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As luxury brands battle to maintain the attention of millennials, how crypto could be the key

Now seen as a valuable and accepted alternative to traditional assets, the luxury market has been the fastest to embrace the likes of Bitcoin.

By LLM Reporters  |  July 14, 2022
Tag Heuer watches in a shop window in Gran Canaria, Spain
Image Credit: Tupungato/Bigstock.com

The popularity of cryptocurrency has been growing steadily over recent years, enjoying a particular peak at the height of the global pandemic as we looked for new and arguably more secure ways to invest our money.

Despite ongoing and characteristic market volatility, digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum are increasingly becoming seen as viable long-term investments – particularly by younger millennials – and with resources like BWC (https://bwcevent.com/crypto/) providing guidelines for even complete beginners to get started, it’s quickly becoming accessible to just about everyone.

Now seen as a valuable and accepted alternative to traditional assets, the luxury market has been the fastest to embrace them, with everything from designer handbags to high-end supercars available for purchase using the likes of Bitcoin and other alt coins.

gucci shop front
According to Vogue Business, Gucci will accept 12 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Image credit: oleschwander/Bigstock.com. Image credit: Tupungato/Bigstock.com

Just recently, fashion designer Philipp Plein launched the world’s first crypto concept store on London’s Old bond Street, where shoppers can snap up any of his ready-to-wear designs using their digital wallets, and the brand also became one of the first to embrace the creation of virtual world the Metaverse, creating an online crypto-driven marketplace selling NFTs of some of his most highly sought-after products.

And with big names like Gucci also having recently announced they’ll begin to accept crypto as a means of payment, this growing acceptance and opportunities for holders is only making holding them a more desirable prospect than ever.

Watchmakers, too, have played a role in propelling various cryptocurrencies to their current position as one of the most purchased assets amongst younger and new investors, as well as seasoned pros. Several have jumped on the bandwagon in allowing customers to exchange them for their luxury creations, perhaps most notably of which being Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer. In May, the brand announced it was going to go one better, also introducing a host of unique, crypto-related features to its smartwatches – which, unsurprisingly, has made them some of the most coveted items of the year thus far.

The Connected Calibre E4 smartwatch has even been turned into a non-fungible token (NFT) viewer – something which, as the appetite for digital assets continues to grow, will almost certainly peak the interest of forward-thinking investors.

A Tag Heuer watch close up on an isolated background
Tag Heuer was an early mover in the luxury sector with the introduction of crypto payments on its US website. Image credit: Keith Homan/Bigstock.com

And just last month, fellow Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot announced the launch of 200 limited edition watches, each of which have become available for purchase online using currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, as well as several others – with big-hitters like Breitling also following suit by unveiling similar offers and opportunities to its affluent customer base.

As the number of millennials becoming cryptocurrency investors continues to grow, so too does the corresponding generational wealth, so it stands to reason that high-end watch brands would want to capitalise on this increase in disposable income.

While there’s no denying that economic uncertainty has impacted our spending, those with large fortunes have generally continued to indulge in luxuries just as they always have – and being able to make purchases using crypto is becoming seen as a huge selling point for those aged between 25 and 40 in particular. According to a recent study, an impressive 44 per cent of crypto investors fall into this category, and as Generation Z come of age, we could soon see them following a similar pattern.

bitcoin
As luxury brands continue to embrace cryptocurrencies, it’s inevitable that the popularity of Bitcoin and comparative alt coins will continue to surge

With industry experts continuing to predict that Bitcoin will eventually go on to outperform gold as a store value due to millennial activity within the market, having already surpassed this traditional precious metal as the ultimate hedge against inflation, it seems even the current economic climate can’t deter those looking to make long-term investments.

Although thanks to market volatility, crypto trading isn’t seen as something for the risk averse or for those looking for a quick return on investment – but for those prepared to play the long game, now could be the perfect time to invest.

As luxury brands continue to embrace cryptocurrencies, it’s inevitable that the popularity of Bitcoin and comparative alt coins will continue to surge, and 2022 has easily been the most exciting year yet when it comes to new developments in this sphere. What comes next remains to be seen, but one thing we can be certain of is that those who fail to adapt quickly may find themselves falling behind.