Rakuten Group, Inc. will enter the blockchain technology-powered non-fungible token (NFT) business in Japan.
In the spring of 2022, Rakuten plans to launch a marketplace where users can purchase NFTs in a variety of categories such as sports and entertainment, including music and anime, and buy and sell NFTs to and from individual users. Dubbed “Rakuten NFT,” the service will also offer a unique, one-stop platform that enables IP holders to issue NFTs and build sales websites.
Users will be able to purchase NFTs issued by IP holders on Rakuten NFT and conduct transactions with other users. Users will use their Rakuten IDs at checkout, and plans are also in place for Rakuten Points to be earnable and usable with Rakuten NFT. Additionally, even IP holders that do not have in-depth blockchain knowledge or experience will be able to issue and distribute NFTs without the need to develop their own technology.
The Rakuten NFT platform will be linkable with other Rakuten services, allowing users to acquire NFTs as prizes or gifts when purchasing products or when meeting certain requirements on other Rakuten-operated services.
NFTs are a breakthrough technology in the digital content field because of their ability to guarantee the uniqueness and rarity of digital data, and in recent years they have attracted attention in fields such as sports and entertainment because of their potential to bring new innovation to the content industry.
Rakuten established the Rakuten Blockchain Lab, which specializes in blockchain technology, in August 2016, and Rakuten Wallet has been providing spot trading services in Japan for crypto assets since August 2019.
Rakuten will leverage the technologies it has cultivated through the development and provision of these services and more over the years to enter the NFT business, and the company aims to bring change to the NFT market, which is currently focused primarily on crypto investors and communities with a keen interest in technology. By democratizing the NFT market, Rakuten endeavors to empower a wide range of users to feel the value of owning their own NFT.
Rakuten will continue to provide new and exciting entertainment experiences through its digital content business, delivering greater levels of convenience and satisfaction to customers and empowering the widest possible range of users through its services.