The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has recently awarded a patent for blockchain-powered sneakers called “CryptoKicks” to the leading sportswear brand Nike. The company had filed the Patent Application this year in April to use blockchain technology for assigning a unique digital ID to its shoes and sneakers. As a creative blockchain-enabled system for recording and transferring the ownership of shoes, the patent describes how the digital assets shall be attached to the physical products. It has also further described how the ownership of the shoes would be recorded on the blockchain-based platform at the time of purchase.
As per the patent, the blockchain records enable verification of ownership instantly, with the buyers assigned a digital token at the time of purchase. Such tokens would then hold value in their own right, and can even be exchanged or traded in the same manner as other digital assets. The blockchain-based model also makes sure that the digital tokens are inherently scarce as they are tied to the production of CryptoKicks sneakers. When a customer would buy a genuine pair of shoes, its digital representation may be generated, linked with the customer, and assigned a cryptographic token, in which case, the digital shoe, and the cryptographic token would collectively represent the “CryptoKick.” The digital representation of the shoe may include a limited edition artist rendition of the shoe or a computer-generated avatar of the shoe.
Using this digital asset, the buyers can also trade or sell not only the tangible pair of shoes but also the digital shoe in a secure way. According to the patent, they can store the digital shoe either in a cryptocurrency wallet or any other digital blockchain locker. Moreover, if they sell the sneakers to another person, the ownership can also be transferred using the blockchain system and digital assets.
Additionally, the buyers of the shoes would also be able to “breed” or “intermingle” the digital shoe with another digital shoe for creating a “shoe offspring.” The newly bred shoe offspring can be custom made as tangible and new pair of shoes as per the rules of acceptable shoe manufacturability.
Nike’s patent is an amazing example of how a company is using its creativity to retail products powered by blockchain. The patent suggests that the sportswear giant is moving towards launching more products tied to the crypto technology and blockchain-based system; however, no release date for CryptoKicks has come out in public.