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Nike – a company known for athletic shoes and sports apparel – is now performing a 360 degree turn and potentially launching its own cryptocurrency.

From Shoes to Crypto; Nike’s Journey

It seems like every company is seeking entry into the crypto market, attesting to its sudden mainstream (and growing) status. Facebook, for example, has been working hard at developing plans for its new Facebook Coin, while JPMorgan Chase – whose CEO and chair Jamie Dimon has often denounced bitcoin as a “fraud” – has also brought about its latest JPM Coin for users to enjoy.

Nike is just another company latching onto the sudden craze. The shoemaker recently filed an application with the U.S. Patent Office to potentially trademark its latest product called “crypto kicks.” This involves both cryptocurrency hard wallets and software, along with virtual financial transaction services and marketplace services.

According to the filing, Nike hopes to provide:

…Online, non-downloadable computer software for use as a cryptocurrency wallet; a website featuring technology that enables users to mine, earn, purchase, receive by any other means, store and transfer blockchain-based tokens, coins, cryptocurrencies and other crypto assets.

At press time, Nike’s plans for “crypto kicks” remain in the dark, though the filing clearly indicates that the company is planning to launch a legitimate cryptocurrency that customers can use to purchase both products and services from the company. For the most part, cryptocurrency is not accepted by major U.S. retailers, though it has been gaining traction with companies like Amazon, which have shown less reluctance to accept crypto payments.

Michael Diamond, director of industry analysis for commercial technology at the NPD Group Inc., explains:

It’s definitely still nascent in the mainstream area, but we are starting to see more firms accepting it, which implies the trend has legs. If the big guys are exploring and starting to offer it, more customers are asking for and demanding it, and retailers do not want to get left out in the cold, especially if they have a global presence.

Nike appears to have a thing for big technology as of late. Recently, the company applied for a trademark of the term “foot-ware,” which applies to the company’s newly-released “smart” sneakers (i.e. the self-lacing Adapt BB).

Why This May All Be Real

Trademark attorney Josh Gerben of the Gerben Law Firm in Washington D.C. says that Nike has probably been thinking about “crypto kicks” for some time, and is serious about entering the digital asset arena:

There has to be somewhat of a business idea behind it. If you submit things just for the sake of submitting things, it will tie up the trademark system unnecessarily. Nike does not have a history of filings that are speculative… There’s a requirement that you commercially use a trademark to get the rights to it.

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