May 6, 2022 fashion

Gucci allows customers to pay with cryptocurrencies in some US stores


Customers can now purchase Gucci’s high-end handbags and other luxury products in some US stores using cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, the Italian fashion house said, as digital currencies increasingly gain mainstream acceptance.

Starting later this month, customers can pay with digital tokens at some of Gucci’s flagship stores, including Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles and Wooster Street in New York, Miami Design District, Phipps Plaza in Atlanta and The Shops at Crystals in Las Vegas, according to a recent report by Vogue Business that cited Gucci.

Gucci plans to expand the service to its stores in North America in the near future, the report added.

Gucci is always looking to embrace new technologies when they can provide an enhanced experience for our customers,” Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s president and chief executive, said.

“Now that we are able to integrate cryptocurrencies within our payment system, it is a natural evolution for those customers who would like to have this option available to them.”

The cryptocurrency market has become popular among investors who have indicated an increasing acceptance for the digital assets to diversify their portfolio.

As of Thursday, cryptocurrencies’ market capitalisation is more than $1.79 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin continues to be the largest, enjoying a market share of 41.96 per cent.

Bitcoin, the world’s first and most popular cryptocurrency, was trading at $39,453 on Thursday afternoon, up by 1.3 per cent in the past 24 hours, CoinMarketCap data showed. It hit a record high on November 9, blowing past $68.000, but has since lost its value.

Gucci said it would accept payments in more than 10 digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, Litecoin, and a few US dollar-pegged stablecoins.

Customers can make in-store cryptocurrency payments using a link sent to their email. The link will contain a QR code that allows them to execute the payment from their cryptocurrency wallet, Gucci said.

The Italian fashion house has already made strides in the digital world.

The company released a range of digital-only sneakers as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in March last year. It teamed up with fashion-tech specialists Wanna for the range of augmented reality (AR) sneakers.

An NFT is a type of digital asset that is part of a blockchain and acts as a certificate of ownership for specific items. These items can be images, videos, music, gifs, even tweets and articles.

A digital version of Gucci’s Dionysus bag sold on Roblox’s platform for about $4,115. That was more than the price of the physical item.

“It is only a matter of time” before major fashion houses embrace NFTs, Gucci told Vogue Business in March last year.

The company auctioned a four-minute NFT video at Christie’s for $25,000.

Gucci recently built a Web3-focused team and has purchased and is developing digital real estate on The Sandbox, a blockchain-based real estate platform, according to Vogue Business.

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