It appears that there is truly no limit as to what individuals will try and tokenize. From real estate, equities, toys, and art, few sectors are untouched by blockchain enthusiasm. In the latest, Satoshi Studio, co-founded by Nicolas Romero, will connect a pair of sneakers to the Ethereum blockchain. The project goes live on June 18, 2019.
The cultural and creative side of cultural has been dying to adopt blockchain technology. Although a number of projects appear just short of money-grabbing gimmicks, there may indeed be some real use cases.
In the world of art, as reported by BTCManager, tokenization shows promise in redesigning how artists are included in the sale of their creations throughout their lifetime. After that, upstarts like Ujo Music, a ConsenSys brainchild, are helping connect musicians with their fans directly via the Ethereum network. But these are just the tip of the iceberg.
In May 2019 during the Ethereal Summit, DapperLabs, artist Johanna Jaskowska, and The Fabricant sold an entirely digital, blockchain-based dress for $9,500. The Fabricant is the first digital fashion house in which the team of technologists is building a brand “where fashion transcends the physical body, and our digital identities permeate daily life to become a new reality.”
The piece does not exist physically and the owner is required to post a photo “wearing” the dress within 28 days upon reception. The result? A truly sustainable take on modern fashion according to the collaborators.
Jaskowska “wearing” Iridescence, a digital dress.
Satoshi Studio’s sneakers are, however, very real. Created by three friends from Paris, the Satoshi_one is the first model of the shoe made for the crypto community. In a preview on Bruiter from February 2019, one of the founders explained that the shoes are to be created in Portugal with the materials sourced in Italy.
In another press release shared with BTCManager, the brand is pursuing a unique business model in which they “will only produce the right amount, no more, no less.” Beginning on June 18, 2019, Satoshi Studio will announce the first in its crowdfunding campaign in which the number of participants will determine exactly how many pairs of shoes will be made.
Once made, the full-grain leather shoe is coupled with an NFC chip, not unlike the toys of CryptoKaiju, which is then connected to the Ethereum token. A golden or silver imprint of the smallest unit of bitcoin, a Satoshi, is then printed along the side of the shoe.
The Promise of Collectibles
Bitcoin introduced the world to the reality of digital scarcity, something difficult to ensure without the use of third parties. Now, Ethereum and other blockchain technologies are finding similar traction in fields beyond finance and money. The catch, of course, is if users are really interested in digital scarcity for their physical items. Consider the black market for premium quality labels, for instance.
Each year, according to a report from Fast Company, the United States customs collects nearly $100 million in fake shoes. A quick glance at the lines for a new Supreme launch in capitals all over the world proves that this problem is also rampant in fashion. Solving this issue has been a focal point for a number of different blockchain-based startups too. In adding an immutable digital database, along with an NFC chip for easy scanning, one can always be sure that they are holding an authentic product.
Such implementations make a lot of sense for large brands like Bathing Ape and sneakerheads chasing after hyper-rare Jordan’s. But what about brands like Satoshi Studio who’s community is only beginning? The technology is also incredibly new, with only a small portion of the population having ever heard of Bitcoin, let alone the plethora of alternatives.
But in combining the conscientious manufacturing processes of Satoshi Studio and The Fabricant, and only producing a certain number of shoes or dresses at a time, the ability to verify that a product has a lifeline connected directly to a buyer is striking. Whether mainstream users will appreciate this relationship, however, is still up in the air.