NFT sneakers were all the rage this year but have recently had a bit of a downturn. With cryptocurrencies tanking, what is going on with the RTFKT sneaker collection? We take a look at the digital asset collaboration with Nike and explore some possibilities.

AOEKI-unsplash-1024x683.jpg" alt="Photo representation of an NFT via Unsplash." class="wp-image-1069625" title="Photo representation of an NFT via Unsplash."/>
Photo representation of an NFT via Unsplash.

What Is RTFKT?

Steven Vasilev, Chris Le, and Benoit Pagotto founded RTFKT in 2020. The company creates non-fungible token (NFT) virtual shoes, memes, and collectibles.

According to reports, RTFKT collaborated with the young artist FEWOCiOUS in February last year to sell both actual and virtual footwear. Notably, in only six minutes, the business sold 600 pairs of virtual sneakers valued at US $3.1 million.

RFFKT describes itself as a creator-led enterprise. In order to produce one-of-a-kind footwear and digital artifacts, it also boasts of utilizing the most recent gaming engines, non-fungible tokens, augmented reality, and others with the necessary skills.

The company’s involvement in the digital asset sector demonstrates how the fashion sector seeks to collaborate and associate with other businesses in the sector.

While RTFKT is surely involved in hundreds of digital projects that are on the horizon of technology, in this article, we are simply looking at their collaboration with Nike and how Nike Kicks are being turned into digital assets.

Their goal, as written on Twitter by Jonathan Lai, the a16z investor that led the RTFKT round, is ” to build the first digital-first fashion label. As we spend more time in virtual worlds, we will care just as much about our digital sneakers/handbags as we do our physical ones”.

Official image of RTFKT logo via RTFKT website.
Official image of RTFKT logo via RTFKT website.

What Are NFTs?

If this is your first time hearing about this acronym, it certainly won’t be the last this year.

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token.

Fungible is a fancy economic word that basically means replaceable.

So, if something is non-fungible, it’s unique and cannot be replicated or owned by more than one person.

The word Token has been colloquialized in the cryptocurrency community to describe something that is made permanent or minted on the blockchain (basically a hard-coded, decentralized, and public record that is the home for cryptocurrencies and tokens).

Examples like Cryptokitties and Cryptopunks started gaining traction in 2017 and have since been revived to record-setting levels in early 2021.

Why are people spending so much money on these pixels, especially when you can just screenshot images?

Ordinary pixels are fungible because you can widely distribute them without any unique attribution to the owner.

The difference between Cryptopunks and any other NFT is that the ownership is tied and verified to a unique transaction that you can actually see on the blockchain (most easily through platforms like Opensea).

The hype created by NFTs shows that the whole world may shift to this new form of ownership, especially as the technology becomes easier to understand and more user-friendly.

Image of designed Metaverse concept via VentureBeat.
Image of designed Metaverse concept via VentureBeat.

NFT Terminologies

NFT: Non-fungible token. This means an asset that is one of a kind and totally unique. NFTs are digital collectibles that cannot be recreated or copied, which is what gives them so much value.

SFT: Semi-fungible token. Digital assets are produced in mass quantities and are exactly the same. This is a much less used term, and you shouldn’t really worry about differentiating the two.

ETH: Ether, is a digital currency that is used to both buy and sell digital assets and collectibles on the Ethereum blockchain.

Discord: Discord is probably the biggest Metaverse platform around. Discord plays a huge role in buying and selling assets, and a lot of groups are created for people to discuss and chat about NFT projects. Our own Winner’s Circle, a group, built for reselling sneakers, takes place on Discord!

FOMO: Fear of missing out. You will hear a lot of people talk about FOMO with the recent surge in digital assets and NFTs. You will definitely have FOMO when everyone’s NFTs are rising in value, but yours, but don’t worry, FOMO goes away!

FUD: Fear, uncertainty, doubt. A lot of people will use FUD to describe a digital project that seems sketchy or possibly a total scam. It’s always good to ask questions and do research; you have to be really careful in this space.

Scam: Scams are really easy to find in the NFT world, especially as people have taken the markets by storm. Just like in the sneaker world, scams are always present, and you’ve got to be aware.

Mint: Minting an NFT is to buy it at the pre-release date price. People mint NFTs in the hopes that the price will rise and they can resell them for a profit. Others mint assets to be the first to receive them and possibly receive extra benefits.

Pumping: Pumping is how you describe a rapid rise in an NFT project that is being advertised by celebrities. A lot of celebrities will use their platform to inflate the price of an NFT just so they can sell theirs and make a hefty profit. Be very careful when purchasing an NFT that is being advertised by a celebrity.

