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Japanese To Pay Utility Bills Using Bitcoin (thestack.com) 36

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Stack: Japanese citizens will soon be able to pay their utility bills using bitcoin. The facility is being provided by Coincheck Denki, a new service offered by the Japanese bitcoin company, which will be available to users in November. Coincheck outlined the new plan on its website. Also called 'Coincheck Electricity,' it will allow users to pay their electricity bills directly from their Coincheck bitcoin wallet. It also offers a discount plan for heavy users of electricity, with 4-6% of the total bill discounted for heavy users of electricity who pay in bitcoin. Coincheck's parent company, Reju Press, initially partnered with Mitsuwa Inc., to create the bitcoin payment system. Coincheck now works with Mitsuwa subsidiary E-Net Inc., and has formed a partnership with Marubeni Power Retail Corporation, which operates power plants in 17 locations in central Japan. Marubeni has offices in 66 countries worldwide, although no plans have been announced to take the bitcoin payment option outside of Japan. While the initial bitcoin payment rollout is for electricity bills, Coincheck plans to expand its offerings to bitcoin payment for 'life infrastructure,' to include payment of gas, water and mobile phone bills. It may even partner with landlords to allow customers of Coincheck to pay rent using bitcoin. The bitcoin payment plan will be rolled out in Chubu, Kanto (including Tokyo) and Kansai regions to start, with additional areas to be added sequentially. The company hopes to offer bitcoin payment options to one million electric customers within the first year.
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Japanese To Pay Utility Bills Using Bitcoin

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, 2016 @04:27PM (#52965571)

    Finally I can pay my utility bills completely anonymously!

    -AC

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is a great way for a Government to find out who bitcoin users are, because they are voluntarily giving their names, addresses, etc. Everyone knows "normal" people don't use subversive crypto-currencies, so their info will be submitted to various gov security watch lists.

    • Finally I can pay my utility bills completely anonymously!

      -AC

      I'm sorry sir, we have no record of a payment on your electric bill for last month. Either pay up now or we are going to shut you off....

      What, you paid using BitCoin? Can you prove that sir? I didn't think so.. (click)

      • by ASDFnz ( 472824 )

        What, you paid using BitCoin? Can you prove that sir? I didn't think so.. (click)

        You genuinely don't know how bitcoin works do you?

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          I know how bitcoin works, its a pyramid scheme, first in make the money, last in make the loss. So what is the scam on paying energy bills via bitcoin, a lie straight off the bat, you are not paying energy bills with bitcoin, you are paying someone to pay that bill with real money and you pay them in bitcoin and of course the big scum, screwing you over on the bitcoin exchange rate and guess who will sell you bitcoin at a higher rate than the rate they charge when you want to sell that bitcoin for energy. N

          • by ASDFnz ( 472824 )

            I know how bitcoin works................

            Yeah... no you don't. You long angry rant goes a long way to showing that.... seriously... do you really believe that people don't steal cash and gold?

            • by allo ( 1728082 )

              He's right, especially about the pyramid scheme. People just do not want this to be true, because they depend on more people coming, so there are more people below them in the pyramid. The founder(s) know it's such a scheme and have reserved enough cheap bitcoin in the beginning to be millionaires now.

        • What, you paid using BitCoin? Can you prove that sir? I didn't think so.. (click)

          You genuinely don't know how bitcoin works do you?

          Oh I know how it works and that EVERY transaction is publicly verifiable and traceable FOREVER and I've said so many times before. What else is that "block chain" thing anyway? I was making a joke about the joke... But I guess the amusing subtlety of what I posted got lost for some of you..

  • Currently my utility bills are debited directly from my bank account. I'm fine with that.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Growing marijuana indoors requires a lot of electricity, and selling marijuana via the Dark Net generates income in Bitcoin. This is perfect, those utility companies know what they are doing! ;-)

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      You clearly don't have the same electric company that I have...
  • paying for the same thing they are made of....
  • A win for the pacific triad.
  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Monday September 26, 2016 @05:34PM (#52965939) Homepage Journal

    1) Mine bitcoins using electricity
    2) Pay electricity bill using bitcoins
    3) Loss!

  • by xeno ( 2667 ) on Monday September 26, 2016 @06:43PM (#52966297)

    Wait... "Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), also known as Green tags, Renewable Energy Credits, Renewable Electricity Certificates, or Tradable Renewable Certificates (TRCs), are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities" (src:WikPed) in the US... and now I can directly pay for power consumption in another locale with a currency I can directly generate from power here... that I can can receive or sell thru these commodity markets? And it's international/lets one avoid taxes and currency markets or end-run them? Woot! Here in the PNW US, bitcoin mining is relatively profitable... maybe another couple of racks in Wenatchee are in order. Or Iceland.

    TL;DR: Bitcoin is just another TRC... only international.

  • So we can expect cheaper home grown hydro weed in Japan now?

  • by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Monday September 26, 2016 @07:55PM (#52966655)
    How do they address bitcoin change rate volatility?
    • The same way they address price volatility of oil/natural gas or wholesale electricity. For BTC volatility, I bet they just use an intermediary to handle the BTC to yen conversion and only deal with yen in their end. No volatility on their end.

    • By getting a quote right before presenting the customer with his amount due, and then dumping the received bitcoin ASAP before transferring the yen to the utility company. Presumably they charge a modest "transaction fee" to cover small fluctuations.

  • I've been using bylls.ca for a couple of years now to pay different bills. I'm in Québec, Canada.

  • What will happen to BitCoin if the energy cost of mining BitCoin becomes more expensive than the coin you get?
    Will you just have less miners and people using the coins already mined?

Everything that can be invented has been invented. -- Charles Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899

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