Nike receives patent for Ethereum-based sneaker tokenization system

  • Nike has been granted a patent to tokenize sneakers on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • The shoe manufacturer uses the ERC721 standard to verify the authenticity of the sneakers.

Shoe manufacturer Nike has received a patent to protect a sneaker tokenization system based on the Ethereum blockchain that uses non-fungible tokens (NFTs). According to the patent application, Ethereum will be used to link digital assets to the physical product, the sneakers. The patent published yesterday was originally filed by Nike at the US Patent Office in May 2018, approximately at the same time as the “Cryptokicks” trademark was filed.

The document, which was published on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website on December 10, states that Nike will use Ethereum’s ERC721 or ERC1155 standards to create NFTs for authenticating sneakers. The sneakers can be unlocked with the purchase by linking a 10-digit shoe identification code to the owner identification code. The ETH token then serves the owner of the sneaker pair as a certificate of authenticity, as the document states:

Buying a pair of authentic shoes can activate or unlock a corresponding cryptographic digital asset […] For instance, a first Ethereum Request for Comments (ERC) 721 or ERC1155 token may be granted to authenticate and transact a physical shoe, and a second ERC721/ERC1155 token may be granted to access, breed, and transact a digital shoe.

Ethereum blockchain verifies the authenticity of limited Nike’s

Apparently, Nike is trying to stop the sale of fake sneakers. Some limited Nike models are sold at golden prices on the second-hand market. By linking the sneaker to the token, the ownership of the ETH token can be transferred alongside the physical product when the used sneakers are sold. The administration of the NFT is realized via an app developed by Nike. The tokenization could thus be used effectively to combat counterfeiting, as the patent application describes:

Prospective and current owners […] may buy and sell digital assets through one or more blockchain ledgers operating on the decentralized computing system. […] User may buy a new pair of highly sought after sneakers from a verified vendor who may provide authenticated provenance records for the sneakers. […] After receiving the shoe box containing the purchased sneakers, the user scans the box UPC with a barcode scan feature in a sneakers app operating on the user’s smartphone.

The ERC-721 standard has already been used by CryptoKitties and enables the mapping of other features to the shoe. Thus, specific attributes of the shoe such as colors and style can be recorded.

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However, the project is still in the patent stage. Accordingly, there is no guarantee that Nike will ever bring the Cryptokicks project to the market. However, it shows that Ethereum remains the preferred blockchain for large companies worldwide to explore the technology.

Recently it became known that Microsoft utilize the Ethereum blockchain, according to a CNF report. The software giant has developed a blockchain-based reward system for Microsoft Azure in cooperation with the Enjin (ENJ) project. Members of the Azure community can earn digital collectibles (NFTs) by participating in Azure’s open source area.

At the time of writing, the Ethereum price follows the general market trend as it has over the last few days. At the time of writing, ETH stood at around USD 146 and thus continued to move sideways.

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About Author

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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