Because the NFT collector “WhaleShark” spent 22 ETH on sneakers

Why NFT collector "WhaleShark" spent 22 ETH for sneakers - WhaleShark 22 ETHThe hype surrounding sneakers has turned collectibles into investment items, fueled by a healthy appetite on the part of sneakerheads and a scarce inventory of famous brands.

So when a startup put a one-of-a-kind high-top for a blockchain offering - in both digital and real form - a whale took the bait and invested 22 ETH (worth about $ 13.331 at the time of sale) on a pair of sneakers designed by AI.

And all of this was streamed live on Twitch. The pseudonymous buyer, who goes by the name WhaleShark, is one of the largest collectors of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on digital art and games in the industry.

Although he denied being a sneakerhead, WhaleShark reported that when he discovered these shoes can be priced as high as $ 50.000, he couldn't hold back. WhaleShark will not only receive the $ 13.000 artwork, but also a physical copy of the shoe delivered to his home.

$ 13.000 sneakers

The shoe in question is called "The X Evolutions", known by most simply as The X. The shoes - clearly inspired by the iconic Nike Dunk High - were created by the famous RTFKT (pronounced "artifact") sneaker studio on Instagram .

The X auction opened on November 19th and lasted 10 days on a new platform built by RTFKT. At first, bidders saw only a simple white high shoe. When the bids exceeded a certain amount of ETH, the design changed, one splash of paint at a time.

“The reason I bid is because I wanted to see how the design has evolved,” said WhaleShark. Nobody knew what the shoe would have been like in its tenth and last "evolution", and this still remains a mystery: with 22 ETH only the sixth evolution was unlocked. The last step was set at a threshold of 58 ETH.

Why sneakers?

This wasn't RTFKT's first digital sneaker project. Earlier this year, the team sold its first piece on the NFT SuperRare market designed after the Tesla Cybertruck for 30 ETH.

The offer rose to 65 ETH until the bidder realized that the photo he had seen of Elon Musk wearing the "Cybersneaker" had been retouched. The sneaker market has become a real force in recent years.

The global resale market is expected to reach $ 30 billion by 2030, according to Cowen Equity Research, which has classified sneakers as an alternative asset class. The difference in RTFKT's latest shoe was that it looked perfect for attracting both NFT early adopters and IRL sneakerheads.

The co-founders of RTFKT predict that the future of ownership will primarily focus on unique virtual objects and the physical usefulness of them. “Plus, being able to redeem a physical item keeps old sneakerheads happy too. It's the best of both worlds. "