One of the biggest manufacturers of sports apparel in the world has begun to dip its toes in the blockchain waters. Earlier this year, Nike, a globally recognized corporation with reported yearly revenue of $36,3 billion, had filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to obtain the patent for the tokenization system based on the Ethereum blockchain. The corresponding permit has been granted to the corporation on December 10, and now the work on the comprehensive incorporation of digital tokens is in full swing.
The said patent was released to the public upon its approval, and it contains a detailed outline for the creation of a system for tokenizing the iconic sports shoes with the help of non-fungible digital coins that are adherent to the ERC-721 token standard.
The utilization of this standard will provide a means for creating unique tokens through the use of Ethereum smart contracts, where each token will be associated with a particular pair of sneakers. Unlike the ERC-20 tokens, the non-fungible ones are issued in a limited amount and have specific characteristics that make them a perfect foundation for digital collectibles and in-game virtual assets.
The Nike executives had recognized the security and marketing advantages of implementing such tokens and came up with the initiative labeled CryptoKicks that should be launched full scale somewhere next year.
The essence of this interesting project has been revealed in the patent: as soon as a customer purchases a pair of shoes from the CryptoKicks edition, the blockchain system instantly creates a digital representation of the item. Thanks to the token, the virtual version of sneakers is tethered to the buyer’s personal data by virtue of blockchain, thus establishing the non-amendable ownership rights to the elite merchandise.
The shoe wearer can check the corresponding data, like timestamps, data transfers, etc., via a special mobile application. Moreover, the app will afford access to the so-called CryptoKicks geno and phenotype, which includes information about the materials from which the wearable had been produced, design options, color scheme, etc. The CryptoKicks tokens, and other important data, is going to be stored in Nike’s proprietary digital wallet dubbed the Digital Locker.
Despite being attached to a certain owner at a certain point in time, CryptoKicks can be easily sold or given as a present along with the entire set of associated digital data. The use of blockchain ensures that each CryptoKicks can be securely transferred to a new owner upon his successful verification by the system. The subsequent shoe wearers will be able to check the authenticity of a given pair on the blockchain and even track the entire path that the shoes made since they were purchased at the store and bound to the blockchain.
There is also one interesting peculiarity to CryptoKicks, which makes it similar to a well-known game called CryptoKitties that took the world by storm a couple of years ago. Similarly to the Ethereum kitties, the Nike digital sneakers will provide means for tracking their exclusive traits and even breed new designs by combining these traits via the app.
Lastly, even before the launch of CryptoKicks, the corporation has already announced that this concept will be broadened through the introduction of other tokenized apparels, which will presumably be named CryptoLids and CryptoGear.
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