Tesla accepting Dogecoin payments was one thing, but the cryptocurrency crowd just received another bout of good news and some sweet validation from a seemingly unexpected source — Gucci. The luxury brand has just announced that by the end of May 2022, it will begin accepting payments in crypto in five of its stores located in the United States. And it’s not just the largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, that gets recognized here, but also Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dogecoin. The last one is especially interesting, given that it was first made as a joke, and now, it will be used to purchase luxury goods from one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Aside from the aforementioned coins, Gucci will also accept Shiba Inu and five so-called "stablecoins." A stablecoin is a form of cryptocurrency that is pegged to the US dollar, meaning it always has the same value as USD.
Given that cryptocurrency doesn’t have any physical payment forms, accepting such payments in brick and mortar stores is a little bit tricky. Paying with cryptocurrency requires the person to own a crypto wallet. When you’re out and about, a cryptocurrency wallet can only be used as long as you have internet access. In order to pay with cryptocurrency, in-store Gucci customers will be emailed a link with a QR code. The code is a quick and easy way for the payment to go right from the customer’s crypto wallet to Gucci, which may then keep it as a cryptocurrency or convert it into "fiat," which is essentially just standard, legacy currency like the dollar.
Gucci has prior involvement with crypto
If you don’t have much of an interest in the crypto or NFT (non-fungible token) space, you may find Gucci’s decision to accept payments in cryptocurrency to be strange. However, the brand already has prior involvement with the crypto world: Gucci actually has its own NFT line. Although NFTs cover a fairly broad range of different forms of digital art, such as images, music, or videos, Gucci’s collection, dubbed Superplastic: SuperGucci, consists of 500 limited-edition tokens. Being an NFT, each of these pieces of media comes with an assigned proof of ownership indicating that the person who has the token in their wallet is the owner of the token (and its associated media, where applicable).
Gucci’s NFT line has achieved moderate success, with the highest sale being recorded at 30 Ethereum (ETH). At the time of the sale on February 1, 2022, this amounted to around $80,000. Of course, NFTs often score prices that are much higher than that, but the involvement of traditional brands such as Gucci with the NFT space is still fairly limited — a lot of projects come from unknown designers and teams of people who run them almost anonymously.
For a brand like Gucci, with decades of tradition, to recognize crypto as a valid currency is a big deal. Not only it could draw some new pairs of eyes to Gucci, but it also makes cryptocurrency less of an outlandish, internet-only concept and more of a thing that even established brands seem to turn to. However, using crypto is not without its controversies. Until crypto mining is made greener, it’s likely that the digital currency world will have more opponents than it will have supporters.