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What the purchase of RTFKT by Nike means

Welcome to the Cryptokicks Era

What the purchase of RTFKT by Nike means Welcome to the Cryptokicks Era

If the race to the Metaverse is looking more and more like the race to space, Nike may have taken a decisive step towards the Moon. In a surprise blow, the company announced the purchase of RTFKT, a brand specializing in digital sneakers, in a deal still shrouded in absolute secrecy. "This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture," said Nike CEO John Donahoe.

Nike will invest in RTFKT, using it as a push to accelerate digital transformation including through the use of the brand's community. RTFKT, whose pronunciation resembles the word Artifact, had already made a name for itself in the past: in October last year it sold its first digital sneaker for 30 Ethereum, about 115 thousand dollars, while in February it sold a collection of sneakers in NFT for a total of about 3.1 million dollars. Although both parties did not want to comment on the deal, we can imagine the arrival in the near future of digital sneakers and drops for Nike, following a path that began in 2019, when the company had filed a patent for "blockchain-enabled digital shoes" coining a term that we will most likely learn to deal with, Cryptokicks.

Cryptokicks means a digital version of a sneaker that already exists in physical version with the ability to be modified in their virtual version that can be used, we read in the patent, within video games. Something we have already seen in Fortnite for example, where Nike has created a digital version of its Air Jordan 11 Cool Grey giving us a preview of what could become the future of sneakergame. Nike's decision to buy RTFKT comes shortly after the departure of some of its most famous designers, including the director of 3D Footwear Design, Chad Knight, and the Global Senior Design Director, Tom Rushbrook. Knight himself had declared that behind his farewell there was the will to "help create the future, an opportunity that Nike did not have", a statement hardly unrelated to the latest developments that, in light of what Knight said, could resemble a reparative choice in Nike's attempt to bring fresh energy, and new visions, within the company.