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Examining StockX’s Foray Into Sneaker NFTs

StockX stated last week that it was entering the NFT market. This is a huge deal for both the crypto and sneaker communities, as it cements the future by bringing the two worlds together.

With companies like Nike and Adidas already working on NFT projects, it only makes sense for the world’s largest reseller marketplace to join in. StockX, on the other hand, is preparing its marketplace to house a few other deliverables, such as NFTs and sneakers, that other companies haven’t yet touched.

Vault, StockX’s first NFT project, uses tokens to represent authenticity and provenance in its sneaker resale market. This is advantageous for people who trade sneakers as a speculative asset because it eliminates the need to transmit authorised shoes back and forth.

NFTs are being used by StockX as a way to reward high-end spenders and collectors. StockX hosted a giveaway of eight Kaws figurines for its inaugural incentive, which was solely open to NFT holders. The concept of using NFTs to gate-off and reward super-fans is gaining traction, with StockX hoping to use its large community of collectors to reward behaviours that they are currently doing.

StockX’s implementation of tying NFTs to footwear made logical, given the company’s major emphasis on Vault for its debut into NFTs. However, there are many unanswered questions concerning how people should conduct in this marketplace, which is different from how previous NFT platforms are set up: What is the best way for resellers to price in an NFT’s “value add”? What NFTs will be available for purchase separately from sneakers? Will customers be allowed to resell NFTs purchased on StockX on platforms such as OpenSea? Let’s take a look at what we already know.

Vault was revealed as StockX’s first digital asset, with more to come in the future.

Vault currently has 559 NFTs associated with sneakers for sale. The A Ma Maniere x Air Jordan 3 Retro and Off-White x Nike Dunk Low “Lot 50” are one-of-a-kind, while the Kaws x Sacai x Nike Blazer Low and white-and-black Nike Dunk Low Retro are limited to 100 pairs.

NFTs are attached to shoes by Vault as a proof of ownership and authenticity. For people who utilise StockX with the intention of reselling/trading shoes as alternative assets, this reduces the procedures of shipment and authentication. The NFT is “burned” (a token is sent to a wallet that can only “accept” them, thus destroying it) for people who truly want to wear the shoes, and you can request that the shoes be shipped (since the token is destroyed, you get the real shoes).

For shoes, StockX already uses an order book, similar to what you’d see in stock or cryptocurrency trading.

StockX’s NFTs can’t be sold outside of the network for now, but they’ve built themselves up to be resold on markets like OpenSea by using ERC-1155 tokens (these are minted on top of Ethereum: the most popular blockchain to build NFTs on). StockX does verify the minting on Etherscan (the public Ethereum transaction database), however all transactions are currently local to StockX’s website (there is no wallet trading on Etherscan, only StockX as the custodial wallet/minter).

Traditional NFT marketplaces display transactions from wallet to wallet differently than StockX’s order book for Vault. Because of the lack of peer-to-peer sales data, it’s difficult to figure out how many NFTs have been minted, what’s for resale vs first-minted (an significant consideration for certain NFT collectors), and how resale pricing works.

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This article is just for educational purposes.

Make your own exploration before making any form of investment, as always.

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