Duration: 01:30

A barber who trims the manes of celebrities and reality stars said he will start accepting cryptocurrency from customers – despite the recent bitcoin crash. Rapper Drowze is the owner of DPZ Parlour and he has allowed customers to pay in cryptocurrency since he opened six months ago. Despite many of the different the online currencies tanking in value earlier this year, Drowze believes the digital tokens are the future of the beauty industry. DPZ Parlour in Gravesend, Kent, attracts Love Island stars and social media influencers, who regularly use crypto to pay for his services. Cryptocurrency is an online-only, digital currency and its value is highly volatile. Its worth is influenced by supply and demand, mood of investors, government regulations and media hype. Drowze said: “I have been investing in cryptocurrency for a while and really invested my time and energy in it. I sold an NFT and used that money to open the parlour.” NFT stands for non-fungible token and they are digital objects that cannot be replicated. Their value has soared in recent years as they grew in popularity among collectors but prices for some NFTs have also plummeted. Earlier this year investors saw millions wiped off the value of leading crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum in the wake of the online market crash. Drowze said of cryptocurrency: “It is a volatile currency, it does go up and down but if you play the game properly you benefit from it. “There may be the reason people or business are not going into it. Once you do you research and hang around people who are in that field you have a better insight into it. “It is a small market but it is growing. It is like anything, there is no guarantee but you never invest all your money into it. “It is like if you wanted to buy and then sell a car, you would not put your whole life savings into doing it. It is the same with crypto. You have to take calculated risks.” The shop also has a tattoo studio, offers health and beauty treatments, shoe cleaning services and a shisha garden with video games and cocktails. It has attracted the likes of Love Island’s Rykard Kenkins and Nigerian singer Seun Kuti. Customers who use the tattoo studio can also log into the metaverse through a VR headset and Drowze said some clients end up investing in cryptocurrencies afterwards. He said: “That is one of our main USPs (unique selling points). Whilst they are getting a tattoo they can experience the metaverse. “A lot of people have heard about it but they don’t delve into it. I guess because they are too busy. “People share it on their profile and Instagram when they are there. We are not charging more for that.” Customers at DPZ Parlour can pay by sending their cryptocurrency to a crypto wallet. Unlike a normal wallet that stores cash, a crypto wallet holds private keys that gives the user access to a blockchain, a database on which is stored the currency and which also keeps a record of transactions. Drowze said it is mostly his celebrity and influencer clients that use the alternative payment but he thinks this could change. He said: “We invested in that initially and then used it as a revenue stream. I feel a lot of local business are not taking advantage of it and it has helped us out massively. “I feel a lot of people are getting into cryptocurrency, NFTs and the metaverse and there is no-one who has really capitalised or taken advantage of it so we thought why not be the first? “A lot of the competition do not really focus on it. They are more focused on their tools and services. “I believe that is the direction we will be going in and the beauty industry. Hence why we are trying to lead that. This is set to be a real game changer for the beauty industry.” The barbershop owner added: “Because nothing is reliable, we accept the base currencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum. “We are going to accept a lot more relatively soon but we will be doing a lot of research about that.” Asked about whether the volatility of cryptocurrency worries him, he said: “Because we are involved in it, if you know how to play the game there is not really a worry. We are doing fantastic and we are educating a lot of clients.” He believes he is the first business in Gravesend taking cryptocurrency and one of the first in Kent. Last year, cocktail bar Soirée, in Faversham, began accepting the digital tender in a bid to stay ahead of the curve. DPZ Parlour also offers its customers access to the metaverse – which is the idea of the internet becoming a virtual space in which users can be immersed in via a VR headset. Drowze moved to Dartford from London after both of his parents passed away when he was 14-years-old. He lived in shared council accommodation before getting his own place. He added: “I did not have anyone or anything. Losing my parents became my drive and motivation to do something to better myself. “I never had any opportun