More than 5,000 retail stores and restaurants in Japan may stop accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment starting Aug. 1, 2017. This possibility could push through if Bitcoin payment processors will halt their services.
Bitcoin payment processors plans
The retailers and restaurants accept Bitcoin through payment processors bitFlyer and Coincheck. The latter is also partnering with Recruit Lifestyle in order to expand its operation and accept more than 260,000 additional stores across Japan as clients.
BitFlyer, however, has announced that it could stop Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, along with its payment services from July 31 to Aug. 2. Coincheck has separately announced that it will temporarily halt Bitcoin deposit and withdrawal starting Aug. 1.
The company says:
“On Aug. 1, 2017, we may temporarily suspend Bitcoin deposit and withdrawal for Coincheck exchange and payment services to protect users assets…The resume date is unspecified, but we expect several hours to several days. Also, if we decide that a Bitcoin fork will not take place on Aug. 1, 2017, 12 am, the suspension of services will not happen.”
Japanese companies likely to be affected
The move by the government of Japan to recognize the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a legal tender in the country has led to the increase in the number of stores and retailers which use it in their operations.
Among them are restaurant chain Heichinrou, eyeglass retail chain Meganesuper and the electronics retail group Bic Camera.
The plans by the payment processors and the various Japanese establishments were triggered by impending developments in Bitcoin platform. These include the planned scaling for Segregated Witness (SegWit) and the possible split of the platform.
The plans to temporarily halt Bitcoin payments, however, are expected to have limited effects on the operations of the retailers and restaurants as their businesses are mainly transacted in cash or credit cards.