Gucci, the premium Italian fashion business, has announced that it would expand its payment methods to accommodate more than 10 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Shiba Inu, and the five stablecoins linked to the US dollar. This was the first time a big fashion industry figure has endorsed a product.
According to Vogue Business, Gucci will test this new payment mechanism in select of its US outlets, namely in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, and Atlanta. The company intends to implement this at its directly managed stores in the United States by the end of this summer.
Gucci and The Sandbox’s interactive fashion experience. Image: Max Siedentopf/Gucci
In the fashion sector, accepting bitcoins as payment is nothing new. Other labels, such as Philipp Plein and Off-White, have already begun to accept it as early as 2021. But what distinguishes Gucci from its competitors is its aim of creating a whole ecosystem utilizing Web3.
The brand’s initial venture into blockchain technology can be traced back to the publication of its first NFT project, which was inspired by its “Gucci Aria” line. Gucci then expanded into the metaverse by acquiring virtual land in the decentralized blockchain game The Sandbox. It makes advantage of digital real estate to establish its online community, which is supplemented by the Gucci Vault Discord channel. Gucci has since uploaded to the server its two most recent NFT projects, SuperGucci and Gucci Grail.
“Gucci is constantly eager to adopt new technologies when they can give a better experience for our clients,” Gucci’s president and CEO, Marco Bizzarri, said in a statement. “Now that we can integrate cryptocurrencies into our payment system, it is a logical progression for those clients who want to have this option open to them.”
While it is great that Gucci is attempting to incorporate blockchain into its business strategy, there are some reservations about this new venture. More notable corporations, such as Tesla, have previously accepted Bitcoin as a means of payment but later retracted the offer due to environmental and legal considerations.
The dilemma of utilizing expensive products from companies such as Gucci to launder money is one possible point that might stymie the seamless adoption of cryptocurrencies. The nature of luxury products is such that they are highly liquid and in great demand. This makes it relatively easy for thieves to reintroduce “dirty money” into the system. If companies want to see cryptocurrency payments thrive, they must improve their ESG mission to offer local governments and users the trust they need to continue utilizing it.