RTFKT, a virtual sneaker creator, was purchased by Nike in December. Dunk Genesis Cryptokicks have now cost more over $10 million.
Whether or not you believe in the metaverse, a few corporations are betting on it. One of them is Nike. The athletic wear brand purchased RTFKT (“artifact”), a virtual shoe designer, in December in the hopes of establishing a foothold in the metaverse. That investment is now paying off.
The Nike Dunk Genesis Cryptokicks, a series of 20,000 NFT sneakers, were released over the weekend by RTFKT and Nike. Crypto gamblers have been buying the virtual footwear for between $7,500 and $9,000 since their inception (2.5 to 3 ether). Digital vials, which cost at least $2,500 each, can be used to modify their appearance (0.8 ether).
Some vials are more frequent than others, and Cryptokicks with uncommon skins have sold for astronomically high prices. One pair, for example, fetched $133,000 at auction (45 ether). One Alien vial, the most valuable in the collection, fetched $449,000 at auction (150 ether). According to RTFKT, owners can “evolve” their skins by completing certain online objectives.
There are currently no plans for holders of these NFTs to receive physical representations of their digital products, albeit a Snapchat filter was made so that owners could wear their sneakers in augmented reality. It’s part of a wider bet on virtual fashion, one that Nike isn’t alone in taking.
Adidas partnered with the Bored Ape Yacht Club to release the Into The Metaverse collection of 30,000 NFTs in December. Ownership of the NFT guarantees both virtual and real-life apparel drops, a strategy used by Dolce & Gabbana as well. Gucci took a different approach, collaborating with blue-chip NFT collections to outfit Pudgy Penguins, World of Women, and Bored Ape Yacht Club avatars in Gucci attire.
Adidas has purchased land in Sandbox, a game-heavy metaverse that is still in development, while Nike has invested in Roblox, a digital environment that is especially popular among kids.
RTFKT is the company behind Clone X, one of the most popular NFT collections. It’s a set of 20,000 3D anime-inspired profile picture art designed by renowned artist Takashi Murakami, whose owners include Justin Bieber. Clone X membership costs just over $50,000 right now, but it comes with perks. Holders received a strange box in February, which, after weeks of speculation, turned out to contain the Cryptokicks, which are now worth about $10,000, as well as a random array of vials.
Only around a third of Clone X owners have opened their mystery boxes so far, implying that two-thirds of the Cryptokicks have still to be distributed.