What is RTFKT?

What is RTFKT

RTFKT is a memorable name in the world of web3, so let’s dive into what RTFKT is, what it has planned, and whether it’s a project worth gaining exposure to.

How Did RTFKT Begin?

Established in January 2020, RTFKT was a small outfit focused on the metaverse, AR, fashion, and using blockchains and gaming engines to combine digital and physical items. The timing was perfect, as these were exactly the areas that were to blow up in interest over the next couple of years, and RTFKT quickly gained attention.

If you go to RTFKT’s website, they neatly tie in a little sci-fi storytelling too, denying rumors that a rogue AI is creating their designs, and explaining how company plans have been pulled forward from a scheduled 2040 take off date due to accelerations in human consciousness.

RTFKT Up To Now

CloneX and Takashi Murakami

RTFKT
Image credit: CloneX

The core NFT collection within the RTFKT ecosystem is CloneX, a collection of 20,000 3D avatar-style PFPs. They minted towards the end of November 2021 and sold out in a matter of minutes, despite a 2 ETH price tag.

One justification for those high prices (besides the timing: post-JPEG Summer and pre-bear market crash, when the NFT community was ETH-rich and bullish) was that the metaverse-ready CloneX avatars were produced in collaboration with Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami.

Takashi Murakami
Image credit: Perrier and Takashi Murakami

Murakami is famous for cartoonishly psychedelic work that bridges pop culture and exclusive art, and for his many top-end collaborations, taking in projects with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Perrier, and Billy Eilish. He’s also well known for embracing NFTs and web3 culture, not only with RTFKT, but through his own Murakami Flowers project.

Nike Acquisition

In December 2021, RTFKT was acquired by Nike. Since then, the trend of established corporations executing web3 strategies has accelerated, but Nike identifying RTFKT was an early move by one of the biggest brands in the world.

Nike also set up its .SWOOSH web3 platform, which is focused on virtual apparel, makes use of the Polygon sidechain, and is distinct from, but has close interconnection with RTFKT.

Since then, RTFKT dropped a multitude of NFTs in addition to CloneX, some of which are entirely digital, and some of which are linked to physical goods, primarily focused on special edition sneakers. Physical items contain scannable NFC tags that link to the NFT from which the clothing was claimed, creating lasting verification between physical and digital items.

RTFKT
Image credit: RTFKT and Nike

Clone X holders were airdropped an item called a MNLTH box which, when opened, contained virtual Nike sneakers, and a Skin Vial, which is connected to the sneakers to customize their appearance.

RTFKT
Image credit: RTFKT and Nike

There were also developments called Space Drip, and Space Drip 2, which brought in some talented artists to design customized sneakers, with the iconic Nike Air Force 1 as a base template, and these could actually be claimed as physical items.

For anyone neither very online nor interested in the metaverse, this might all sound less preferable than just going to the shops and buying some shoes. Fair enough, but if you believe that digital assets can be as desirable to collectors as physical products, then RTFKT and Nike are early movers.

By the way, if you buy an RTFKT NFT on secondary that unlocks further items, then be careful to check that it’s still eligible for any claims. You can do that by pasting the NFT’s OpenSea link into the checker on the front page of the RTFKT site.

Collaborations

RTFKT
Image credit: RTFKT and Rimowa

When it comes to dropping new collaborations, RTFKT is well-connected, and some highlights up to now include a sneaker drop with NFT-focused artist Fewocious, more sneakers for holders of the most iconic NFT collection in existence, CryptoPunks, and a partnership with luxury luggage manufacturer Rimowa, among several other joint moves (check the collections tab on the RTFKT site for a comprehensive list).

Exodus

RTFKT
Image credit: Exodus

CloneX holders were previously airdropped Space Pods and Loot Pods, which are virtual living spaces for their avatars, creating the beginnings of a metaverse-like experience. The Exodus expansion now allows for those pods to be upgraded to new homes, called Exo Pods and Lux Pods, and this is in collaboration with web3 gallery platform Oncyber, allowing users to display collectibles.

Upcoming Plans

Project Animus

RTFKT
Image credit: RTFKT

2023 will see companion creatures enter the CloneX world, through Project Animus. Full details and dates have not yet been announced, but CloneX holders have early access to claim something called an Animus Egg, which, presumably, will hatch into a creature at a later date. If you’re not a CloneX holder, you can jump in anyway by picking up an Egg on secondary, or wait for the public sale, with total supply undefined but not to exceed 40,000, of which 20,000 are reserved for CloneX holders.

Ledger

RTFKT and Ledger
Image credit: RTFKT and Ledger

A partnership with leading hardware wallet maker Ledger was announced last month. The collaboration will see the release of an all-white RTFKT Ledger Nano S Plus and Nano X, and the Nano X model will also come with a silver RTFKT pendant, although this will only be available to holders of CloneX or Ledger Market Pass NFTs.

Is RTFKT Worth Buying Into?

RTFKT
Image credit: RTFKT

RTFKT combined style, expertise and ideal timing to make eye-catching early moves in the world of web3 digital fashion. As a result, it’s now a part of the Nike empire, giving it clout, stability, and the capacity to pull in collaborations with the biggest names. What’s more, Takashi Murakami’s input has been extremely valuable, giving CloneX a left-field artistic tilt, and creating a balance between mainstream appeal and unconventional cachet.

In terms of production values, everything RTFKT puts out is constructed to the highest quality, and always looks impressively shiny and futuristic. The project is endlessly productive, and appears committed to web3 for the long haul.

On the negative side, the RTFKT ecosystem can come across as overly-complex. This is the result of rapid growth, which is good, but it’s difficult for newcomers to get a grip on the wide array of drops, collaborations and expansions that have been created up to now, particularly as they cross over between the physical and the digital, and are interlinked with one another.

This is in the nature of big NFT projects though, as web3 is open and experimental, and the genesis collection at the center of the RTFKT world, CloneX, looks like a comfortable hold, its position cemented as an in-demand collectible combining art and utility.

What is RTFKT? - - 2024

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What is RTFKT? - - 2024
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