One of the most enduring jewelry retailers and designers in the US has decided to embrace cryptocurrencies. Pennsylvania-based Marks Jewelers announced in a press release yesterday that it has partnered with Shopping Cart Elite, an eCommerce payment platform, to give customers the ability to pay for their fine jewelry purchases with a variety of digital currencies.
Marks now accepts Bitcoin BCH, Bitcoin Core (BTC), Bitcoin Diamond (BCD), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), ZCoin (XZC) and Dash (DASH). It is the first time a major US-based retailer with a large physical presence has embraced cryptocurrency and shows how crypto is continuing to expand to fulfill its intended purpose – to be used as currency.
According to Marks Jewelers Director of Marketing Joshua Rubin, “We’re very excited to begin accepting cryptocurrency payments from our customers around the world. This will allow us to make our fine jewelry available to the global market while paying lower fees and avoiding chargebacks. Marks has long been known for our meticulous craftsmanship and curated selection, and we are thrilled to open our store to the world.”
Opening up its payment capabilities to crypto gives Marks’ customers access to its large portfolio of fine jewelry “with lightning-fast transactions that take just minutes to process.” Since cryptocurrency transaction fees are substantially lower than those associated with bank transfers and credit cards, “Marks Jewelers is able to pass on even more savings to customers buying their next dazzling piece of jewelry,” according to the announcement.
Marks has been around for over 35 years. The company doesn’t just provide resale options for jewelry; it designs jewelry, as well. The company has five gemologists that graduated from the Gemological Institute of America on its payroll to ensure that the quality of diamonds and gemstones is a cut above the rest. It is partnered with Forevermark, a company under the DeBeers umbrella of jewelers.
Shopping Cart Elite is an eCommerce platform that gives companies the ability to automate their businesses. It is gaining traction as a crypto payment facilitator and is capable of being integrated into any eCommerce platform, including those that are listed on large retail sites such as Amazon, NewEgg, Etsy and Walmart, among others.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
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In a surprise announcement, ecommerce giant Rakuten said that it had decided to acquire a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan to continue diversifying its interests and thus also entering the crypto space.
The exchange is called Everybody’s Bitcoin Inc. and the transaction will take place through the company’s subsidiary, Rakuten Card Co. Ltd. The stock acquisition is expected to take place on October 1 and will cost around JPY256 million (US$2.3 million).
In a note that was published in the press announcement, Rakuten said the acquisition was boosted by its view that payments in cryptocurrency will continue to grow in the future—not just in e-commerce, but also in offline retail and peer-to-peer payments.
“In order to provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly, we believe it is necessary for us to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function, and have been considering entry into the cryptocurrency exchange industry as the Rakuten Group,” according to the company.
Rakuten also revealed that several of its foreign exchange and securities customers “have been calling for the provision of a cryptocurrency exchange service.”
Rakuten, founded in 1997, boasts of having over 1.2 billion members around the world. It operates more than 70 businesses, spread across e-commerce, digital content, communications and fintech.
Rakuten owns the messaging app Viber and has recently invested in the car hailing app service Lyft. The company also established a dedicated research and development unit in Belfast, Northern Ireland, called the Rakuten Blockchain Lab. The company has also entered the telecommunications space, where it has been granted a licence by the Japanese government to operate Japan’s fourth largest wireless carrier.
Everybody’s Bitcoin, also known as Minna no Bitcoin in Japan, began operating as a crypto exchange service on March 30, 2017. It supports BCH-JPY trading, as well as BTC and ETH. The exchange applied for a license on September 7, 2017, but its application remains under review.
The FSA, which has only approved 16 crypto exchanges of late, has allowed companies that were already operating crypto exchanges before the regulation took effect to keep operating while their applications are being reviewed. These companies are referred to as “quasi-operators” of crypto exchanges or “deemed” crypto exchanges.
Everybody’s Bitcoin falls under this category, according to Rakuten.
“Currently, Everybody’s Bitcoin operates the business as a deemed cryptocurrency exchange and is waiting for approval of the official registration. Rakuten Group decided to acquire Everybody’s Bitcoin shares so that it can realize the early registration as a cryptocurrency exchange and develop cryptocurrency services to customers,” the Japanese ecommerce giant said.
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