Of Walter Loeb
Gucci started accepting cryptocurrency payment in some of its US stores starting May 2022. Now, about 70% of its stores accept a variety of digital currencies. The remaining ones aren’t expected to be out much longer.
Gucci was the first brand to accept cryptocurrency and this week was the first to accept ApeCoin. With the addition of ApeCoin, Gucci customers will have twelve options to pay with digital money. Gucci now accepts Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Wrapped Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu and 5 stablecoins pegged to the US dollar.
The Italian luxury brand entered the cryptocurrency space with just five stores initially, but saw fit to expand quickly to attract more customers.
According to Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay, the platform simply responded to demand. For example, they added ApeCoin in response to strong customer demand for their highly touted Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT Collection, a subsidiary of Yuga Labs. Bored Ape Yacht Club is sought after by celebrities and other wealthy individuals, and ApeCoin will be the primary token used throughout the Ape ecosystem according to WWD’s Adriane Lee.
ApeCoin holders can shop with merchants on the BitPay platform, which include premium brands and retailers, as well as popular services like UberEats and DoorDash. They simply exchange the tokens for cash via a BitPay card, or keep them.
The volatile world of cryptocurrencies is an adventure sport in itself and tends to be highly speculative with prices fluctuating frequently. Bitcoin and Ethereum, for example, are recovering from the big crash of June this year.
As for Gucci, the company has added cryptocurrency payments to meet the demands of its customers. This suggests BitPay’s Pair, who believes that demand should skyrocket among luxury goods consumers. However, it is not known how many customers have used Bitcoin or Dogecoin for their purchases.
Another scenario has Gucci embracing cryptocurrency as a strategic move that will position the company favorably against future developments. After all, Gucci has also dabbled in digital collectibles like avatars and NFTs in the past. The company has also explored partnerships with “digital worlds” such as Roblox and Sandbox.
Gucci is turning into a leading force in cryptocurrency trading with the expectation of attracting affluent customers. Gucci clearly wants to be at the forefront of developments, along with Nike and Tiffany. There is no doubt that such actions by these “giants” will give new ideas to the rest of the industry players.