Deepening its connection to the crypto economy, Gucci is accepting ApeCoin and Euro Coin as a form of payment via cryptocurrency processor BitPay, the brand announced via email to Retail Dive. The luxury retailer is the first merchant to start accepting ApeCoin as payment through BitPay.
BitPay has begun supporting ApeCoin and Euro Coin, enabling shoppers to buy, hold, trade and spend the two digital currencies from their crypto wallets. The platform currently supports 13 other cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Shiba Inu.
Gucci currently accepts 10 different cryptocurrencies at 70% of its own locations in the U.S., and it plans to roll out cryptocurrency acceptance at its remaining stores “by the first week of August,” according to the announcement.
The adoption of ApeCoin — the token for the Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible tokens collection — comes as brands dive further into cryptocurrency and NFTs. In addition to Gucci, Balenciaga, PacSun, Tag Heuer and Alo Yoga have each begun accepting cryptocurrencies.
“We added ApeCoin and Euro Coin because customers of our luxury merchant partners asked for it,” Stephen Pair, BitPay CEO, said in a statement. “They asked, and we delivered.”
Whether retailers’ experiments with the cryptocurrency industry will yield long-term gains remains to be seen. Brands and retailers like Tiffany, Lowe’s and American Eagle have also introduced NFT collections. But while GameStop in May announced the beta launch of its digital wallet for cryptocurrencies and NFTs, Ars Technica reported that the retailer’s NFT trading volume showed signs of slowing down.
And as Gucci and other brands begin accepting cryptocurrency for payments, research indicates that few consumers use these digital tokens for their purchases, and overall interest in the industry may be on the decline. A May report from the Federal Reserve said that 3% of adults used cryptocurrency to make purchases or transfer funds. Meanwhile, a March S&P report found that 19% of cryptocurrency users have paid for purchases with cryptocurrencies. Plus, a Bank of America analysis of anonymized consumer data found that the number of active cryptocurrency users dropped from more than 1 million in November 2021 to less than 500,000 in May 2022.
Though consumers can use ApeCoin at Gucci to pay for goods, the token is now at the center of a new fraud lawsuit. Decrypt reports that the law firm Scott+Scott has filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Yuga Labs, which oversees the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT project, falsely marketed Bored Ape NFTs and ApeCoin tokens as having the potential to generate future returns, but the value of the tokens has severely declined in the past few months.
(Copyright: RetailDive Gucci expands crypto payment options to ApeCoin, Euro Coin | Retail Dive)