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NFT Project Spotlight: RTFKT Pushes the Boundaries of the Metaverse

Jeff Pratt analyzes how RTFKT became one of the most successful companies in the metaverse with a full breakdown of Clone X’s roadmap and price trends.

whThe world is expanding, and DraftKings is expanding along with it. As NFTs continue to grow, these daily articles will serve as a hub for the latest news and notes in the space.

In case you are new to the metaverse, check out my quick breakdown on what NFTs are and how they work. For those looking to get in the game, read my article on how to set up a MetaMask wallet.


RTFKT Pushes the Boundaries of the Metaverse

From sneakers to virtual avatars, no company has ventured into as many realms of the metaverse as RTFKT.

The company, which is pronounced “artifact”, was founded by Benoit Pagotto, Steven Valisev, and Chris Le in early 2020. Their initial gameplan was to sell virtual sneakers and create hype through a variety of prominent collaborations. For example, a partnership with artist FEWOCiOUS to sell a package of virtual and real sneakers earned over $3.1 million in just seven minutes. Celebrities like Elon Musk also bought in on the hype and purchased pairs.

After seeing how much of an impact RTFKT had on the sneaker community, Pagotto and company were determined to expand. That’s where Clone X comes in.

Clone X

In November 2021, RTFKT partnered with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami to create an NFT collection of 20,000 avatars called Clone X. Clones give their holders utility, including access to the RTFKT ecosystem.

RTFKT’s unique ecosystem revolves around a virtual world in which humans no longer exist in their organic form, instead being represented by a digital avatar. The process of self-expression is done through customizing your clone and traveling across virtual galaxies, while partaking in a variety of experiences.

Pagotto spoke about RTFKT’s vision for its universe and how Clone X was the launching point in an interview with Forbes, stating, “Clone X is the start of a full ecosystem for RTFKT, an evolution of our Brand that we think will redefine how you think of fashion brands, going beyond ‘clothes’. The fact we’ve been developing all in 3D, and are giving access to 3D files to the future Clone owners, is a game-changer in the sense that, not only will people be able to express themselves with their avatars, but we envision a new kind of relationship forming between owners and 3D creators who will create bespoke content for the avatars, replicating what we’ve seen with Fortnite 3D models ripped by blender creators, creating content for Twitch streamers and YouTubers. It’s a full ecosystem, being built live, and the avatars are just the tip of the iceberg.”

The Clone X launch was not as smooth as RTFKT would have hoped, but the project eventually hit its stride after a couple of minor hurdles. At the time of this article, Clone X has amassed 149.2 thousand ETH in traded volume — approximately $442,595,832.00 — which makes it the fourth most-traded NFT collection of all time, only behind CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Mutant Ape Yacht Club.

Clone X holders are provided access to a wide range of utility as RTFKT’s universe expands. This includes virtual and physical merchandise obtained through the forging process, along with priority access to new features.


Acquired by Nike

On Dec. 13, 2021, RTFKT made headlines after it was bought by Nike. The No. 1 shoe manufacturing company in the world saw RTFKT as a way to leap into the metaverse, as partnering with a company with known virtual sneaker experience minimized risk. Multiple RTKFT co-founders expressed their excitement on Twitter, stating that Nike had been always been their inspiration.

Nike President and CEO John Donahoe described Nike’s vision for the partnership, stating, “This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture... Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.”

Nike and RTFKT have teamed up for multiple project as the company’s universe expands, including the popular MNLTH airdrop for Clone X holders. The partnership benefits both companies, allowing Nike to broaden its reach in the metaverse while providing a mainstream real-world outlet for RTFKT.

Floor Price History

icy.tools breaks down the all-time floor, average price and volume for Clone X, MNLTH, and PodX in the charts above.

Twitter user @mekanz23 highlighted Clone X’s product roadmap, showing how holders that got in on the project early were able to turn 2 ETH into 38 ETH:


Roadmap

Limited information has been shared about Clone X’s roadmap, but steps have been outlined on the project’s official website. The Clone.meta vault has already been built, and it stores the Clones for holders. A variety of virtual wearables are available for holders to customize their Clones.

Two airdrops have been distributed to Clone X holders. The first was MNLTH, which was produced from the RTFKT and Nike deal. Those who were eligible for this airdrop had to be holding a Mintvial, Clone, and Space Pod. Since this drop, MNLTH has been immensely popular, currently boasting a floor of 6.14 ETH on OpenSea. The second airdrop was PodX, which was distributed to Space Pod holders.

So, what exactly are Space Pods? These NFT galleries have been created for all Clone owners, and are the start of RTFKT’s ecosystem. Features planned for these pods include multiplayer capabilities, complete pod customization, and more. The company is currently exploring potential avenues to expand its ecosystem.

The latest addition to RTFKT’s roadmap was another partnership with Murakami. Clone X drip holders were provided whitelist access to Murakami’s latest collection, The Flower. Find the roadmap for this unique project here.

As RTFKT continues to broaden its reach with the help of Nike, there truly is no ceiling for what the NFT powerhouse can accomplish. Stay tuned for updates as the company’s virtual ecosystem expands.


UPDATE: MNLTH Launches

RTFKT rewarded holders who have patient Friday, finally launching MNLTH. The company broke down the necessary steps that were accomplished to initiate this phase below:

MNLTH is an experience in which users can explore the future of virtual sneakers. Each MNLTH box contains a pair of Nike CryptoKicks and a Skin Vial. The vials allow users to customize the look of the RTFKT Nike Dunk Genesis, or any other compatible sneaker.

Watch the full video breakdown of the MNLTH experience along with the next steps for RTFKT and Nike below:


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