It is no secret that blockchain has seen a range of use in industries that have to do with supply chain and recordkeeping and also for the verification of various goods. This is because information recorded via a blockchain is irrefutable and can not be tampered with. As such, blockchain has been used for the tracking of food, the verification of sports memorabilia as well as issuing of educational certificates to prevent certificate fraud. It seems any industry that has to do with issuing out physical products that may need to be verified could make use of blockchain. 

According to a patent dated December 10, 2019, Sportswear giant Nike intends to patent a product called Cryptokicks, which are shoes that are issued by non-fungible tokens on the Etheruem blockchain.

Blockchain and Footwear 

According to the documents, the technology that will be used to verify the authenticity of the goods is an Ethereum ERC721 or ERC1155 token. These tokens are unlocked by the purchase of a physical item with the corresponding code and the system will match a 10-digit owner code with a 10-digit item code and this helps to prevent counterfeit goods from flooding the market which is an issue that Nike, like many other sports brands, has had to battle in the past.

“Prospective and current owners […] may buy and sell digital assets through one or more blockchain ledgers operating on the decentralized computing system. […] By way of example, and not limitation, a 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 patent says. 

Another possible application of this system is the fact that it can be linked to shoe sales and this will help Nike to keep a live inventory of what shoes have been sold and how scarce or readily available they are in the market.

“When a consumer buys a genuine pair of shoes a digital representation of a show may be generated, linked with the consumer, and assigned a cryptographic token, where the digital shoe and cryptographic token collectively represent a ‘CryptoKick,” the document says.

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