When Nike introduced in late 2021 that it had acquired Web3 content material developer RTFKT Studios, the information went proper underneath the noses of the sneaker and attire model’s most die-hard followers. However the wider Web3 neighborhood took discover — significantly these tuned into the NFT house. With this new acquisition, Nike made its intent to carve a reputation for itself on the metaverse clear. Step one towards that lofty aim? NFTs.
Right this moment, due to the rapidly-growing CloneX NFT assortment that launched in November 2021, it seems like Nike might reproduce its IRL cultural capital on Web3. Regardless of the hype Nike and RTFKT have been constructing by means of their quite a few NFT drops over the previous months, CloneX’s legitimacy seems to be something however hyperbole. A mixture of things got here collectively to allow the NFT neighborhood at massive to embrace this new venture with open arms.
The state of Nike in NFTs
When legacy manufacturers — particularly luxurious ones — enter this new territory, they have an inclination to take action with a splash. Nike’s been no exception, as evidenced by the drops that new acquisition RTFKT has been pumping into the house. Whereas the brand new tandem did their first NFT drop in February 2022, their finest work was but to return.
Beginning in April 2022, RTFKT’s has introduced digital, formally licensed Nike sneakers into the NFT market: the CryptoKicks NFT assortment. Sneaker tradition has taken a notoriously speculative path in recent times, so it solely is sensible that there’s a rising crossover between sneakerheads and the NFT trustworthy.
In recognition of that crossover, with Nike’s acquisition of RTFKT additionally got here the acquisition of its CloneX NFT avatar assortment, which launched a month earlier than information of the acquisition turned public data.
However what precisely is a CloneX NFT?
Let’s begin with what CloneX isn’t. Opposite to what Google search outcomes would possibly lead you to consider, the CloneX identify doesn’t simply consult with a producer of rooting gels, cloning options, and different industrial solvents. It’s additionally an NFT assortment.
Nike and RTFKT’s CloneX NFT assortment consists of 20,000 3D avatar NFTs known as “Clones” designed with a particular focus in thoughts. Every Clone within the assortment is turnkey, prepared for the metaverse from the beginning, as the gathering marks the primary piece in Nike and RTFKT’s meant metaverse ecosystem.
I’m in. So how do I purchase a CloneX NFT?
At present, the easiest way to choose up a Clone of your individual is by perusing OpenSea. As of writing, the gathering incorporates a ground value of 6.4 ETH — roughly $8,500 in keeping with current valuations. Whilst you can attempt to partially purchase your approach in by way of buying a fraction of a Clone, you could not be capable of benefit from the full extent of utilities deliberate for these NFTs. It’ll merely be an funding in your half.
An inclusive assortment
However what makes CloneX actually particular isn’t the utility its builders intend for it. CloneX additionally takes substantial steps ahead inside the NFT house in offering as many alternative sorts of individuals as potential with the commensurate NFT avatars to characterize them within the digital world. The extent of inclusion that the CloneX crew has imbued its assortment with goes past simply race and organic intercourse.
Every of the 20,000 CloneX NFT avatars falls into one among eight subtypes, or “DNA sorts.” Roughly half of all CloneX NFTs are labeled as human, three-tenths as robots, and angels, demons, reptiles, and undeads filling up the remaining two-tenths of the whole provide. With the Human CloneX DNA kind, a tiny fraction possess the “vitiligo” trait — the identical pores and skin dysfunction that noticed Michael Jackson sport a glove all through the 80s, and bleached pores and skin for the remainder of his life. Nevertheless, not like the late King of Pop, CloneX NFTs with Vitiligo skins will put on them loud and proud — maybe as a little bit of affirmation for any CloneX holders who want that additional push to be snug in their very own pores and skin.
For these counting, you would possibly discover that we’ve simply listed six DNA sorts to date. We’ve saved the 2 rarest DNA sorts within the CloneX assortment for final, so keep put.
The rarest Clones
Let’s begin off with Murakami clones. No, not unhappy existential novelist Murakami. We’re speaking about Japanese pop artwork sensation Takashi Murakami. When the artist collaborated with the Clone X crew for a drop in late 2021, he singlehandedly raised the venture’s profile from a “nice NFT venture” right into a “potential funnel for mainstream NFT adoption.”
In an interview with Hypebeast, Murakami revealed that he aided the CloneX crew in designing traits representing eyes, mouths, helmets, and garments for a number of new generative PFP avatar NFTs slated to be added to the unique 20,000.
To assist commemorate the legendary artist’s collaboration, CloneX then added a wholly new DNA subtype into the Clone pool: Murakami clones. These esteemed Clones make up a mere 0.5 p.c of all Clone NFTs at present in circulation.
As of writing, the costliest Clone bought to date available on the market sported a Murakami DNA subtype. CloneX #4594 bought for 450 ETH on OpenSea in late 2021 — that’s price almost $600,000 as of writing.
Regardless of that, Murakami Clones are simply the second-rarest DNA subtype within the assortment. Taking that honor is the Alien DNA subtype. A mere 0.15 p.c of all Clones in circulation possess this DNA subtype, with the priciest Alien Clone promoting for 88.88 ETH in December 2021.