With the once niche world of digital currency and the blockchain edging ever more into the mainstream, more and more consumer brands have begun to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment – particularly in the luxury sector.
And with good reason, too. According to Business Insider, the whole cryptocurrency sector is reported to be worth a whopping $267bn, with the leading currency, Bitcoin, reportedly contributing a staggering $181.5bn towards the total value of digital currency.
Of course, that’s a lot of money, and those with even a minute share of the total crypto market are likely to be extremely affluent. What is interesting, though, is that thanks to trading platforms like bitcoins-era, cryptocurrency millionaires are often a very different demographic to those associated with high-end lifestyles.
Research suggests that, contrary to the demographics of traditional millionaires, cryptocurrency investors are overwhelmingly millennial-aged males, with skillsets and interest in fintech and computing services.
So, where do these young, sometimes socially awkward, definitely wealthy men spend their oodles of disposable cryptocurrency? Enter the Crypto Emporium, which, established in 2018, claims to be the world’s first cryptocurrency-only luxury store.
You may be thinking that, given Bitcoin’s near decade-long relevance, that surely such a store existed before 2018? Well, the truth is that, in most cases, luxury retailers who offer transactions in cryptocurrency would use an intermediary to convert that crypto back into fiat (traditional) funds – which remains their preferred method of exchange.
The Crypto Emporium serves as an intermediary marketplace for the elite to buy and sell luxury goods anonymously with crypto – often saving up to 15% on transactions when compared with fiat currency – and trades anything from luxury technology, property, cars and yachts across a range of seven cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Verge, DASH and Decred.
Closed the deal on this absolutely stunning 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. 24,000km, 1 previous owner. Delivered from Italy to France.
Paid for with #Bitcoin with a 15% discount compared to paying with fiat.
— Crypto Emporium (@CryptoEmporium_) June 14, 2019
The store’s online website proudly states: “We believe that in order for cryptocurrencies to prosper, we need to see real-world use cases of digital currency. The Crypto Emporium strives to address that need by offering a valid solution whereby holders of cryptocurrency can exchange their coins for tangible physical goods and investments.
“The benefits of blockchain and borderless cryptocurrency transfers are numerous, it allows funds to be transferred worldwide virtually instantaneously and without incurring extensive transfer charges.”
An ambitious mission statement, for sure. However, it seems that, judging by the online store’s current listings, the market has responded well to the premise – and it is not just gadgets available for crypto connoisseurs to get their hands on.
The Crypto Emporium’s current property listing is as impressive as any available through traditional luxury property agents – with stunning real estate available from London’s Tower Bridge, all the way to Waikato, on the North Island of New Zealand.
While luxury property prices are as high as 1,270 BTC (just shy of £10m GBP) for the luxury Tower Bridge apartment, a ground floor flat in picturesque Venice is listed for 25.8 BTC (£193,000), which suggests that the Crypto Emporium provides luxurious options for a range of budgets. It is not hard to see the appeal of making a cryptocurrency real estate purchase, and avoiding significant agents’ fees in the process.
The Crypto Emporium’s ambition extends beyond serving as an intermediary on property transactions, though, and concierge services are available for booking exclusive and high-end travel, as well as vehicle acquisitions.
Luxury vehicles sourced from some of the world’s most exclusive manufacturers – including Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and Bentley, adorn the company’s testimonials page, while motorcycles and used cars are also listed with the Crypto Emporium’s guarantee of a door-to-door service.
For consumers who also want to look the part, exclusive timepieces, from Rolex to Gucci, are well-stocked for purchase in crypto, while, at the lower-cost end of the store, phones, laptops, tablets and gadgets are available at a price that is, at least, competitive with online fiat currency retailers.