The Japanese e-commerce and finance Major, Rakuten has confirmed the acquisition of Bitnet. The acquisition is the result of Rakuten’s increased interest in Bitcoin and blockchain related intellectual property owned by Bitnet.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Bitnet is a provider of Bitcoin-based payment solutions for merchants and businesses. The company had previously raised investments from various parties including Rakuten. The Japanese company was part of a $14.5 million investment round a couple of years ago.
After confirming the acquisition, the company has announced the launch of Rakuten Blockchain Lab in Northern Ireland. The Blockchain Lab, slated to open its doors on August 22, 2016 is expected to operate using the new-found resources of Bitnet (alongside its San Francisco office, Bitnet has been operating two offices in Belfast and Dublin.)
The acquisition doesn’t come as a surprise as there were reports regarding the plans making rounds in the business and media circles since the past one month. However, there was no definite confirmation available at that time as the deal was still in the negotiations phase.
Rakuten Blockchain Lab will be mainly involved in research and development of blockchain