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Japan's bitcoin startups to offer insurance for retailers

Policies will cover losses from botched payments

TOKYO -- Japanese bitcoin exchange bitFlyer will partner with Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance to offer merchants a way to receive compensation for failed transactions involving the virtual currency.

The insurance package rolling out Friday will be the first of its kind in Japan. The offering from the Tokyo cryptocurrency exchange and the MS&AD Insurance Holdings Group unit will cover damages if a customer payment does not go through correctly due to system problems or other issues.

Coincheck, another Tokyo virtual currency exchange operator, is also gearing up to offer a similar insurance product by teaming up with Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, a Tokio Marine Holdings group subsidiary.

The hope is that more stores will adopt bitcoin as a payment method if they are not forced to simply eat such losses. The cryptocurrency's use is spreading to a broader range of businesses in Japan, such as electronics retailer Bic Camera, which has begun accepting bitcoin payments at some locations.


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