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RTFKT’s Clone X (Akira) Project: What It Is and Why I’m Bullish

rtfkt akira nft leaks

RTFKT (pronounced like “Artifact”) is one of the hottest companies in the NFT space right now. Founded in January 2020, the company aims to lead the charge into the metaverse as the “Digital Supreme.”

Prior drops include their FEWOCiOUS x RTFKT sneaker NFT collab and their Jeff Staple Pigeon NFT shoes, both of which generated millions and sold out in minutes.

In early August 2021, the company announced the launch of their most exciting project yet, called Clone X (formerly known as Akira). The project aims to create next-gen avatars for what will eventually be a new virtual world.

What We Know So Far About the Clone X Project

In late September, RTFKT officially launched the Clone X Project’s website and revealed the name as Clone X. The project is now expected to launch in mid October.

RTFKT’s Clone X Project will consist of 20,000 avatars available to mint. 10,000 will be reserved in a pre-sale for existing RTKFT’s NFT holders, and the remaining 10,000 will be available in a public sale.

While 20,000 may seem like a lot compared to other NFT mints, the team has said they wanted to target those outside the NFT community as well.

RTFKT doesn’t want to just be any other PFP (profile picture) NFT project though. The team has made it clear that the avatars will have plenty of utility beyond just a picture.

They want avatar owners to truly own the IP and monetize their avatars in the event of any licensing deals. They also intend to integrate the avatars into various virtual worlds, perhaps like The Sandbox Game or Decentraland, both of which RTFKT NFTs can already be found in.

Teasers for RTFKT’s Clone X avatars. Source

The design will be unique as well. RTFKT co-founder Chris Le (clegfx) put together an art team who have created skins for Dota 2 and CS:GO in the past. The avatars’ 3D look blends anime and sci-fi to make something truly worth flexing.

The design will be unique as well. RTFKT co-founder Chris Le (clegfx) put together an A-list art team who have created skins for Dota 2 and CS:GO in the past. The avatars’ 3D look blends anime and sci-fi to make something truly worth flexing.

How to Qualify for the Clone X Pre-Sale

In order to qualify for the Clone X pre-sale, you must hold one of the qualified NFTs listed here. Each qualified NFT you hold allows you to mint up to 3 Clone X avatars for 0.05 ETH during the pre-sale. The mint price for the public sale is still TBD.

Some of the floor priced qualified NFTs for the Clone X pre-sale

The only other way to participate in the pre-sale is if you hold a Metakey Edition Two, that counts for 1 Clone X mint at 0.05 ETH.

While there’s 2,805 qualified RTFKT NFT’s on OpenSea, currently only 185 are listed for sale. People clearly don’t want to sell ahead of the Clone X launch.

In addition, the floor price of these NFTs continues to increase. As of September 14, the floor price for qualified items hovers around 8 ETH. Just a month ago, you could find them for under 1 ETH easily.

Why I’m Bullish on RTFKT Studios and the Clone X Project

Given the hype surrounding RTFKT Studios and the Clone X Project, I’m expecting the avatars to become of the dominant pfp NFT projects. It hits on all of the reasons why people buy NFTs.

Clone X managed to develop a lot of hype before official marketing even began. The team has slowly been leaking surprises as the mid-October launch date nears, but there seem to be plenty of surprises in the bag still.

I’m expecting the public sale to be very tough to participate in. There will likely be a massive ETH gas war during the sale. Even if the team decides to go the Dutch auction route, the price per mint will still likely be fairly high.

For that reason, I went ahead and bought a qualified NFT to enter the pre-sale. Specifically, I chose one of the RTFKT Capsule Space Drip 1.2 when they were around the 10 ETH range. I liked the look of these little astronauts and the designs were all really cool.

Like every RTFKT collection, there are constant benefits to holding these. Some time after the Clone X launch, the physical forging event will happen for the space drips. By paying $200 – $500, you’ll be able to forge a physical sneaker in the colorway of your space drip. Here are what some of the initials designs look like.

physical sneakers can be forged for the RTFKT space drips

I paid above floor price for my space drip NFT, which marks this as the most expensive NFT purchase I’ve made so far by a longshot. It’s definitely a little nerving but is an indication of how bullish I am on the Clone X project as well as RTFKT Studios as a whole.

Betting on the RTFKT Team

The RTFKT team is excellent and they have a history of executing successful projects. It seems they truly care about bringing the NFT and sneaker universes together into the metaverse. Every launch they’ve done builds upon the prior, rewarding their existing community. I believe we’re still in the very early stages of what lies ahead.

What also convinced me to buy into the project was their backing by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) in their recent $8 million seed round. a16z partner Jonathan Lai described the opportunity well when he said “RTFKT is building the bridge connecting physical and digital fashion.”

a16z has arguably been the leading VC when it comes to the NFT space. They were ahead of their time investing in CryptoKitties in 2018 when NFTs were barely a thing, and they continue to back the team behind it with further investments. So when they put their time and money behind a project, it’s definitely a signal that it’s worth paying attention to.

As always, do your own research before jumping in. If you can’t participate in the pre-sale, there will be 10,000 avatars available still in the public sale. Keep your eyes out for the latest news by joining RTFKT’s Discord and be sure to read their Medium article.

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