It has been a bit over a year since Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce major decided to use Bitnet to accept bitcoin payments on its platform. Now, the company is looking forward to acquiring the intellectual property rights for bitcoin-based payments system from Bitnet.
According to reports on a prominent business magazine, Rakuten Inc. (TYO : 4755) and Bitnet Technologies Limited are currently involved in negotiations to trade intellectual property rights created by the latter. Rakuten has invested a significant amount in the San Francisco-based startup in the past. The Japanese e-commerce and financial major has been actively using its portfolio company’s solutions on its various retail sites since its initial announcement in the month of March last year.
Rakuten offered complete consumer protection for all of its customers making use of the bitcoin payment option on the platform. The inclusion of digital currency payments also turned out to be an added advantage to many of its customers across the world as it offered them an easier and a much cheaper payment option without the hassles of cross-border fees on transactions. The customer protection feature for bitcoin payments included multi-sig escrow services for expensive products.
Even though there is enough paper trail about the upcoming deal, the deal is yet to be closed and none of the representatives from both the companies have chosen to comment about it yet. In spite of building a robust platform, Bitnet has been unable to gain enough traction for its bitcoin merchant payment services as the adoption rate is slow among the merchants due to less demand for bitcoin payment option from their customers.
With the acquisition of Bitnet’s IP, Rakuten is expected to continue its testing and development of blockchain based solutions. Being one of the largest ecommerce companies in the world, Rakuten can potentially make use of blockchain based solutions in various aspects of its operations, starting from inventory management, order tracking, payments and more. However, the most important application of Bitcoin technology will be in Rakuten’s financial services arm which offers banking, credit and payments services to both businesses and customers.
Ref: WSJ | Image: Rakuten Logo