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Rakuten Brings Bitcoin On Board

Laura Brodbeck

Bitcoin is slowly making its way to the checkout as more and more big name companies adopt the cryptocurrency by allowing customers to make purchases using it.

On Tuesday, Japan's largest online retailer Rakuten (OTC: RKUNF) made good on its promise to accept bitcoin by integrating the cryptocurrency into its payments platform.

The company partnered with bitcoin payments processor Bitnet to roll out its new bitcoin platform and says shoppers can enjoy a higher degree of security by using the cryptocurrency at the checkout.

Pushing Bitcoin

In an effort to promote its new payment offering, Rakuten is allowing shoppers on its U.S. site to receive a $30 discount on orders worth more than $100 if they pay with bitcoin.

The offer is expected to last through the first week of April, but the company says more bitcoin promotions are to come.

Rakuten's enthusiasm and willingness to offer incentives for using cryptocurrency has been applauded by bitcoin enthusiasts who say the online retailer's efforts will help propel the currency into mainstream use.

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Taking Advantage Of Blockchain

Rakuten has acknowledged the public's skepticism regarding bitcoin, and is using blockchain, the ledger-like technology that powers bitcoin, in order to make expensive transactions even safer.

Because bitcoin doesn't offer users the same safeguards that traditional credit cards and payment platforms provide, Rakuten is providing customers with a multi-signature escrow option for high value items to protect against theft.

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