Sneakers : An Evolving Future

It won’t be this or that, it’ll be all of the above.

Image Courtesy : Nathan Smith (@parametriks)

There are some mixed feelings when you speak to sneakerheads about the rapidly shifting culture around sneakers. Some feel the recent innovation has eroded the sense of community, that it’s brought in profit-driven resellers and that the money has usurped the passion once integral to sneaker culture. It’s even argued that sneakers are now less about creative expression and just about the flex. There is certainly truth in all those perspectives, but calling out the lack of “culture” misses the spirit of ingenuity that continues to live on.

If we look back in time, the shift in sneaker culture happened slowly (albeit intentionally) with much of the responsibility in the hands of a few at the top. The most influential decisions over the past 10–15 years have been delivered at a brand level. These brands were focused on generating hype, cementing their brand equity and growing shareholder value. At the ground level, these strategic moves had a notable impact on culture, specifically the artificial scarcity (aka drops) which turned “being cool” into a “hustle”. Fast forward to 2022 and sneakers are an asset class, appreciating year-on-year and holding their value in variety of market conditions. The secondary sneaker market also looks very different. The likes of StockX and GOAT are sustaining a mature, global sneaker ecosystem.

In this context, change is inevitable. New ways of harnessing the cultural capital are bound to emerge. We can already see so many signs that the game has changed— from play-to-earn sneaker games like SneakerHUD to sneaker rental services like KYX.world; the ability to access and utilize sneakers continues to take new forms. Look no further than Nike’s recent acquisition of RTFKT as just another indication that the digital sneaker landscape is only in its infancy.

We are witnessing an evolution of sneakers with multiple new trajectories forming.

*For the record, we’re not here to choose sides. We are simply here to reflect on the truth of change and how it presents new opportunities. We encourage you to lean into the web3 ethos and imagine a world where sneakerheads can occupy multiple roles; some will have grails as investments, some will fractionalize their collection and others will own a portfolio of synthetic sneakers; none of these decisions will be mutually-exclusive nor should they be.

If you’ve been with us on the journey thus far then hopefully you have a better understanding of synthetic assets and how they can be used. Over the past few weeks our earliest members have been asking some great questions in our Telegram about the practicality of investing in synthetic sneakers.

In usual fashion, we’ll break it down as an example and highlight the utility xAssets. Let’s start with a familiar scenario:

Congrats, you grinded it out, beat the bots and secured your pair. After days if not weeks of anticipation, the box finally arrives. You unbox the sneakers and they speak to you in ways you can’t even explain. You absolutely love them. In the back of your mind you know they’re going for $$$ on a resale platform. Naturally, you’re torn between wearing or flipping ’em.

The core of the issue is not that you have to make the choice, but that fact that there are only two options available in the first place.

Here’s where synthetic assets come in. Synthetic assets alleviate the tension between the financial upside of sneakers and the enjoyment of wearing them.

Here’s a few ways xAssets can work together with your physical sneakers:

#1 You can buy shares to offset the depreciation from sneakers you currently wear

#2 You can protect the value of your physical collection buy hedging against future drops

#3 You can remove the time and hassle associated with trading physical sneakers

#4 You can seamlessly moving across other alternative assets (e.g. collectibles, streetwear, etc.)

#5 You can earn passive income in $SAUX even when prices are flat

Conclusion.

If you’re reading this, you’re incredibly early. Thanks for joining us on this exciting journey. The future of sneakers will be defined by the blending of the physical and the digital. It is our mission to expand the options and give the culture-shapers the real ability to translate their knowledge of culture into tangible investment strategies. We believe we can contribute to a more equitable future by harnessing the power of cultural knowledge, decentralization and synthetic assets.

Culture is ours.

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*xAssets only represent the price of a specified cultural asset. Ownership of shares of an xAsset do not entitle you to a physical redemption or IP rights. xAssets are a DeFi tool for exposure and hedging risks against cultural assets.

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