Nike made a big splash on Monday (December 13, 2021) when it announced it had purchased RTFKT (pronounced Artifact), an (nonfungible token) NFT company known for its widely admire sneaker NFTs. While the move was described by most of media as Nike making more moves in the metaverse, there was immediate criticism from NFT enthusiasts on social channels.
Critics were put off by Nike’s decision to purchase the company outright, indicating it was taking an authoritative approach viewed as antithetical to the web 3.0 metaverse ideal, which advocates for a decentralized version of the virtual world, where users can interact and collaborate freely without the limitations inherent to a closed system with a single authority.
Notably, Nike’s actions stand in start contrast to Adidas‘ decision to collaborate and work with decentralized platforms like Bathing Ape Yacht Club and Sandbox.
How NOT to do insider trading 101 – A Thread— drmoose.eth (@ItsDrMoose) December 14, 2021
Vinnyvader.eth is the cousin of @clegfx (RTFKT Co-Founder)
Both @sarah1of1, Vinny, and @karaholiday17 live in Salt Lake City Utah (great insider trading meet-up spot and great weather! pic.twitter.com/AvE4iOeFEX
In addition to the Nike’s top down approach, largely viewed as ham-fisted attempt to control intellectual property, multiple members of the NFT community also pointed out shady actions taken by people with an association with ARTFCT prior to the sale. In one thread, Twitter user @itsdrmoose used Etherscan to track large ETH transactions between Twitter vinnyvader.eth (identified as the cousin of RTFKT co-counder Chris Le) with Twitter users @sarah1of1, @karaholiday17 that appeared suspicious given they were made the week before the announcement was made.
The thread includes a screen grab of a since deleted alleged tweet on December 12, 2021 by @karahholiday17 in which she told wrote, “just wait til tomorrow, I would buy” in response to someone who questioned her all in $100,000 investment in ARTFCT’s Clone X NFTs.
Due to our website still being attacked and unusable,— RTFKT Studios (@RTFKTstudios) November 30, 2021
We’re pausing the minting till when we’ll have all fixed and upgraded.
Minting will start again tomorrow 10am PT
Apologies for this fck up, we had way too many attacks
Prior to controversial purchases, other users pointed out RTFCT’s suspicious actions in relations to what was set up as a Dutch auction, a bidding technique that begins with a set ceiling price, which gradually drops at specific time intervals.
RTFCT had set the ceiling for the CLONE X NFTs at 3 ETH for the November 29th auction, but as the price steadily dropped and approached 1 ETH, the auction was paused. RTFCT took to Twitter to announce the website was being attacked, forcing the company to put a pause on minting until the following day.
When RTFCT resumed minting, the CLONE X NFTs were priced at 2TH. In addition to questioning the validity of the attack claims, some users on Twitter claimed the company had shut down its Discord to preempt complaints about the auction.
Following the auction, there were further complaints about RTFCT’s announcing CLONE X licensing restrictions after the auction rather than take the typical route and provide them in advance.
Check out a summary of RTFKT complaints below.
RTFKT Summary:— Brian ᵍᵐ (@nairb621) December 14, 2021
1. Dutch auction didnt sell out so team paused mint
2. Mint resumed next day at 2 eth flat
3. Announces commercial IP rights AFTER mint
4. Announces team reserved the most rare Clones AFTER mint
5. Deal with Nike
6. Insider trading
Did I miss anything?