Things rarely change overnight, but in the world of tech, exponential changes can happen so quickly that it can seem like trends become widespread out of nowhere.
Take a look at the crypto market: The overall marketcap, or combined value of all crypto projects, hovers around $2-3 Trillion, which is about the same or more than the marketcap of Amazon, Google and Apple.
This is a 6x increase from under $400 Billion in a 1 year period since the beginning of November 2020.
You’ve likely heard of or personally experienced a newfound interest or participation in crypto.
For those early in the game, none of this growth came “out of nowhere”–it was inevitable, as is its reach into other areas like the sneaker reselling world.
A big part of the crypto market which is starting to overlap with the sneaker market is the NFT space which we wrote about how they could change the sneaker reselling market early this year.
NFTs surged to nearly $11 Billion in the third quarter of 2021, with some projects producing mind boggling returns (a NFT from a project called Fidenza went from $1400 to over $3,000,000 in a matter of months).
More important than the perhaps temporary profits and speculation associated with NFTs are the long term and real (digital) world use cases, including digital fashion within metaverses which will surely include sneakerheads.
What is a Metaverse?
Metaverses are similar to RPGs like Fortnite but go beyond that by incorporating elements of Augmented and Virtual Reality as well as blockchain technology. Their significance lies in the total disruption that will happen when a critical mass of people begin to hang out within the bounds of these digital worlds.
Especially since the social distance created by the Covid pandemic, society is transitioning to virtual interactions as a new normal.
Video calls between people in the real world became a standard way to hang out, but we’re about to go more digital than this: many people and companies (including Facebook) are preparing for fully digital interactions complete with a personalized avatar as an identity within a computer generated virtual universe, or a metaverse.
As weird as this concept may sound, it’s almost inevitable that we will end up hanging out in metaverses with our friends just as much or more than real life interactions.
We’re already hanging out virtually with gaming friends between consoles or on platforms like Discord, but the metaverse takes this concept one step further by solidifying an identity that you’ll use to interact with others inside the digital world.
Different types of Metaverses
Just as people use a variety of social networks, there are different types of metaverses to choose from. Like social networks, only one or a few might end up getting adopted on a larger scale.
Two of the main metaverses are Cryptovoxels and Decentraland (which rose 5x in price since Facebook’s Metaverse announcement). Both are built on the Ethereum blockchain, and both are user owned, which is a key difference between a metaverse and a normal RPG.
A key feature that the blockchain technology offers is verified ownership in a way that is as good or even better than ownership that exists in the real world. Things like land, buildings and clothing already have active markets in the metaverse.
Although slight differences in the user experience will exist between metaverses, the universal principle of fashion–complete with sneakerheads– will remain consistent.
Digital fashion in the metaverse
You are likely familiar with choosing a character to play a video game with, but imagine if you made friends and developed a social reputation with a digital character.
Just like in the real world, you’ll develop a sense of fashion and want to be able to express yourself with the things you own.
This digital you will be complete with your own customizations and clothing that may become as real as the physical characteristics and clothes you carry in the “real world”.
Wearable Sneaker NFTs
This move into sneaker NFTs that can be taken around as a wardrobe item in the metaverse is long due– even the most popular and expensive sneaker NFTs like those made by RTFKT aren’t able to be flexed on an avatar.
It will be interesting to see whether or not the real world sneaker giants come out on top or if it’ll be companies birthed in and for these metaverses.
Although many designs and prices for wearables are outlandish (like this collection by Fewocious which you can’t even wear digitally) Tempel Tuttle, an early bird metaverse footwear and wearables company, is bringing in real world designs at reasonable (for now) prices.
For a look at what a shopping experience in the metaverse could look like, check out Tempel Tuttle’s metaverse stores in Decentraland and Cryptovoxels here, where you can be an early adopter and perhaps rewarded in the long term.
Keep posted for any updates with how the sneakerhead market will overlap in the digital realm—it’s not a matter of if, but when.