Luxury brand Gucci has announced that it will accept cryptocurrency payments at select locations.
For the pilot project, customers will be able to pay with cryptocurrency
at locations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta and Las Vegas starting in late May.
This summer, the program will be expanded to Gucci's entire network in North America, according to a Gucci spokesperson.
Customers will soon be able to pay for their purchases with more than 10 cryptocurrencies, including widely recognized coins like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and 5 stablecoins (GUSD, USDC, USDP, DAI and BUSD). But the brand also accepts payments from more niche cryptocurrencies, such as Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB).
Dogecoin started as a joke, but soared in value after tech billionaire Elon Musk said the meme-based currency could be used to buy Tesla items. Shiba Inu came later than DOGE, but is based on the same joke.
"Gucci is a digital first luxury brand and this is the next phase of the company's Web 3.0
journey," the brand said in the release.
This is not the brand's first foray into the world of cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the metaverse. In March, Gucci debuted the Gucci Vault, a digital store that represents "Gucci's presence in the metaverse," which it plans to use to sell digital assets alongside real clothing.
The brand has also released NFTs in partnership with major players in the NFT world, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and Cool Cats. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital assets linked to a blockchain. And some of the popular pieces of digital art are selling for huge prices.
An NFT for sale in Gucci's NFT store on OpenSea is listed at 420.69 ETH, equal to more than $1 million.
Other luxury brands have also taken their first steps into the world of cryptocurrencies, such as Off-White, founded by Virgil Abloh. In March, the brand announced that it would accept cryptocurrency payments in its stores in London, Milan and Paris.
It is expected that many major brands will follow suit, because at the end of the day, the customer is king.
"Gucci is always looking to embrace new technologies when they can provide an enhanced experience for our customers," says Marco Bizzarri, Gucci's president and CEO. "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 at their disposal."