Sportswear giant Nike has secured a patent for blockchain-powered sneakers, known as CryptoKicks.
First filed back in April, the patent was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), detailing an innovative blockchain system for recording and transferring ownership of the sneakers. The patent describes a system of attaching digital assets to physical products, which will allow ownership of the sneakers to be recorded on a blockchain at the point of purchase.
According to the patent, the blockchain records allow instant verification of ownership, with buyers assigned a digital token with every purchase. These tokens then hold value in their own right, and can be traded or exchanged like any other digital assets.
The model ensures the digital tokens are inherently scarce, because they are tied to the production of CryptoKicks Sneakers.The patent explains that both the digital show, and a cryptographic token together represent the ‘CryptoKick’.
The digital tokens can be assigned independently of ownership of the sneakers, or in addition to a transfer of ownership should buyers resell. Digital assets are stored in a type of cryptocurrency wallet Nike have dubbed a “Digital Locker.”
Intriguingly, the system also allows for owners to “intermingle or breed the digital shoe with another digital shoe to create shoe offspring,” which can then be made into a new production shoe.
The patent is an example of a company innovating to develop retail products powered by blockchain, external to core technology markets.