Japan’s leading low-cost airline, Peach Aviation, has been working to implement a bitcoin payment system. Recently, there were reports that the company may be rethinking its bitcoin strategy following the recent hack of a major Japanese cryptocurrency exchange. Peach Aviation and its bitcoin exchange partner have clarified their position.
Peach’s Plan to Accept Bitcoin
Peach Aviation has recently clarified its plan to accept bitcoin for airline tickets. This is in response to recent media reports that suggest that the company may be halting its plan to accept the digital currency following the hack of a major Japanese bitcoin exchange, Coincheck – where 58 billion yen (~USD$527 million) worth of NEM were stolen.
Operating more than 90 daily flights and servicing 12 domestic and 13 international routes, Peach Aviation claims to have more than 13,000 daily passengers.
The company first announced in May of last year that it would accept bitcoin through a partnership with Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, Bitpoint Japan. In addition, Peach plans to expand its bitcoin payment services “through collaborations with local administrative bodies and local companies.” Peach and Bitpoint plan to jointly implement various initiatives such as installing bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) at airports as well as introducing bitcoin payments at souvenir shops, restaurants, and accommodation facilities.
“Both companies plan to start the service from the autumn of 2017 and will gradually implement various measures in accordance with various laws and regulations,” they announced in May. However, in December, Peach postponed the timeframe to “start [accepting bitcoin] within the fiscal year,” which ends in March 2018, the Sankei reported.
Peach’s Plan Only Delayed
“We are reviewing the timing of service start,” the spokeswoman for Peach’s public relations told Nikkei Online, confirming that the service has been postponed. The reason for the postponement is “the fluctuation of the bitcoin market [which] has been intensifying since the end of 2017,” she said, noting that the company would “like to start the service [but is] waiting for the market to settle.” Peach also denied any reports of it abandoning the bitcoin payment plan. “I’m actually preparing the settlement system,” the spokeswoman was quoted by the news outlet.
Bitpoint Japan also subsequently issued its own statement clarifying the situation. “We will notify you as to the specific service start time and its contents as soon as it is finalized,” the exchange wrote, adding:
Currently, we are working diligently to realize this service.