Nike has joined the blockchain race by being awarded a patent to launch “CryptoKicks”, a “financial services” platform that paves the way for the sportswear giant to launch its own cryptocurrency. The patent specifically mentions authenticity and proof of ownership as the rationale for launching a CryptoKicks blockchain, but it also throws up the potential for additional features, such as token issuance in return for user data, down the line.
Nike Gets Off on the Front Foot
Nike applied for the patent back in April using sneakers as an example, two weeks after rival Adidas announced that they had teamed up with VeChain to launch limited edition sneakers with blockchain authenticity tracking capabilities. The filing stated that the patent was intended to allow Nike to offer a product that featured “financial services, namely, providing a digital currency or token for use by members of an online community”.
Under the plans, each shoe would be given its own unique ID which would be attributed to the purchaser and registered on “a distributed blockchain ledger”. The owner could then transfer the ID a new owner if they sold or gave away the shoes, with many other potential uses for the token likely to be rolled out over time, probably in return for user data of some sort.
Another Feather in Blockchain’s Cap
Embedding blockchain technology in garments is not a new concept, with projects like Loomia taking the same approach, but having a household name like Nike showing a willingness to get involved in blockchain technology is a huge feather in the nascent technology’s cap.
Garment manufacturers have a huge data gap when it comes to their products, in that they have no idea of product usage or performance once it leaves the shelves. Offering tokens in exchange for the ability to track and record a whole host of such statistics is something that most would jump at, and it won’t be long before other garment makers, particularly sportswear manufacturers, are joining Nike on the blockchain train.