Mercari, a leading Japanese e-commerce platform, and Próspera, a special economic zone in Roatan, Honduras, each announced meaningful Bitcoin integrations.
Mercari announced it will start accepting Bitcoin BTC/USD payments in June 2024, a move facilitated through its Tokyo-based cryptocurrency subsidiary, Melcoin.
Buyers can pay in BTC, while sellers will receive payments in Japanese yen, maintaining the traditional pricing format in yen.
Since its establishment in 2013, Mercari has grown to become Japan’s largest community marketplace, with a user base of 22 million as of July 2023.
The company has also been expanding its services to include several cryptocurrency-related features, such as the Mercari Bitcoin trading service, which enables users to buy and sell Bitcoin using their sales proceeds on the platform.
This cryptocurrency integration positions Mercari alongside Rakuten, another Japanese e-commerce giant, as a gateway to crypto for Japanese investors.On the other side of the globe, Próspera in Honduras has taken a bold step by officially recognizing Bitcoin as a unit of account.
Led by Jorge Colindres, the acting manager and tax commissioner of Próspera Zone for Employment and Economic Development (ZEDE), this allows Bitcoin to be used for valuing goods and services within the zone.
Announced on Jan. 5 and further elaborated in a post on X on Jan. 7, Colindres highlighted the initiative’s aim to offer more financial and monetary freedom to individuals and businesses in Próspera.
He stated, “At @ProsperaZEDE we believe in the right to financial freedom and monetary freedom. People should be free to carry out transactions, do their accounting and report taxes in the currency of their free choice.”
These developments from different parts of the world signify a growing trend of Bitcoin’s integration into mainstream commerce and finance.
While Mercari is pioneering this integration in the e-commerce sector in Japan, Próspera is setting a precedent for the use of cryptocurrency in economic governance.
Both initiatives reflect a broader movement towards the acceptance and normalization of digital currencies in various aspects of economic life.