Gucci, the Italian high-end luxury fashion house, announced on Wednesday its plan to accept cryptocurrency payments in some of its US stores at the end of the month. However, Thailand has already proven why this won’t work, according to commentary by Coindesk.
In-store payments to Gucci will be made via a link sent to the customer’s email. A QR code is attached to the link that allows customers to pay from their crypto wallets. Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Wrapped Bitcoin, Litecoin, meme coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, and five other stablecoins pegged to the US dollar are the accepted cryptocurrencies.
“Gucci is always looking to embrace new technologies when they can provide an enhanced experience for our customers. Now that we are able to integrate cryptocurrencies within our payment system, it is a natural evolution for those customers who would like to have this option available to them,” said Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s president and CEO in a statement.
However, Thailand has already made its move. Despite Thailand being the first country in South East Asia to issue and implement the Digital Assets Decree, Thailand Security and Exchange Commission banned crypto as a form of payment on April 1st.
The ban was executed due to crypto’s volatility affecting the stability of the financial system and the overall economy, as well as possible personal data leakage or money laundering. In the past, Thai authorities targeted high-profile individuals who exploited real estate assets as a money-laundering vector.
Some of the businesses that accepted crypto before the ban were Nanyang Marketing Co, Major Cineplex Group, and Hasun Dried Seafood while Zipmex Thailand partnered with the entertainment industry and Bitkub Online focused on real estate firms and social media influencers.
Thailand is no longer on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering and a list of countries that have been identified as having strategic anti-money laundering deficiencies.
Luxury fashion goods are prone to financial crimes. Around 35 fashion companies were suspected to be a part of $10 million in unpaid customs duties and involvement in money laundering and drug trafficking in the Black Market Peso Exchange. The global luxury goods market is expected to increase from US$309.6 billion in 2021 to US$382.6 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 5.4% as per Statista.