Style / Fashion

Balenciaga Accepts Cryptocurrencies in the US Starting in June

The luxury fashion brand plans to complete its digital ecosystem with the inclusion of cryptocurrencies.

May 25, 2022 | By Joseph Low
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Image: Balenciaga

Balenciaga made headlines with its recent Resort ’23 show at the New York Stock Exchange, and it continues to stay plugged into conversations with its announcement that starting next June, customers can pay with Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The luxury fashion house joins labelmate Gucci in giving its approval for this nascent form of payment and reaffirms the conglomerate’s commitment to the digital world. Balenciaga will offer this payment method to its retail stores on Madison Avenue in New York and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

For a long time, the volatility of cryptocurrencies has become an obstacle for business owners to embrace this new form of technology fully. Many are not keen on including or expanding into the digital world because of its uncertainty, but Balenciaga has disclosed that it is “thinking long term”, and temporary fluctuations are nothing new.

Bearing that in mind, the company believes that its venture will be fruitful in the future as the adoption of cryptocurrencies become more mainstream. More and more luxury companies have started to accept it, the most recent being TAG Heuer.

According to the Lyst Index, the first quarter of 2022 ended with Balenciaga taking the first position and it is no surprise it did. The fashion brand presented its showstopping Fall/Winter ’22 runway presentation in an artificial snowstorm last March. It was a commentary on the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and the buzz it generated propelled the brand to the top.

Similarly, Balenciaga embracing crypto is how the brand plans to remain top of mind amongst shoppers who are spoilt for choices. Furthermore, this inclusion can enable the brand to connect with those who are crypto-rich and help to diversify its customer base.

The adoption of digital currencies has seen an uneven distribution where most industries other than the luxury industry have already started its acceptance. Most prominently, companies like Starbucks, Microsoft and Amazon have all added this payment option for their customers.

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Image: Decentraland

The luxury sector has been fairly resistant to incorporating changes to its system. This was most prominently observed during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic when most brands were not poised to make that digital shift. As a result, the industry suffered from a loss of revenue. Determined to seize the new opportunity, Balenciaga has started its journey into Web3, starting with its release of NFTs and metaverse pop-up. The introduction of cryptocurrency only adds to complete its digital ecosystem.

Despite the so-called “crypto winter” that is currently happening, more and more brands across the luxury industry are putting digital currencies into its roster of payment methods. It won’t be long before other brands, big and small, start to follow suit shortly.

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