Nike, the global footwear powerhouse, has obtained a patent for a system that enables the tokenization of shoes using non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. The system, named CryptoKicks, will put Nike’s shoes on the blockchain as secured digital assets, each with its unique identifiers. This will provide Nike and shoe owners a platform for matching the physical and virtual shoes through a cryptographically secured digital system.
The platform enables ownership tracking and verification of the shoes authenticity using the unique identifiers. This will in turn facilitate subsequent transfers of footwear as indicated by the patent filings
When a consumer buys a genuine pair of shoes a digital representation of a show may be generated, linked with the consumer, and assigned a cryptographic token, where the digital shoe and cryptographic token collectively represent a ‘CryptoKick’.
According to the patent documents, Nike will use Ethereum ERC721 or ERC1155 token standards to implement the system on the blockchain. Each CryptoKick token will be issued to the buyer once the corresponding physical shoe is sold by the footwear maker. The ownership of the token can then be transferred when the shoes are sold, transferred or gifted to someone. The tokens can be stored on a type of cryptocurrency wallet named ‘Digital locker’.
This system not only provides a novel approach for fighting counterfeits but also helps track the scarcity of certain shoes. Nike has indicated that token creation will be directly linked to manufacturing thus allowing the verification of the scarcity of the shoes in circulation.
The shoemaker is also borrowing ideas from the popular blockchain collectible cats game CryptoKitties by suggesting that the shoes can be bred. The patent documents state that
Using the digital asset, the buyer is enabled 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,” and, based on rules of acceptable shoe manufacturability, have the newly bred shoe offspring custom made as a new, tangible pair of shoes.
By so doing Nike is opening the door to greater innovation by enabling CryptoKicks owners to create customized new pair of shoes through the digital platform.
Nike originally filed the patent back in April and now with it being awarded we can expect to see some CryptoKicks on the streets soon.