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Luxury Brand Gucci Accepts Bitcoin, Shiba Inu

TheStreet logo TheStreet 5/5/2022 Rob Lenihan
a fire place sitting in a chair in front of a building: Luxury Brand Gucci Accepts Bitcoin, Shiba Inu © TheStreet Luxury Brand Gucci Accepts Bitcoin, Shiba Inu

Gucci is going crypto.

The iconic Italian luxury brand will accept cryptocurrency payments in some US stores at the end of May, Vogue Business reported, and plans to extend the pilot to all of its directly operated North America stores this summer.

'A Growing Demand'

Gucci, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, will accept payments in more than 10 currencies, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, wrapped bitcoin, litecoin, shiba inu and five stablecoins pegged to the US dollar.

The first Gucci stores to take crypto are Wooster Street in New York, Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, Miami Design District, Phipps Plaza in Atlanta and The Shops at Crystals in Las Vegas.

"The news of Gucci announcing its accepting cryptocurrencies as payment later this month means that there will be a growing demand for crypto-to-fiat conversion as Gucci will be ultimately accepting fiat funds," said Fuad Fatullaev, founder and CEO of WeWay. "This means that banks and other payment services will be viewing crypto-to-fiat services as a new dimension of financial services. It will consequently allow such service providers to expand their clientele."

This Gucci initiative may also instigate another wave of mainstream cryptocurrency adoption, Fatullaev said, "inviting others to follow into their footsteps. And it will also show a larger audience especially in North America that cryptocurrencies can be an actual everyday payment means."

'Luxury Brands Entering Crypto Space'

"Gucci's crypto adoption is a huge step forward for the broader crypto market," said Alexander Mamasidikov, co-founder of mobile digital bank MinePlex. "It is indicating that the top players in various industries believe in the long-term potential of bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies."

Mamasidikov said that Gucci's acceptance of cryptocurrencies "also shows a growing trend of luxury brands entering the crypto space."

He noted that in March the fashion label Off-white started accepting payment with six cryptos in its flagship stores in Paris, Milan and London.

"And now Gucci comes to this space," Mamasidikov said. "All of these actions show highly likely that other major luxury brands in the world will follow a similar path and provide crypto payment options to their customers."

In-store crypto payments will be made with a link sent via email to the customer; the link contains a QR code that allows them to execute the payment from their crypto wallet.

"The news on crypto payments could appeal to the crypto crowd and generate hype over the brand, resulting in a free marketing blitz," Luzi Ann Santos, markets expert and editor, Finder. "How much of it will actually turn into sales remains to be seen."

'Bigger News Than People Think'

"On the flipside, acceptance of cryptocurrency payments could provide an amount of unpredictability on sales given the volatility of the crypto market in general," Santos said. "They could manage that risk in much the same way companies typically hedge their forex exposure. That would however require converting a big chunk of crypto sales into dollars for greater predictability in managing their topline. They would probably keep some of the sales in crypto to benefit from a long-term rally."

The arrival of well-known, established brands like Gucci accepting digital currency payments is nothing new, Santos said, "and speaks strongly towards the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency, NFTs and exploration of the metaverse."

Santos said this is not Gucci's step into the world of tech and Web3. In May 2021, the company offered its first NFT: a fashion film with a starting bid of $20,000.

"Given how much payments are still made in cash in these types of stores makes total sense," one person tweeted.

https://twitter.com/carson_aubey/status/1522061763528769536

Another commenter said Gucci's acceptance of crypto "confirms the increasing influence of crypto on the world. And that'a awesome."

"This is bigger news than people might think," another person tweeted. "Opens the door for other big brands accepting bitcoin."

https://twitter.com/carson_aubey/status/1522061763528769536

In January, Gucci announced the launch on discord, a digital distribution platform, of Vault, "as a place to foster open conversations with the community about what's next in the metaverse."

The Gucci Vault Discord is described as the "official server for the House's new experimental creative space envisioned by Creative Director Alessandro Michele where the past, present and future co-exist, exploring new digital realms alongside a curation of vintage Gucci pieces and noteworthy designers."

This article was originally published by TheStreet.

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