Rakuten, a major Japanese e-commerce company, has announced the introduction of Rakuten NFT, its own nonfungible token (NFT) trading platform. In response to the growing popularity of nonfungible tokens around the world, the company announced plans to build a private NFT marketplace in 2021. The NFT marketplace, according to Rakuten, also includes a platform that allows intellectual property owners to construct their own websites for issuing and selling NFTs.
Many people believe that Japan, with a population of over 126 million people and a well-known pop culture that includes anime and manga, has the potential to accelerate the adoption of blockchain assets like crypto collectibles. The global NFT ecosystem had great growth in 2021. Following a surge in trading volumes and adoption, important companies in a variety of industries began to deal in NFTs.
Interest in these innovative assets is developing in Japan as the value of the NFT market continues to climb. Coincheck, the country’s local crypto exchange, launched a specialised NFT marketplace in March 2021. Mai Fujimoto, widely known as “Miss Bitcoin,” teamed up with the blockchain gaming ecosystem Enjin to launch an NFT charity campaign in Japan in July.
Rakuten also revealed that the market will have its own “one-stop platform,” which will allow intellectual property owners to create websites to issue and sell their own branded NFTs. The marketplace will debut with a big selection of anime-related NFTs, including those from the animated series “Ultraman” and the horse racing-themed manga “Korogane Hiroshi G1 Gekitoshi.” The marketplace intends to release NFTs of rare footage of notable episodes from TV Asahi Corporation shows in the future, as well as NFT trading cards of Daiki Sound Co. Ltd.’s rock idol group Under Beasty.
Rakuten is well-known for experimenting with blockchain technology and building on it. When it merged with Bitnet’s infrastructure in 2015, the company was an early adopter of Bitcoin payments. Rakuten Coin, a cryptocurrency based on Rakuten Points and promoted as a “borderless money,” was also piloted by the firm. Under the Rakuten Wallet Inc. branch, the business started its own cryptocurrency exchange in 2019.
With $41 billion in transaction volume in 2021, the NFT market outperformed all forecasts, compared to $100 million in 2020. Rakuten believes that Japan’s entertainment sector, which is built on anime and music, will be the next hotspot for adoption.