Balenciaga U.S. Stores to Accept BTC and ETH payments Starting June

Key Insights:

  • Fashion behemoth Balenciaga to accept BTC and ETH in some US stores beginning next month.
  • Select stores on Madison Avenue in New York and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills to accept digital currency payments.
  • Balenciaga is yet to decide on its crypto payments partner and aims to add more cryptos soon.

Balenciaga is tip-toeing toward becoming a leading crypto-friendly luxury fashion brand by embracing NFTs early this month and now, enabling crypto payments.

The French fashion giant announced that it is launching the “Cristóbal Balenciaga: To the Moon” NFT collection on NFT marketplace.

Leading luxury fashion brands such as Gucci and Off-White have begun accepting cryptocurrencies across their flagship stores in the US. Now, it is Balenciaga’s turn to delve into the crypto space.

Get Balenciaga’s most iconic haute couture designs using cryptos

Starting June, few Balenciaga stores in the US would accept bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) payments, said CEO Cédric Charbit.

Charbit told the Wall Street Journal that the recent deep sell-off of crypto assets – TerraUSD (UST) and Terra (LUNA) – did not affect his commitment to introduce crypto payments. He said that he was thinking “long-term.”

Demna Gvasalia, the creative director at Balenciaga, posted on Instagram that the brand would accept cryptos for website purchases too.

The Madison Avenue in New York and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills stores, would initially start accepting crypto payments.

The brand that recently dressed Kim Kardashian in a shimmery dress to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is yet to decide on its crypto payment solution provider. The company looks to add other coins in the future.

The decision to embrace cryptocurrency payments shows how luxury fashion brands are luring younger generations by catering emerging trends.

Balenciaga and other fashion houses like Gucci had innovation teams exploring strategies for the metaverse and web3 space. Balenciaga announced in December 2021 that it was launching a metaverse business unit.

Charbit sees “the metaverse as a country” and called it a business opportunity with a clear profit-and-loss benchmark.

In October, Facebook’s parent company Meta’s Twitter account tagged various companies that seem to fit into its vision of the metaverse, including Pinterest.

Interestingly, Meta also asked Balenciaga about the “dress code in the metaverse.”

On the non-fungible tokens (NFT) front, every week seems to bring the announcement of another brand making NFTs, including Givenchy, JW Anderson, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, and Adidas.

Morgan Stanley estimates that luxury branded NFTs could become a US$56 billion market by 2030. This probably gives clarity on the increasing obsession for NFTs and why big names have jumped on the bandwagon.

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