2024 / 02 / 15
Press Release

Mercari Adds Bitcoin as Payment Method on Its Marketplace

New feature allows users to pay with bitcoin when shopping on Mercari, a marketplace of over 3 billion listed items and 23 million monthly active users

Mercoin, Inc. (“Mercoin”), a subsidiary of Mercari Inc. (“Mercari”) that plans and develops services related to cryptoassets and blockchain, is proud to announce the launch of a new feature that allows users to select bitcoin as a payment method on the purchase screen of the Mercari marketplace app1 starting February 15, 2024.2,3 With this new feature, users will be able to more seamlessly use their bitcoin to shop from the over 3 billion items listed on Mercari.

1.Items listed under Mercari Shops are excluded from the items that users can purchase on the Mercari app using bitcoin.
2.When users select bitcoin as the payment method for purchases on Mercari, the amount of bitcoin selected will be sold, and those earnings will be automatically added to their Merpay balance in order to purchase the item.
3.The feature will be rolled out in phases to Mercari app users starting today. In order to use the feature, users will need to hold bitcoin on Mercari’s bitcoin trading service. (Note: Users must pass a screening and be between 20 and 74 years of age to be eligible to use this service.)

Providing a more seamless shopping experience using bitcoin on Mercari
Mercoin launched its bitcoin trading service in March 2023 with the aim of making it easier and safer to trade bitcoin and, as a result, make the cryptocurrency more accessible to users who have never traded in it before. Just seven months after the service launched, it had already reached over 1 million users4, and in research conducted by Mobile Marketing Data Labo5, it was ranked as the top cryptoasset exchange service that people started using in 2023.

Mercari is making cryptoassets available to a wider audience as evidenced by the large portion of Mercari’s bitcoin trading service users (approximately 80%6) who said it was their first experience trading cryptoassets. As a result, a new kind of shopping experience is emerging where users are able to sell items that they no longer need on Mercari, use those earnings to purchase some bitcoin, sell that bitcoin to add to their Merpay balance, and then shop for items on Mercari using that sales balance. As a matter of fact, about half7 of the people using Mercari’s bitcoin trading service have already done just that. Users have been selling their bitcoin to shop for various things on the Mercari marketplace, ranging from apparel, electronics, toys, merchandise of their favorite idols, to daily necessities.

In light of this data and user needs, Mercari is launching a new feature to make the experience of shopping with bitcoin even more seamless.

A recent survey that Mercari conducted on users of its bitcoin trading service8 showed that there is still a portion of users who have outstanding questions, concerns, or difficulties with regard to bitcoin. Less than half of respondents (45.7%) said they knew how to use their bitcoin and had found a purpose for it. Given these results, Mercari aims to promote a better understanding of bitcoin and resolve any concerns that people have in order to make it more familiar to a greater number of people.

4. Number of users who created accounts for trading bitcoin on Mercari since March 16, 2023, the date the service became available to all users
5. Excerpt from the results of Mobile Marketing Data Labo research on cryptoassets (cryptocurrency) published in 2023 (; only available in Japanese)
6. Results of a user survey conducted at the time of application for the bitcoin trading service on Mercari (as of October 4, 2023)
7. Percentage of users who sold their bitcoin on Mercari’s trading service and subsequently used those earnings to make a purchase on Mercari (as of October 4, 2023)
8. Results of a user survey regarding the bitcoin trading service on Mercari (as of December 27, 2023)

Overview of new feature
On Mercari’s payment screen, there will now be an option available to pay with bitcoin that is similar to selecting payment using Mercari points.9,10,11 Users can also choose to make purchases by combining their bitcoin, points, and remaining sales balance.

9. This feature is only applicable to bitcoin held on Mercari’s bitcoin trading service.
10. The bitcoin held by users will be sold, and those earnings will be reflected in their Merpay balance in Japanese yen in order to be able to make payments.
11. For payments with bitcoin, the bitcoin will be sold with the spread subtracted from the price of the bitcoin.

Becoming one of the few marketplaces in the world where users can shop with bitcoin
Up until now, bitcoin and other cryptoassets were only used by a small portion of the population in Japan. Because cryptoassets are extremely volatile and come with a risk, it has not been financially accessible to the majority of people and has negative connotations, such as “I feel like I’ll lose money (36.9%),” “It’s intimidating (30.5%),” “I don’t have the funds to buy any (26.6%),” and “I hear bad things about it on the news or social media (24.6%).”12

At Mercari, in order for more of our users to feel comfortable using bitcoin, we want to make it less mysterious and more accessible. These efforts will go beyond just increasing the number of people who hold bitcoin on our service. In order to mitigate the negative perceptions, we must also spread awareness of what bitcoin is as well as the value and convenience it can offer. We hope this new feature will present an opportunity for people to learn more about bitcoin, and for people who hold bitcoin but are unsure of how to use it to become more familiar with this cryptoasset.

12. Results from a survey conducted by Mercoin regarding cryptoassets (as of February 2023)

Comment from Mercoin CEO Keita Nakamura

Since we released our bitcoin trading service in March 2023, it has reached over 1 million users, and I think our service has helped the world of cryptoassets feel more familiar and accessible to a larger number of people. This feature is another big and exciting step for us, since our users will now be able to use their bitcoin to make purchases directly on our very own marketplace. By making bitcoin a familiar part of Mercari and having it more readily available as a payment option, I think it will help change people’s perceptions—our users can discover new ways to use bitcoin in their daily lives and generate new value from it.

Investing in cryptoassets has a strong speculative aspect. However, we hope to make the Mercari marketplace one of the few places in the world where people can use their bitcoin for shopping. As a part of our mission to circulate all forms of value, we will continue expanding our service to act as a bridge that makes the world of blockchain accessible to more people.

Moving forward, Mercoin will continue to take on even more new challenges related to the fields of cryptoassets and blockchain.