While Bitcoin (BTC) may be viewed as a store of value for many, some consumers around the world may think otherwise. Recent data have revealed that 46 million people in the United States plan to use cryptocurrency to pay for things like groceries or real estate. Payments giant Visa further revealed in July that its crypto cards processed more than $ 1 billion in total spending in the first half of this year.
As such, it should come as no surprise that big brands like Starbucks, Home Depot, and Target have started putting Bitcoin on their balance sheets. Yet, as crypto payments gain popularity and become easier to integrate, smaller brands, especially those aimed at women, are starting to accept crypto to drive adoption by women.
Beauty industry bets on Bitcoin
For example, the billion dollar beauty industry recently took an interest in Bitcoin. Ann McFerran, CEO and founder of Glamnetic – a cosmetic brand for magnetic eyelashes – told Cointelegraph that the company now accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH) and Dogecoin (DOGE) thanks to a recent partnership with payment provider Bitcoin BitPay. According to McFerran, Glamentic is one of the very first female-founded beauty brands to support crypto payments.
McFerran shared that she started investing in cryptocurrencies in 2017, but noticed that the space was heavily dominated by men. At McFerran’s point, the research firm BDC Consulting find that only 8% of all crypto users were female in 2019. After launching Glamentic in July 2019, McFerran was determined to incorporate crypto payments into the brand to encourage women to use cryptocurrency:
“The beauty industry is an industry where crypto payments are not widely accepted. I wanted Glamnetic to be one of the first brands to support crypto payments because I’m a big believer in cryptocurrency and because I want to bring more women into the space.
McFerran further mentioned that she believes there is still a lot of stigma associated with the way crypto is used today. “It was certainly not a secure payment method at the start,” she remarked. McFerran noted that events such as Silk Road and Mt. Gox have further resulted in women’s disinterest in crypto: “Even to this day, women are not fully educated in crypto. I want to educate others so they can understand the risks and what they might miss. “
While transactions with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for cosmetics may encourage women to take an interest in cryptocurrency, this is only part of the equation. Sanja Kon, CEO of Utrust – a banking system for crypto payments – told Cointelegraph that educating women around crypto depends heavily on a brand’s ability to reach its consumer base with the right educational tools. :
“More beauty brands adopting cryptocurrency payments may increase awareness, but not necessarily use. Women should feel comfortable using cryptocurrency as a payment method. For this to happen, brands must provide support and educational content to promote adoption. “
According to Kon, Utrust is facilitating this move by investing resources in educational plans with the company’s traders. McFerran also noted that Glamnetic has started creating TikTok videos to educate consumers about cryptocurrency, which can have a big impact given the idea that younger consumers are more likely to own crypto. PYMNTS.com found that 27% of all millennials own or have owned some type of cryptocurrency.
McFerran added that Glamnetic will launch a Dogecoin-inspired magnetic eyelash collection to drive adoption: “I think people will be more open to the idea of crypto if you turn this concept into a complete beauty product.”
While Glamnetic may be one of the first female-founded beauty companies to accept crypto payments, a handful of major cosmetic brands have also started incorporating crypto in other ways to boost female participation.
Related: What Can You Buy With Bitcoin: Places To Spend Your Crypto In 2021
Aubrey Strobel, communications manager at Lolli – an online Bitcoin rewards platform – told Cointelegraph that the company works with leading retailers including Sephora, Ulta, EM Cosmetics and Glossier. According to Strobel, women make up 30% of Lolli’s user base. “Historically, women have lagged behind men in space, but are the head of the vast majority of purchasing decisions for many households,” Strobel said.
Strobel explained that companies offering Bitcoin rewards to consumers are attractive to many shoppers, especially women who want to “stack sats” when shopping online.
This notion is highlighted in a recent report by The Defiant, titled “Global Report on Women, Cryptocurrency and Financial Independence”. In it, a woman named Christine noted that she occasionally learns how manage cryptocurrency by practicing with small transactions. She said she stacked sats to accumulate small amounts of Bitcoin over a long period of time. “When I travel, I like to buy coffee and other things with it,” Christine added.
Is Bitcoin Going To Impose In The Beauty Industry?
While it’s too early to say whether crypto payments for cosmetics will boost female participation in crypto, a small impact is already on display. McFerran said Glamnetic has already processed a handful of consumer crypto transactions. Yuvi Alpert, founder and CEO of Noémie – a jewelry company that has also recently integrated crypto payments – also told Cointelegraph that the brand has currently only seen crypto sales with its customers.
While this may be the case, the results show that the main commodities women are likely to spend cryptocurrency on are travel and entertainment, real estate, and furniture or appliances. Yet while crypto payments may be slow to catch on in the beauty industry, brands integrating cryptocurrency transactions are likely to gain a competitive advantage.
According to Kon, more and more brands, in general, are starting to understand the benefit of accepting cryptocurrencies as a method of payment:
“They will be able to significantly reduce their payment processing fees, because blockchain helps cut down on all traditional intermediaries, such as banks, payment processors, and credit card systems. In addition, these brands will be able to eliminate chargebacks and fraud, as well as increase their revenue by reaching out to new customers. “