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StockX has the most compelling use case for NFTs I’ve seen yet

The site is using them as ownership tokens for rare kicks.

stockx vault nft launch
Screenshot: StockX

StockX, the online marketplace for hypebeasts and sneakerheads, has started selling non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. Before you grab your pitchforks, they’re not linked to digital art. Instead, they function as authentication and ownership verification for physical, rare sneakers.

StockX calls them “Vault NFTs” and they’re the first time I’ve seen a compelling use case for the new tech. The minted NFTs from StockX are all associated with a very real, very rare, physical pair of sneakers.

Buying that NFT means you also own those sneakers, which will stay in StockX’s climate-controlled, secure vault. It’s not that different from keeping your family heirlooms in a storage facility, except StockX actually keeps good care of your goods.

Selling the NFT also transfers ownership of those sneakers to the new owner. In this case, the NFT is functioning like the title for your car, saying that this physical thing is yours to do with as you want.

stockx nfts
Screenshot: StockX

To explain why this is good; it helps to know a little bit about how StockX operates. See, unlike most online marketplaces, StockX also provides verification services, for every order. If you buy a rare pair of sneakers from someone on the exchange, those sneakers first get sent to StockX, which has experts that verify they are the real deal and not a fake.

After verification, they then send you the sneakers. The whole process works without the buyer and seller knowing any of each other’s details, so StockX can sub in sneakers from another seller in the unfortunate event the ones sent for verification are fake.

The new NFT-based system means the lag between buying and being able to resell is gone. In the world of sneakerheads, that waiting time can seem like an eternity.

Now the blockchain is being used to simulate physical logistics while providing verification services. That’s neat, and StockX’s Vault NFTs look like a viable use for the technology.

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