Sportswear giants Adidas and Reebok have signalled their intention to increase their engagement with cryptocurrencies, as both entered partnerships with digital money platforms.

Cryptocurrencies, which only exist virtually, are increasingly being used by consumers to buy goods and services. 

Transactions are recorded and verified by a decentralised system, which differs from traditional currencies managed by a centralised authority such as a central bank.

Adidas revealed on Twitter that it had partnered with Coinbase, a platform that allows users to buy different cryptocurrencies, tweeting simply: “We’ve partnered with Coinbase. Probably nothing.”

While details of the partnership remain unclear, it has prompted speculation that the sportswear brand could be considering enabling crypto payments.

It is also thought the tie-up could be linked to another partnership Adidas formed last month as it enters the metaverse – a hybrid of online social experiences – revealing its intentions to create ‘Adi-verse’, an immersive digital experience created with metaverse The Sandbox. 

The Sandbox describes itself as a metaverse “where players can play, build, own and monetise their virtual experiences”. It has its own cryptocurrency, which is used for transactions within its ecosystem, prompting speculation that this was a further factor in Adidas’ partnership with Coinbase.

The plan to create a virtual world followed rival Nike’s announcement that it has built Nikeland on the online-gaming platform Roblox.

Reebok is another sportswear brand embracing cryptocurrency, recently joining Bitcoin rewards platform Lolli. Startup Lolli allows members to earn up to 6% back in Bitcoin on each order when shoppers install the app or browser extension.

Lolli also partners with eBay, Microsoft, Sephora and Nike, among others.

Cryptocurrencies are making an increasing impact on the financial landscape, with El Salvador introducing the largest and best-known cryptocurrency Bitcoin as legal tender in September.

However, cryptocurrencies are still far from mainstream due to the fact they are highly volatile, with values often fluctuating wildly.

The global technology leaders influencing retail

Innovative thinking. New ideas. Investing ahead of the competition. These are all requirements if retailers want to stay agile in these changing times. So, who are the individuals leading the charge?

Retail Week’s annual Tech 100 index celebrates the people shaping the new digital retail ecosystem and who will continue to do so in the months and years ahead.

Read Tech 100 today to discover:

  • Developments and trends setting the direction of travel for the industry
  • Which women are leading the digital revolution including Marcia Kilgore of Beauty Pie, Jessica Anuna of Klasha and Jo Graham of Boohoo
  • The start-ups that you may not have heard of – yet – but will want to familiarise yourself with