At a time when many jewelers and watch brands are still debating the move to sell online, Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry, based in Silicon Valley, has integrated cryptocurrency into its sales strategy. As of this, year, according to Jared Silver, president, Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry, sales in cryptocurrencies have amounted to close to 15% of their retail business.
“When we opened the store in 2014, I thought it was extremely important to accept cryptocurrencies,” Jared Silver explains. “Silicon Valley is the cradle of innovation for the world, so it’s important for us to embrace the technology that our clientele want to use. We were very early adopters of cryptocurrency, but now we are a leader in our industry. At the end of the day, people do business with people they like, respect, and trust.
“If I am selling a watch to a client who is traveling a lot, he or she might want to secure the watch while they are overseas,” he continues. “If a limited piece arrives and my client wants to buy it while they are on the other side of the world on vacation, they can’t get to a bank for a wire transfer. Now I can simply send them an invoice online in US dollars, and they click ‘Pay Invoice.’ At that moment the system confirms the USD to Bitcoin conversion rate, and the purchase is processed. Bitcoin is removed from their digital wallet, the transaction is approved and recorded on the Bitcoin ledger, and the funds are deposited in my wallet within 15 minutes. This can be done anywhere in the world and I can transact securely at any time of day, much quicker than an international wire transfer, which can take up to three days!”
Silver believes in making his dealings with customers as simple and easy as possible. If they want to pay with a cryptocurrency, he will make it happen.
“What I found is that when I have a customer who starts paying in cryptocurrencies, they vastly prefer it to any other way of paying,” Silver details. “It’s so easy, they want to do it every time. It makes life simpler for the customer, they save 1.5% on the cryptocurrency to USD conversion fees, and it’s less expensive for us as a retailer. The only people missing out are the intermediary banks and credit card companies that are floating our funds. There are really no downsides to it.”
Bitcoin is probably the most well-known cryptocurrency, but there are about 1,500 out there and more are being introduced every day. There is no getting around the fact that Bitcoin is famous for being extremely volatile, it can go up 20% or down 20% in a day.
Silver acknowledges this but is quick to point out that there are ways to mitigate this risk. “Through our payment platform, BitPay, I can choose how much Bitcoin versus USD I want to hold,” he details. “We currently hold at least 5% of each transaction in cryptocurrencies now.”
In fact, Silver is going to start using cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services.
“We are long on Bitcoin, and I am talking to my suppliers about accepting Bitcoin,” Silver says. “No watch companies we work with accept Bitcoin, yet. We are the tip of the spear in breaking this into the culture.”