For investors, cryptocurrencies have fast become one of the most appealing opportunities over recent years, and despite the famously volatile market, have provided some welcome gains to those prepared to play the long game.
With Bitcoin having made a number of young investors virtual overnight millionaires when it originally spiked in value back in 2009, a growing number of seasoned pros and complete novices have begun to try their hand at crypto trading and investing, with cryptocurrency review websites like CryptoExchange.org.uk reporting a dramatic surge in new sign-ups over the past two years. And now, as the luxury sector continues to make moves to integrate Bitcoin and the like into their business models, their appeal is only continuing to grow.
With industry experts predicting that Bitcoin could reach a new high of $60,000 before the end of the year, the leading digital asset is enjoying a surge in sales at its current prices, and with more ways for crypto-millionaires to use and spend their fortunes emerging seemingly by the day, it’s little wonder so many of us are clamouring for a slice of the pie.
From high-end car manufacturer Tesla and designer watch brand Hublot to luxury travel agency Travala, we’re seeing exclusive names such as these adapting quickly to the growing propensity towards crypto, and now Philipp Plein, which last year became the first major fashion group in the world to accept 25 cryptocurrencies both in store and online, has gone one better with the opening of its brand new Mayfair ‘Crypto Concept Store’.
German designer Philipp Plein himself is the driving force behind the bold move, which has seen him throw open the doors to his latest store on iconic Old Bond Street in what is thought to be the very first project of its kind in the world.
Aiming to merge physical and digital shopping, real world money and cryptocurrency all within one unique space, Plein’s futuristic flagship store has been paired with a free and independent NFT trading platform online in a bid to make cryptocurrency and NFTs – or non-fungible tokens – more accessible to ‘normal people’.
Over three floors, the store hosts a show-stopping Philipp Plein collection that mixes fashion with cryptocurrency and NFT digital art – with the Museum of the NFT Arts taking up an entire storey and having already launched in the metaverse Decentraland at Plein Plaza as the first physical NFTs art gallery in the world. Highlights include the chance to peruse the Philipp Plein ‘Lil’ Mon$ters’ NFTs collection, with all pieces available to buy to customers with crypto to burn.
NFTs have become an increasingly popular investment for crypto traders of late, with these unique, one-of-a-kind digital of art representing digital ownership of a wide range of inimitable and intangible items. Despite having first entered the space back in 2014, it’s only been over the past year or so that they’ve entered the mainstream.
Plein, it seems, sees plenty of potential in the Metaverse – an innovative and ground-breaking network of 3D virtual worlds based around social connection, the creation of which is currently being spearheaded by Facebook head honcho, Mark Zuckerberg. He purchased $1.2 million of virtual land to build his Plein Plaza skyscraper and the MoNA, and in February, when the Plein Sport Show took place in Milan, spectators were treated to a display from humanoid Romeo 0.1 – with no real world clothes in sight on the runway.
The brand was also one of the first to participate in the first ever Metaverse fashion week of Decentraland – another futuristic string to his bow, and one that has firmly established his reputation as one of the most forward-thinking designers in the world.
But he’s not the only one to have taken note of the opportunities presented by the Metaverse, as a growing number of seasoned investors are already laying their claim to a whole host of related digital assets in a bid to stay ahead of the game. While Bitcoin has long been recognised as the world’s leading and largest cryptocurrency, we’re already seeing the emergence of a whole host of new coins that could be used in the metaverse – from Axie Infinity (XS) and Sandbox (SAND) to Highstreet (HIGH) and Floki Inu (FLOKI).
Whether or not these could realistically be set to overtake Bitcoin and its closest competitors remains to be seen, but it certainly highlights the fact that the interest in crypto is only set to grow over the coming years. As the Metaverse continues to take shape, we can expect to see even more luxury businesses make moves to capitalise on both the growth of cryptocurrencies and the emergence of this new digital world, and it could be set to transform the way we live, work, socialise and, of course, spend forever.