Digital sneakers heads buying RTFKT and Nike NFTs aren’t happy this week after their metaverse partnership launch collection didn’t go the way they expected.
RTFKT, a company who say they make “the first native Web 3 sneakers”, released a collection of NFTs that also allowed the holders of the NFTs to redeem actual real-life shoes. However, the company failed to communicate that the buyers of these NFTs who lived outside of the US couldn’t be shipped the physical product that came with the NFTs.
Some NFT buyers paid thousands for unique digital shoes and they were not happy when they realised they couldn’t redeem the promise of a real shoe, taking to Twitter to express their disappointment.
What’s the dealio with ‘phygital products’?
RTFKT, which was recently acquired by Nike, offers ‘phygital’ shoes. This means the NFTs could allow owners to redeem exclusive physical products, but buyers had to own an NFTs to get access to the real-life item. The pairing of physical items and NFTs has become more commonplace, with NFTs being used as a type of certificate of authenticity, that can also be traded on decentralised, peer-to-peer markets.
Buyers can collect the shoe NFTs to hold or choose to flip the digital shoes for profit, or trade them for others. The digital RTFKT shoes can be worn in the metaverse, shared across social media and in digital collections. The NFT holders can also choose to use the NFTs to order real-life shoes that can only be bought by the NFT holders.
Until they can’t.
Many NFT holders were deeply unimpressed.
The community claimed that RTFKT poorly communicated vital information that you could only get the physical product attached to the NFT if you resided inside the US.
This geo-blocking for holders of the NFT that live outside of the US has caused a storm in the RTFKT community.
Nike bought the NFT shoe company to muscle in on the Web3 space, and virtual sneakers from RTFKT have sold for anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000 per pair.
Some people who have paid US$4000 for some of the shoes seem fairly happy with their decision. Many NFT holders inside the US can easily redeem the shoes, and also flip or trade the NFTs at a later date.
RTFKT shoes and augmented clothing
RTFKT also offers augmented clothing, which means that the garments’ virtual aspects can be seen if viewed via a phone. Clips of these products have been doing the rounds on social media apps like TikTok.
Nike is not the only high-profile brand to get into Web3 offerings.