Remixpoint Inc. is working with Hinomaru Limousine Co. to let passengers use digital currencies to pay for rides between Tokyo and the Japanese capital’s two major airports, people familiar with the matter said.
A trial service will start this month and initially cover rides between Tokyo’s 23 wards and either Haneda or Narita airports, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. A formal announcement is planned for Tuesday with the service to accept payments in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum, the people said.
The deal is part of a bigger trend to move cryptocurrencies beyond financial speculation and into commerce, including retail payments. Prices have plunged over the past year as initial expectations that Bitcoin and other digital currencies would up-end the existing economic order gave way to reality that most are too volatile or slow to compete with credit cards or even cash.
Remixpoint operates BITPoint, one of 16 cryptocurrency exchanges licensed by Japan’s financial watchdog.
Tokyo-based Hinomaru is a private company that operates a fleet of 362 limousines and 161 taxis, according to its website. If the service is successful, it may be expanded to include regular taxi rides, one of the people said.
— With assistance by Yuji Nakamura
By Kiyotaka Matsuda