StockX has laced up and joined the web3 race with the launch of their ‘Vault NFTs’ on Tuesday. Personally, I wouldn’t want to go for a run in a pair of $5,000 Chunky Dunkys but I understand the temptation. Moreso than any of the dozens of brands hopping into the blockchain arms race, StockX’s unique ecommerce model — a cross between hypebeast auction house and cultural stock exchange — feels tailormade for NFTs.
Noteworthily, the company has also integrated web3 in an interesting way that plays to their strengths, rather than awkwardly working it into an existing and rapidly dated business model. (Looking at you, Walmart.) Vault NFTs will correspond to a physical pair of sneaks in the StockX warehouse. In addition to a somewhat underwhelming JPG, the buyer gets early access to promotions and drops, as well as the ‘opportunity to take possession’ of the shoes at any time.
However, StockX appears to view the NFTs mainly as an ‘alternative asset class’ — allowing for, essentially, sneakerhead day trading. Buyers and sellers who see sneakers as simply another investment vehicle will no longer have to bear the burden of bourgeoise headaches like authentication or shipping times. Instead, they can just trade a digital image of a shoe that represents a string of random numbers and characters in a database that represents the value of the shoe, which really puts the ‘meta’ in ‘metaverse’, but who am I to judge? A judgmental person. That’s who.
StockX also seems to be pushing the lower costs / environmental impact narrative, although the initial Vault NFTs are minted on the Ethereum blockchain, so, like, probably not. Still, in the arena of billion dollar corporations shilling NFTs (see below) this one feels like a W. Guess slow and steady really does win the race.