In today’s edition of Bitmama’s weekly crypto news roundup, we cover interesting developments in the cryptocurrency industry. Top picks -Nvidia pays $5.5m SEC fine over crypto-mining disclosures, Gucci now accepts crypto payments, Meta’s Instagram to support NFTs from Ethereum, Polygon, Solana and Flow.
Let’s get started.
Gucci now accepts crypto payments
Gucci, the Italian high-end fashion label, has announced it will begin accepting cryptocurrency payments by the end of May in five of its United States stores.
Customers in some stores in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta and Las Vegas will be able to pay using digital tokens from the end of May, the Italian fashion house said in a statement. It will adopt this payment option throughout its North American stores this summer.
Gucci, owned by Kering SA, will initially accept 10 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.
The company joins fashion designer Philipp Plein, whose online store started accepting crypto payments in 2021. Plein said in an interview in late April that he expects purchases made with digital tokens to surge this year, and that accepting cryptocurrencies had gained his company “a lot of new clients” in the crypto community.
Kering Chief Executive Officer Francois-Henri Pinault in February said Gucci and other fashion houses like Balenciaga had innovation teams looking at opportunities related to the metaverse and web3 — versions of the internet built around blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and non fungible tokens.
“We’re at a very precocious stage of what may happen, nothing is certain,” Pinault said at the time. The approach taken by Kering and its brands is more “test and learn” than “wait and see,” he said, adding that crypto payments have “very heavy” legal and fiscal implications.
The decision to embrace crypto payments shows how luxury brands are trying to appeal to younger generations of consumers by catering to emerging trends, such as creating outfits for digital characters. But not all luxury groups are convinced. Axel Dumas, the executive chairman of Hermes, warned earlier this year of the risk of “hype” around the metaverse, saying it could be a way to make “easy money.”
Nvidia pays $5.5m SEC fine over crypto-mining disclosures
Nvidia Corp. agreed to pay federal securities regulators a $5.5 million penalty over allegations that the chipmaker failed to adequately disclose revenue from crypto mining.
During two consecutive quarters in 2018, the company didn’t make clear that demand from crypto miners was responsible for a significant part of the increase in sales of its graphics processing units that are also used for gaming, according to a Friday statement from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Crypto mining is the process of obtaining crypto rewards in exchange for verifying transactions on distributed ledgers.
“All issuers, including those that pursue opportunities involving emerging technology, must ensure that their disclosures are timely, complete, and accurate,” Kristina Littman, head of the SEC’s crypto enforcement team, said in the statement.
A Nvidia spokesman declined to comment. The company, which is based in Santa Clara, California, agreed to the penalty without admitting or denying the regulator’s findings.
Nvidia increased 1.2% to $190.73 per share at 11:04 a.m. in New York.
According to the SEC, Nvidia omitted the information about surging demand from crypto miners while making statements about how digital assets were affecting other business lines.
The growth of crypto mining has been a boon to Nvidia in recent years, but it’s also brought headaches.
The firm’s powerful processors designed to handle video-game graphics are considered well-suited for mining cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin — and it’s been hard to tell what task customers are buying the products for. The situation has made Nvidia’s financial results less predictable.
Meta’s Instagram to support NFTs from Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, Flow
NFTs from some of the most popular blockchain networks for crypto art are coming to Instagram with the announcement of a pilot as soon as Monday.
The social media powerhouse owned by Meta is planning non-fungible token (NFT) integrations for Ethereum, Polygon, Solana and Flow, CoinDesk has learned. Those networks host the vast majority of trading in digital collectibles, with Ethereum and its Bored Apes leading the way by market cap.
The pilot will feature a small group of NFT aficionados based in the U.S. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Instagram would support NFTs from all four chains at launch.
Instagram intends to support widely used crypto wallets such as MetaMask. Plugging in their wallets, users will be able to prove NFT ownership, showcase them on their profiles and tag the creators who made them.
CoinDesk has confirmed Instagram will not charge users for posting and sharing NFTs, as Twitter initially did for its hexagonal NFT profile pictures in January.
The decision likely spells a rush of new cultural visibility for NFTs. Instagram has over one billion monthly active users; many of whom use the platform to promote and market their art.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased the initiative in March without divulging much details.