Some Japanese Retailers Could Suspend Bitcoin Use

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With continuing uncertainty about the near-term fate of the Bitcoin blockchain, the Nikkei Asian Review is reporting that restaurants and retailers could temporarily stop accepting Bitcoin as payment for goods and services. Though most experts seem confident that recent events have helped the currency avoid a contentious split, some Japanese exchanges remain wary. And that lingering concern has left many Bitcoin-accepting businesses scrambling for a contingency plan.

According to media reports, the move by miners to signal support for implementing the SegWit2x upgrade in the latter part of the week quickly saw that support rise to almost 100%. Japan’s exchanges continue to take a cautious approach, however, since the software involved in the upgrade has yet to activate. As some observers have noted, the blockchain could still split if the upgrade fails to be adopted by enough users.

The bitFlyer exchange has already signaled that it may suspend transactions from July 31 through August 2, to ensure that its customers’ holdings are properly secured against loss. If that happens, Japanese companies that rely on that exchange will likely be forced to stop accepting the digital currency during that time.

Some companies have already announced that a suspension of Bitcoin transactions may need to occur. For example, Bic Camera and Heichinrou restaurants are planning to follow bitFlyer’s lead. Meanwhile, BitChange is considering a temporary reliance on altcoins until the danger passes.

Other companies, however, have yet to announce any plans. Some are reluctant to move too hastily, due to concerns that they might alarm or confuse their Bitcoin-using customers.

Author: Ken Chase

Freelance writer whose interests include topics ranging from technology and finance to politics, fitness, and all things canine. Aspiring polymath, semi-professional skeptic, and passionate advocate for the judicious use of the Oxford comma.

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