Japanese IT Giant GMO Lost $12 Million in the Crypto Sector Last Year

GMO Internet, a Japanese IT giant that has ventured into the cryptocurrency sector through a mining operation and a cryptocurrency exchange, has recently reported an operating loss of 1.36 billion yen (about $11.75 million) in its cryptocurrency business last year.

According to the firm’s financial results for the fiscal year 2018, it made $74.51 million in net sales last year through its crypto segment. Its cryptocurrency exchange reportedly managed to make nearly $7 million in profit, while its mining venture lost roughly $18.3 million.

Per the results, the fourth quarter of last year saw the largest loss. According to CryptoCompare data, during Q4 of 2018 the prices of most cryptocurrencies hit their low in this bear market, with bitcoin hitting a $3,200 low in December.

As CoinDesk pointed out, GMO noted the loss didn’t include an “extraordinary loss” of $319 million in its cryptocurrency mining business, which it forecasted in December over the impairment losses from transfers of receivables, coming from it stopping producing and selling cryptocurrency miners.

As covered, the company left the bitcoin mining hardware sector after enduring significant losses. Given its results, the IT giant is changing its crypto mining business’ policy. It’s now set to relocate to a new mining center, as an increasing bitcoin hashrate stopped it from increasing its share in the market.

As covered, the flagship cryptocurrency’s hashrate hit a three-month high last month, as miners kept showing renewed confidence. This, according to data from Blockchain.com.

Bitcoin's hashrate evolution over time

The company also pointed out that it purchased “expensive mining machines from other manufacturers,” which saw its profitability decrease. To counter the trend, it’s looking to move to an unnamed location this year, where it’ll pay less for energy.

The electricity cost in the new location, which is confidential, is less than half of that in Northern Europe, which is 7-8 cents per kWh including running costs. We believe the relocation will impact our earnings this summer.

It revealed it’s still planning to launch its Japanese Yen-backed stablecoin GYEN, and noted it’s looking to launch it this year in overseas market.

Switzerland's Largest Online Retailer is Now Accepting Cryptocurrency Payments

Digitec-Galaxus, Switzerland’s largest online retail company, has reportedly decided to start accepting bitcoin (BTC) payments.

Digitec and Galaxus customers can now pay for goods and services with bitcoin and a few other major cryptocurrencies. In addition to BTC, users can make payments in XRP, ETH, Litecoin (LTC), Tron (TRX), OmiseGo (OMG), and NEO.

Digitec and Galaxus’ online retail outlets will also be taking payments in Bitcoin “Satoshi Vision” SV (BSV), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Binance Coin (BNB). Commenting on the Swiss retailer’s decision to start accepting cryptos, Oliver Herren, the co-founder and CEO of Digitec, remarked: 

Cryptocurrencies are fascinating and could become a relevant means of payment in e-commerce. We would like to support this development. We wanted to do that for a long time.

Coinify Will Help Convert Crypto Transfers To Swiss Francs

Herren added that Digitec decided to take cryptocurrencies as payment because people may have invested in them and they may want to use them. “Or because you cannot turn them into real money [since] your bank does not accept it. Or maybe just because you ...  like to try new things,” Herren said.

According to Switzerland’s e-commerce giant, it wants to encourage millennials, who may be heavily invested in the blockchain space, to start using cryptocurrencies for practical purposes such as paying for everyday goods and services. Price volatility of cryptocurrencies may not be an issue as Digitec and Galaxus will immediately convert crypto payments to Swiss francs using Coinify’s services, a third-party payment processor.

At present, crypto payments are only available for Switzerland-based users, however the company has said that it might allow customers in other areas to pay with crypto if their initial effort is successful.

Danish Food Takeaway Outlet Accepts Bitcoin Payments For Its 1500 Restaurants

In December 2018, Hungry.dk, one of the largest online food portals in Denmark, started accepting Bitcoin again. The food takeaway company handles orders from more than 1,500 restaurants in Denmark and had been accepting BTC payments since 2014. However, it had decided to stop taking crypto payments in late 2017 due to very long transaction processing times.

A representative from Hungry.dk noted (last year): 

We have accepted Bitcoins as a payment method for quite some time. We decided to remove the feature temporarily last year though because the average transaction time took too long, and the experience wasn’t the best.