Cryptocurrencies are closer to being accepted as an increasingly common payment method, if buying pre-destroyed $1,250 t-shirts is anything to go by .
Starting next month, French luxury fashion brand Balenciaga will start accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum as a payment method online and in select brick-and-mortar stores, according to The Wall Street Journal .
With this move, Balenciaga becomes the latest traditional fashion brand to adopt cryptocurrencies as a payment method. Earlier this month, Gucci announced that it would begin allowing cryptocurrency payments online and in five stores. Gucci currently accepts Bitcoin , Bitcoin Cash , Ethereum , Litecoin , Dogecoin , and Shiba Inu as payment.
Balenciaga will initially only allow payment in Bitcoin or Ethereum, the two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, but plans to expand the program to other currencies in due course.
Luxury fashion is no stranger to Web3. The last year has seen numerous traditional brands, such as Balenciaga , Gucci , Nike , Dolce & Gabbana , and Burberry , launch NFT collections and metaverse pop-ups. As traditional as these brands are in some respects, they all seem aligned with digital fashion as a business opportunity: According to several industry insiders who spoke to Decrypt in October, the digital fashion industry could come close to or even match the $2 trillion worth of physical fashion market.
In December, Balenciaga announced the creation of an internal business unit in the metaverse. Although Cédric Charbit, the brand’s CEO, declined to reveal anything to the WSJ about the unit’s plans or long-term strategy, he did say he sees “the metaverse as a country,” a market as important as any nation in the world. that the brand currently operates.
News of Balenciaga’s embrace of crypto comes as many believe the crypto market is entering another Crypto Winter. The amount of Bitcoin needed to buy a $1,250 Balenciaga hoodie in November would be worth just under $563 today. But the turbulence of the cryptocurrency market does not intimidate the leaders of the brand. When asked if the recent market crash affected Balenciaga’s position on cryptocurrencies, Charbit would simply reply that his thinking was “long term.”