Floor: The floor represents the lowest price of an asset or the minimum amount that you need to purchase an asset. The floor is very representative of the general public opinion of a project and can be important to understand when deciding to purchase or not.

NFT Twitter: NFT Twitter is a huge community in which millions of people talk about the biggest and most popular projects on the internet. People are constantly putting out information and opinions, which are incredibly important when deciding if purchasing a project is a good move for you.

Image of NFT emblem via Business Insider.
Image of NFT emblem via Business Insider.

What Is Nike x RTFKT?

Nike Inc. made the announcement that it was buying virtual sneaker firm RTFKT on Monday, December 14, 2021. Nike, one of the most well-known shoe companies in the world, did not divulge the financial details of the agreement, but this move may be an attempt to improve Nike’s position in the fast-developing metaverse.

Nike has stated that it planned to swiftly increase its presence in the metaverse in November. The Oregon-based business submitted additional trademark applications to create and market NFT sneakers and clothing.

The image below shows you the first digital shoes from Nike and RTFKT.

Image of RTFKT Nike NFT digital sneakers via Hypebeast.
Image of RTFKT Nike NFT digital sneakers via Hypebeast.

Nike purchased the digital fashion and 3D production company in December 2021. The studio unveiled a line of co-branded digital shoes on Twitter and Discord. The sneakers, known as Nike Cryptokicks, are based on the Nike Dunk sneaker and represent the company’s much-anticipated entry into the world of digital apparel.

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen much activity from the collaboration since then, probably due to the massive cryptocurrency crash we have been experiencing.

The graph you can see below shows the bitcoin price over the last year, and red is definitely not a good sign.

Image of Bitcoin crash.
Image of Bitcoin crash.

NFT Resales have been down massively, and the general interest in the space has declined since. This does not mean that the space is dead, but rather that it came on too quickly.

There always seemed to be a bubble around NFTs and cryptocurrencies, and this crash has popped it for the short term.

Definitely continue to keep your eyes on this space because it is not going to disappear forever!

Other Popular NFT Sneaker Projects

Before we conclude this article, we are going to highlight 2 other NFT projects in the past that may get you interested in the space!

FEWOCIOUS x RTFKT Shoe Collection

Victor Langlois, aka FEWOCIOUS, was born on January 1, 2002. An active artist since a young age, it was only a matter of time before his unique style would land somewhere at takeoff.

Having successfully led multiple multi-million dollar launches not only with crypto websites like Nifty Gateway but also with the long-standing upper crust auction house Christie’s, it’s easy to say that FEWOCIOUS aka FEWO is one of the most successful and well-known artists in the NFT space.

The unique thing about this NFT collection is that it was paired with a physical version of the digital purchase.

Price points of $3000-$10,000 per shoe didn’t hold several hundred people back from dropping big bucks to pay up for these in a matter of just 7 minutes; collectors spent a whopping $3.1 million on this 3-shoe drop.

In July 2021, 4 months after the launch, the physical shoes were finally shipped out.

Gucci Grail: Gucci’s Newest NFT Project

Gucci is back in the news, this time revealing their newest partnership and releasing a digital Metaverse project known as Gucci Grail. 10KTF is a digital NFT company that creates digital accessories designed by Wagmi-san, a world-renowned designer.

10KTF specializes in creating accessories for what are called parent NFTs, meaning you have to own NFTs to use those accessories. A Gucci collaboration is a match made in heaven as Gucci creates some of the most well-known physical accessories there are.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are NFTs?

non-fungible token is a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, a form of digital ledger, that can be sold and traded. Types of NFT data units may be associated with digital files such as photos, videos, and audio.

How do I buy an NFT?

1. Purchase Ethereum on a crypto exchange (such as Coinbase Global).
2. Transfer your crypto to a crypto wallet. Think of it as a digital checking account that stores and transfers your cryptocurrency.
3. Connect your wallet to an NFT marketplace.

How do NFTs Rise in Value?

Just like any other piece of art the NFT is valued based on the credibility of the artist in the physical world, the nature of artwork, the effort put into the creation of artwork, the story behind the artwork, and the social currency of the artist.

How do I buy NFTs?

Get started by visiting the OpenSea login page and connecting your crypto wallet. Visit your Profile where collected NFTs can be seen by members of the community. Profile pages track your favorite NFTs and marketplace activity. Now you’re prepared to browse through the marketplace and potentially make a purchase.

Can NFTs be hacked?

Social media accounts for NFT projects, creators, and influencers are being hacked and used to share scam links, which can result in users’ NFTs and tokens being stolen.

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Jimmy McPherson

Jimmy McPherson

Jimmy is the former founder of Midwest Soles, a sneaker and streetwear reselling company. He's a current business student with a continued passion for sneakers and sneaker reselling.


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