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Of course, Nike buys digital sneaker company

This week it was announced that Nike has acquired RTFKT Studios (pronounced “artifact”) for an undisclosed amount. When I read the news (official Nike announcement here), I immediately thought to myself, “Yeah, of course!”

Some of you may remember that I wrote about RTFKT back in April. They are perhaps best known for their digital sneaker NFTs (on the Ethereum blockchain). And so this is an exceedingly obvious and strategic buy for Nike.

But more importantly, I think this is great validation for the crypto/NFT space and further evidence that our digital and physical worlds are continuing to collide in some new and very interesting ways.

What this ultimately means for life in 10 or 20 years is anybody’s guess, but sneakers are the tip of the iceberg. And this doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re all destined to live in some sort of metaverse video game.

Another way to look at this whole metaverse thing is to consider it not as an actual place or space, but instead as a moment in time (Shaan Puri makes this argument here). Put differently, the metaverse is simply a point in time where we begin to bestow tremendous value on our digital life and our digital assets.

Instagram is one example of this. Profiles have become integral to people’s identifies. We use them to vet restaurants. We use them to vet travel destinations. And we use them to vet potential dating partners, among many other things.

So while sneaker NFTs might be a new thing, there’s already lots of evidence that digital goods can have just as much value — and potentially even more value — than physical goods. I am sure that Nike recognizes this and it’s part of why they bought RTFKT.


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