World-known footwear Giant Nike just patented tokenized shoes as an NFT (nun-fungible token) through the Ethereum blockchain. The date of the patent was December 10 and the goal is to create footwear digital asset. The documentation shows a use as an ERC1155 or ERC721 token that can transact and authenticate physical shoes.
Users can unlock the new token when they buy physical shoes through a special identification code made out of 10 digits. Apparently, the aim of the system is to make sure that goods are authentic. The patent says:
“Prospective and current owners […] may buy and sell digital assets through one or more blockchain ledgers operating on the decentralized computing system. […] By way of example, and not limitation, a user may buy a new pair of highly sought after sneakers from a verified vendor who may provide authenticated provenance records for the sneakers. […] After receiving the shoe box containing the purchased sneakers, the user scans the box UPC with a barcode scan feature in a sneakers app operating on the user’s smartphone.”
Nike does suggest that the creation of the token can be connected with shoe sales. This allows extra verification of shoes scarcity.
Also in the patent:
“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’.”
As Nike footwear would be sold, digital token ownership is passed, together with the actual physical product. Token property is managed through a dedicated app that can enhance brand engagement.
Nike Breeding Shoes Through Blockchain
One thing that is quite interesting is that the Nike patent does take some ideas from CryptoKitties, a collectible cats game. It actually suggests the fact that shoes sold can also be bred:
“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.”
Blockchain keeps maturing and the larger companies want to engage with the technology. Numerous large corporations are actually investing a lot of money in the blockchain industry. Experts do warn that this is an industry that does not see the US as being the leader, so other brands might develop something usable much faster. China is now outpacing all other countries when it comes to blockchain patent applications.