TOKYO - SK Planet Japan and blockchain startup Gatcoinjointly announced plans to issue geo-targeted crypto currencies to Chinese tourists in Japan.
"Chinese tourism is booming, with over 24 million arrivals to Japan in 2016. Bakugai, the Japanese word for Chinese 'explosive buying', hit over $13 billion USD last year," says Steve Lee, CEO of SK Planet Japan. "We have an extensive network of retail stores, and getting them to spend is a strategic priority."
SK Planet Japan (SKPJ) will use Gatcoin's targeted A-Drop technology to issue branded crypto-currencies to Chinese tourists. Tourists can use them to redeem beverage, fast food, and convenience store products in SKPJ's network of franchise partners.
"SKPJ coins can be traded in our ecosystem for GAT Coins, a publicly traded global crypto-currency" said Simon Cheong, Founder and CEO of Gatcoin. "This provides a way to monetize any retail coin issued on our platform. So, it is very much like sending tourists a bit of spending money to encourage them to walk into SKPJ's retail outlets" Mr. Cheong adds.
SKPJ and Gatcoin plan to roll out a complete suite of crypto-currency solutions for retailers in Japan covering loyalty programs, gift vouchers and pre-paid cash credits.
"Providing an unlimited variety of spending options, plus leveraging the liquidity of the crypto currency markets is an extremely powerful combination," says Mr. Lee. "This could possibly be one of the biggest marketing innovations since the invention of points," he adds.