When Nike announced in late 2021 that it had acquired Web3 content developer RTFKT Studios, the news passed under the noses of the sneaker and apparel brand’s most die-hard fans. But the wider Web3 community has taken notice, especially those tuned into the NFT space. With this new acquisition, Nike has made clear its intention to make a name for itself on the metaverse. The first step towards this noble goal? NFT.
Now, thanks to the rapidly growing CloneX NFT collection launched in November 2021, it looks like Nike can replicate its IRL cultural capital on Web3. Despite the hype that Nike and RTFKT have built through their numerous NFT drops over the past few months, CloneX’s legitimacy seems to be anything but hyperbole. A combination of factors came together to allow the NFT community at large to embrace this new project with open arms.
The state of Nike in the NFTs
When traditional brands, especially luxury ones, enter this new territory, they tend to do so with a bang. Nike was no exception, as evidenced by the declines new acquisition RTFKT injected into the space. While the new tandem made their first NFT drop in February 2022, their best work was yet to come.
Starting in April 2022, RTFKT introduced officially licensed virtual Nike sneakers to the NFT Marketplace: the CryptoKicks NFT Collection. Sneaker culture has taken a notoriously speculative direction in recent years, so it makes sense that there’s a growing crossover between sneakerheads and NFT faithful.
In recognition of this crossover, Nike’s acquisition of RTFKT also resulted in the acquisition of its CloneX NFT avatar collection, which launched a month before news of the acquisition became public.
But what exactly is a CloneX NFT?
Let’s start with what CloneX is not. Contrary to what Google search results might lead you to believe, the name CloneX does not just refer to a manufacturer of rooting gels, cloning solutions and other industrial solvents. It is also an NFT collection.
The CloneX NFT collection from Nike and RTFKT consists of 20,000 3D avatar NFTs called “Clones” designed with a specific purpose in mind. Each clone in the collection is turnkey, Metaverse-ready from the start, as the collection marks the first piece in the Metaverse ecosystem planned by Nike and RTFKT.
I am on it. So, how to buy a CloneX NFT?
Currently the best way to grab your own clone is to browse OpenSea. As of this writing, the collection has a floor price of 6.4 ETH, or around $8,500 according to recent valuations. while you box try to partially buy your way by buying a fraction of a clone, you may not be able to enjoy the full scope of utilities provided for these NFTs. It will simply be an investment on your part.
An inclusive collection
But what makes CloneX really special isn’t the usefulness that its developers intend for it. CloneX is also making substantial strides in the NFT space by providing as many different types of people as possible with the proportionate NFT avatars to represent them in the virtual world. The level of inclusion that the CloneX team has infused into their collection goes beyond race and biological sex.
Each of the 20,000 CloneX NFT avatars belongs to one of eight subtypes, or “DNA types”. About half of all CloneX NFTs are categorized as human, three-tenths as robots, and angels, demons, reptiles, and undead filling the remaining two-tenths of the total supply. Along with the Human CloneX type of DNA, a tiny fraction possess the “vitiligo” trait – the same skin disorder that saw Michael Jackson wear a glove throughout the 80s and whiten his skin for the rest of his life. However, unlike the late King of Pop, CloneX NFTs with Vitiligo skins will wear them strong and proud – perhaps as a bit of affirmation for all CloneX holders who need that extra push to be on point. comfortable in their own skin.
For those counting, you might notice that we have just listed six types of DNA so far. We saved the two rarest DNA types in the CloneX collection for last, so stay put.
The rarest clones
Let’s start with the Murakami clones. No, not sad existential novelist Murakami. We’re talking about Japanese pop art sensation Takashi Murakami. When the artist collaborated with the Clone X team for a late 2021 drop, he single-handedly raised the project’s profile from a “great NFT project” to a “potential funnel for mainstream NFT adoption.”
In an interview with hypebeastMurakami revealed that he helped the CloneX team design traits representing eyes, mouths, helmets, and clothing for several new generative PFP avatar NFTs that are set to be added to the original 20,000.
To help commemorate the legendary artist’s collaboration, CloneX then added a brand new DNA subtype to the clone pool: Murakami clones. These estimated clones represent only 0.5% of all NFT clones currently in circulation.
At the time of writing, the most expensive clone sold so far on the market sported a Murakami DNA subtype. CloneX #4594 sold for 450 ETH on OpenSea in late 2021 – it’s worth almost $600,000 at the time of writing.
Despite this, the Murakami Clones are only the second rarest DNA subtype in the collection. Taking this honor is the alien DNA subtype. A mere 0.15% of all clones in circulation possess this DNA subtype, with the most expensive alien clone selling for 88.88 ETH in December 2021.