These renowned luxury houses are catching the crypto wave.
Although there are still six months left in 2022, it is safe to say that it has been a year since cryptocurrency boomed and exploded in value, in large part thanks to e-commerce. While some big names are considering accepting crypto payments, some other major companies, such as Tesla, PayPal, Home Depot and the U.S. telecommunication giant AT&T, pioneered and began adopting cryptocurrency this year.
While crypto payments in commerce are still in their nascent stage, more and more brands are tapping into the crypto crowd. What are some of the latest big names that have entered the crypto space? Is it possible for small businesses to accept crypto payments? If yes, how? Read on to find out.
Three latest big brands that accept crypto
After dropping SuperGucci (an NFT project initiated collaboratively by Gucci and Superplastic) and Gucci Frail NFTs, Gucci continues to explore the possibilities offered by the virtual world. Since the end of May, the luxury fashion house has started accepting crypto payments in some of its flagship stores in the United States, including 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.
Gucci provides customers with over ten cryptocurrency options for payments, which include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Wrapped Bitcoin, Litecoin, Shiba Inu, Dogecoin and five stablecoins (cryptocurrencies that are tied to reserve currency, such as the euro, or commodities, such as gold) pegged to the US dollar.
When customers are to proceed with in-store payments, they receive an email with a QR code that directs them to pay with their crypto wallets. In case customers ask for a refund for purchases paid in crypto, Gucci only offers returns in cryptocurrency but not the local currency.
Following Gucci, Balenciaga also officially started accepting crypto payments in June this year, making it the latest big name to join the crypto space. Balenciaga also picked the U.S. as the starting point, and the new move begins at its flagship stores on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, Madison Avenue in New York and its official online store. To start with, Balenciaga only allows customers to buy apparel, shoes, bags and other products with Bitcoin and Ethereum currently. It is planning to expand the digital ecosystem to other cryptocurrency options later this year.
Jacob & Co.
Besides luxury fashion houses, premium watch and jewelry brand Jacob & Co. is partnering with crypto payment service providers so that customers can make purchases in crypto. Earlier this year, Jacob & Co. teamed up with BitPay, one of the leading Bitcoin payment service providers, to add cryptocurrency as a new payment option for customers.
This is the second time Jacob & Co. has jumped on the crypto bandwagon. Last year, the company partnered with CEX.IO (a cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform) to enable crypto payments, making the brand the first luxury watch and jewelry brand that accepts crypto. The cryptocurrency transactions are powered by CEX.IO Pay, the digital asset payment method rolled out by the platform.
Jacob & Co. accepts mainly Bitcoin, Ethereum and some other verifiable cryptocurrencies, which is likely to remain the same because the company hasn’t made any follow-up announcements since then. The way Jacob & Co. accepts crypto payments is similar to that of Gucci. Upon product selection, customers will scan a QR code that guides them to pay with their crypto wallets.
Is crypto a game for behemoths to play only?
Gucci, Balenciaga and Jacob & Co. are certainly not the only big names that have dived into the crypto world. Leading corporations from other industries, such as Microsoft, Subway and even Wikipedia, also started accepting crypto payments at different points in time. Seeing these business giants playing the crypto game may make small businesses wonder whether they should accept cryptocurrencies someday, too.
According to CNBC, as of last year, one out of ten people invested in cryptocurrencies, and as of April 2022, approximately 4% of the world’s population (around 318 million) held cryptocurrencies. With the broad user base of cryptocurrencies, brands should consider accepting crypto payments if they want to expand their customer base and grow their businesses.
Setting up a crypto payment system can be overwhelming if you are new to the crypto world, and it takes research and time to pick a reliable and secure crypto payment gateway (third-party cryptocurrency processors). There are lots of options on the market, such as Coingate, Coinbase, BitPay and NOWPayments. These payment gateways serve as payment processors that convert cryptocurrency into fiat currency for the merchant based on the cryptocurrency’s market price at the moment of transaction. This makes it a lot easier for businesses to adopt crypto payments.
With more and more global brands joining the cryptocurrency trend, the crypto market will continue to grow in market size. As such, not only can crypto users shop more effortlessly, but there will also be more opportunities for outsiders to connect with the new trend and experience cash-free and credit-card-free shopping, as they should in this modern high-tech world.
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