Footwear giant Nike patented shoes that are tokenized as a non-fungible token (NFT) on the Ethereum blockchain.
Sports footwear and apparel company Nike announced it has been given a patent to tokenize its shoes on the Ethereum blockchain.
In a document posted on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on December 10, Nike stated that its plan to generate unique IDs and create ERC 721 tokens for some shoes, dubbed CryptoKicks.
When buying shoes, people will be able to “unlock” these tokens and then link them with unique owner IDs to confirm ownership. The token will not be used only as a representative of a digital shoe but also for recording the so-called genotype information of a digital shoe. This information will, therefore, include specific attributes, colors, styles, backgrounds, etc.
This patent debut could supposedly enable users to utilize more control over their shoes origin but also shoe designs as well. One example explained in the announcement is the application that enables users to set limits on the number of the exact copies of their proprietary shoes that are allowed to be cloned and produced. There are also so-called “surrogacy features” that let other users the “franchise” that allows them to mix shoe designs and “parenting/nannying features” to allow third parties to take care of the shoes.
The patent states that, together with that, “breeding rights’ for a digital shoe may be governed by one or more real-world manufacturing restrictions; ownership rights for each successive generation of a digital shoe may be tied back to the original, real-world shoe (e.g., wholly or partially; by percentage of genotypic contribution, etc.) via encryption key to the originally associated virtual product.”
This step of a sportswear giant isn’t anything unexpected. Only in China, where Nike saw a 22% quarterly revenue jump in September, the demand for limited-edition footwear produced by named brands is more than crazy.
However, let’s talk a little about blockchain. In industries that are not necessarily crypto-related, blockchain isn’t something weird. At least not anymore. The most exciting aspect of blockchain is its ability to protect digital identities and establish authenticity, which will have far-reaching consequences for the fashion industry.
For each virtual or physical good, in this case – the shoe, there is a list of transactions leading all the way up to the origin of an item without data being manipulated by a single party. When mentioning China it is good to mention dozens of thousands of counterfeit merchandise that are illegally made and exported from China thorough the whole world.
Counterfeit products flooding the market are directly stealing profits away from established brands while reducing the quality of items, thus damaging the brand’s reputation. Using blockchain, manufacturers and designers can secure their brand against counterfeiting. For every item, its origin and ownership can be tracked all the way up to its source. Counterfeit product or replicas will not have an authentic chain of records, and can thus be easily revealed.
When we compose blockchain with Internet-of-Things technologies such as RFID, we can track even raw materials from their source to the production factory all the way up to finished products that are then delivered to retailers through distribution networks.