The biggest virtual currency exchange in Japan in terms of volume, Bitflyer, has disclosed that its customer base exceeded the 2 million mark this month. In November last year the customer base was one million and five months prior it was 600,000. This represents a 100% increase in users in four months.
Bitflyer?s phenomenal growth has come in the wake of the passage of legislation in Japan last year which legalized virtual currencies as a payment means. The growth has however not been limited to Bitflyer, as other exchanges too have experienced a rise in the number of users. Coincheck, for instance, disclosed at the beginning of the month the number of accounts had increased to 1.7 million.
As the number of users continue to grow, Bitflyer has also been recruiting more retail outlets. Recently the cryptocurrency exchange disclosed that it had entered a deal with Japanese luxury fashion firm, Samantha Thavasa Japan, to offer bitcoin (BTC) payment services. Samantha Thavasa Japan makes and sells handbags, jewelry as well as accessories in its retail outlets which number more than 130. Initially though it is only the Omotesando Gates outlets which will offer bitcoin payments. Customers who have Bitflyer wallets will be able to pay using the virtual currency for amounts up to 100,000 yen per transaction.
One of the biggest retailers which has partnered with Bitflyer to accept bitcoin payments is Bic Camera. Currently bitcoin payments are accepted at all stores belonging to Bic Camera. At the moment the retailer is rolling out bitcoin payments to its subsidiaries. However the bitcoin payment option will not be available at all stores, but only the large ones which experience high demand.
At first a limit of 100,000 yen was set at Bic Camera stores but this was raised over time. Currently the cap is 300,000 yen. According to a representative of Bic Camera, part of the reason why it was raised is because bitcoin payments are usually two to three times larger than other payment types. Earlier in the year Bitflyer expanded into Europe after obtaining a payments license from the financial regulator of Luxembourg.
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