, per the report. 

Mercari launched in 2013 and quickly became one of Japan’s largest community-based eCommerce platforms, according to the report. With a 94% usage rate and a profit of 2.8 billion yen ($19.4 million) in the third quarter of 2023, the platform’s decision to embrace bitcoin payments is expected to have a significant impact. 

This is not Mercari’s first foray into the world of cryptocurrencies, the report said. The company recently launched the Mercari bitcoin crypto trading service, enabling users to buy and sell BTC using proceeds from sales on the platform. Furthermore, Mercari’s loyalty program allows users to swap their points for cryptocurrency. 

Japan has been at the forefront of crypto adoption, boasting favorable regulations that enable businesses to offer services to customers, per the report. Rakuten, another prominent eCommerce platform in Japan, allows users to convert loyalty points to crypto and has developed a native nonfungible token platform. 

Rakuten said in 2015 that it would begin accepting bitcoin as a payment option across its marketplaces, adding that the cryptocurrency provides users with security, privacy and convenience. 

In another recent development at Mercari, the firm said in April that it has added a ChatGPT-powered shopping assistant to its platform. This technology allows customers to engage in real-time conversations with the shopping assistant and receive product recommendations based on their chat prompts.