• Nike will use blockchain to authenticate and transact shoes, according to a patent.
  • Cryptokicks will generate a digital version of the shoe and a token.
  • Digital versions of the shoe can intermingle with another digital shoe to create a "shoe offspring."

Nike will soon be joining the cryptocurrency sector with its own offering.

Back in April, a trademark filing suggested that Nike was planning on integrating cryptocurrencies to how it sells shoes, but it wasn't clear what the actual use of "cryptokicks" would be.

The application mentioned crypto wallets, downloadable software that could manage crypto transactions, mobile apps for providing access to crypto-collectibles, crypto-art and application tokens, and other product offerings. It was unclear until a patent on Dec. 10 provided some more details as to how the shoe giant will press forward with blockchain technology.

The patent reveals that Nike developed a system for "automating generation of cryptographic digital assets associated with articles of footwear" or putting it simply, a method for authenticating and transacting shoes. And cryptokicks is the combination of Nike's shoes along with an attached cryptographic token.

A token for a shoe

"When a consumer buys a genuine pair of shoes -- or colloquially known as 'kicks' -- a digital representation of a shoe may be generated, linked with the consumer, and assigned a cryptographic token, where the digital shoe and cryptographic token collectively represent a 'CryptoKick,'" the patent stated.

The patent adds that "the digital representation may include a computer-generated avatar of the shoe or a limited-edition artist rendition of the shoe. The digital asset may be secured by an encryption-protected block that contains a hash pointer as a link to a related block in a decentralized blockchain, a transaction timestamp, and transaction data."

Under this system, consumers can also trade the shoes they purchased, and the token would have to change ownership as well and will be managed in what the patent terms as a "digital locker," which is the same as a crypto wallet.

Shoe breeding?

Another capability that the patent highlighted is shoe breeding, an idea Nike extracted from cats game CryptoKitties. Through shoe breeding, digital shoes can intermingle with another digital shoe to create another a "shoe offspring." And depending on certain rules, the shoe offspring can transform into a custom tangible pair of shoes manufactured by Nike.

These new concepts of Nike could hit the markets soon since both the patent and trademark have already been granted. Another shoe company that is planning on utilizing the power of blockchain for authenticating their products is New Balance. The company will use Cardano to fight counterfeit of their shoes.

GettyImages-Nike logo
The Nike logo is displayed on a window at a Nike store on March 21, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images