Every industry is seeking ways to bring in blockchain technology while it is still new and in development. Nike, known for their footwear, has decided to get involved as well, offering a way to digitally verify that customers have authentic footwear from their brand, all thanks to a new digital asset, CryptoKick, they’ve patented.
- There is no launch date available for the new CryptoKicks by Nike yet.
- The new technology is described as an Ethereum ERC721 or ERC1155 token on the Ethereum blockchain.
Nike is one of the biggest names in footwear, and they have just pushed their way into the cryptocurrency industry with their newly patented shoes. According to the December 10thpatent, the shoes have been tokenized into a non-fungible token (NFT), which are called CryptoKicks and can be found on the Ethereum blockchain, according to reports by The Next Web’s Hard Fork. The document described the technology as an Ethereum ERC721 or ERC1155 token, which is meant to both transact and authenticate an actual shoe.
To unlock the token, customers will have to buy the corresponding shoe in stores, as they connect the owner identification code with a 10-digit shoe identification code. The purpose of this system is to show the authenticity of the real-world purchase, according to the patent. The patent also states that the digital assets can be purchased and sold on the blockchain, as the digital assets are stored in an app that is similar to a cryptocurrency wallet called a “Digital Locker.”
As an example, the patent elaborates that a customer “may buy a new pair of highly sought-after sneakers from a verified vendor who may provide authenticated provenance records for the sneakers.” Upon receiving their shoes, the customer scans the UPC of the box with an app that they will need to download for the shoe. However, at least right now, there is no launch date specified.
Nike suggests that the creation of the tokens might ultimately be connected to the shoe sales, which would make it easy to demonstrate the rareness of their footwear presently available to consumers, reducing the risk of counterfeit purchases. The patent shows that the purchase of a genuine Nike-branded pair of shoes could generate a “digital representation” that would be “linked with the consumer and assigned a cryptographic token.” The token and the digital shoe would “collectively represent a ‘CryptoKick.’” The ownership of the digital token would be passed on to the next consumer, if and when the footwear is sold, creating a record of ownership on the blockchain.
With this new patent, which was originally filed in April 2019, there are clear nods to CryptoKitties, a collectible cats game that is also based on the blockchain, implying that there’s a way to breed the shoes. The patent specifically states that the buyer of this shoes have the ability to,
“securely trade or sell the tangible pair of shoes, trade or sell the digital shoe, store the digital shoe in a cryptocurrency wallet or other digital blockchain locker, intermingle or ‘breed’ the digital shoe with another digital shoe to create ‘shoe offspring.’”
The “offspring” would then essentially create a new pair of shoes.
As blockchain technology continues to grow, and as companies get more involved, the development of the industry is movement at a rapid pace. However, the United States is hardly at the forefront of innovation. China seems to be taking the lead primarily, surpassing patent applications of many countries, including the United States.