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  • MAP Asia Pacific Ltd

Nike sold an NFT sneaker for $134,000

The market for collectible sneakers has skyrocketed in recent years. And until recently, so had the market for NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which function as digital certificates of ownership for works of art as well as tattoo designs and virtual real estate.

It was only a matter of time before the two hypebeast markets collided.

In April, Nike released its first collection of virtual sneakers, called Cryptokicks, which comprised 20,000 NFTs, including one designed by artist Takashi Murakami that was bought by someone named AliSajwani for $134,000.

"The mechanics around NFTs and sneakers are pretty similar," said Jurgen Alker, who runs the NFT studio for Highsnobiety, the lifestyle site that covers streetwear and sneakers. "Both are created around scarcity and drops. It is about community, status and belonging to something."

This is Nike's first entry into the market and its first release with RTFKT (pronounced "artifact"), a company it bought last December that had stoked a market for virtual sneakers.

Other sneaker giants also have gotten involved. Last December, Adidas released an NFT collection called Into the Metaverse that gave buyers access to limited-edition streetwear including hoodies and tracksuits (but no sneakers). Made in partnership with the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Punks Comic and crypto evangelist GMoney, it was essentially a digital drop for NFT-savvy Adidas collectors and netted more than $22 million in the first afternoon, according to The Verge.


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