Bitcoin payments boost sales at Paris Cellar

17 February, 2021

Drinks International caught up with Gabriel Bidault of online retailer Le Millésime Paris to learn more about the impact that accepting Bitcoin as a payment method has had upon the business during the prolonged bull run of 2020 and 2021.

Can you provide some background on Le Millésime Paris? 

Le Millésime Paris is a subsidiary of the company Paris Cellar, whose business focuses on offering a wide range of old and rare wines from the most famous French appellations, whether for consumption, gifts, or for collection (wines being themselves a long-term investment). The project of Le Millésime Paris to propose a crypto payment solution is an offspring of the bull market of 2017, and initially aimed at providing the holders of cryptocurrencies with the possibility to use their profits in the real economy by purchasing old vintage wines. 

When was it launched and what was the strategy for the site?

The website was launched two years ago with the strategy of offering a wide range of quality French wines of the last century (from 1900 to 2000), payable directly on our site with different possible cryptocurrencies. The crypto payment solution is simple and efficient: a QR code is generated and allows the instantaneous conversion of cryptocurrencies to fiat currency (€), based on the exact exchange rate at the time of the transaction. 

When did you start accepting Bitcoin? What inspired you to add Bitcoin to your list of payment methods?

Since the early days of the website it was our ambition to allow people to use their BTC in wine consumption or investment. We understood during the last bull run that Bitcoin was here to stay and was about to become more and more widely accepted and democratized, it was just a matter of time. Provided that we could find a reliable online payment solution which could protect us as a merchant from the inherent volatility of the cryptos, we were eager to accept Bitcoin as we believe anyone who owns Bitcoin should be able to use it.

Do you accept any altcoins?

We do. Le Millesime Paris accepts a large range of altcoins such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, BNB Mainnet, Bitcoin cash, and even some stablecoins such as USDC and USDT. 

Have you noticed a strong increase in demand as a result of the bull run of the past year?

Yes, we noticed that people are getting increasingly enthusiastic about the idea of paying with Bitcoin.

What sort of customers are buying your wines with BTC? Is it a slightly younger demographic than the typical fine wine shopper?

It is definitely younger people, slightly younger than our average customer age. As they often purchase customized gift boxes with their wines, we believe at least 50% are presents. The other half is mainly for their personal consumption, after all it is a very nice opportunity to discover what old quality wines tastes like.

How big is your range of wines, which regions do you specialise in and are you planning to increase the range in the immediate future?

The range is pretty wide: we have more than 10,000 bottles stored in our cellar near Paris. Only a part of that is for sale online. We adjust our offer according to the demand. We cover all the main appellations of Bordeaux wines (Pomerol, Saint-Emilion, Margaux, Pauillac), and a pretty good number of Burgundy appellations as well.

We have access to a variety of different sources should the demand increase dramatically, huge private cellars of collectors, the domains, and the Bordeaux marketplace for first growths if necessary. We plan to extend our range to old armagnac and cognac in the future.

Do you envisage demand for wine sales using Bitcoin to increase in future? What would happen in the event of a bearish cycle?

We do believe the use of Bitcoin and decentralized currencies as a means of payment will increase. For wine of course, but also for a broad range of products. Large companies are now adopting cryptos. Bitcoin is taking over Wall Street, Main Street will follow. Bearish cycles will happen, like for any asset, but as long as the cryptocurrencies follow their long-term adoption path, for us there is nothing to be afraid of. New comers will enter the market, long term holder will still be in reasonable shape, a new bull run will start.

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