NBA Top Shot: An Intro
Updated: Jan 14, 2022
You may have heard of NBA Top Shot by now, but if you have not it is, most simply, an officially licensed virtual trading card product and marketplace created by Dapper Labs, a Vancouver-based blockchain company, in partnership with the NBA and the NBPA. These cards are not the still images most of us remember growing up with, but video highlights or “moments” from an NBA game. In our collection, we have moments like a LeBron James block and a Steph Curry 3-pointer. It is fun to collect some of your favorite players, but there is more to Top Shot, with challenges and challenge rewards for owning certain cards.
So, if they are not physical cards, what are we buying? An interesting component to NBA Top Shot is that they are technically NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens. These NFTs are stored in each collector’s digital wallet using blockchain technology. We will not get too deep into this tech stuff in this post, but blockchain is essentially a database of information that is linked together and can be used to track ownership or transactions. Most prominently, blockchain technology is used by cryto-currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
There are currently two ways of obtaining moments: through exclusive pack drops or immediately in the marketplace. The cost of packs varies between $9 and $999, with the more expensive packs often kept exclusive to collectors who meet certain, ever-changing requirements. Even with the prices and the exclusivity, NBA Top Shot manages to sell out in these pack drops. Collectors are then able to sell the moments they do not want on the market, often for profit.
The marketplace is filled entirely with moments listed for sale by other collectors. Prices on the market vary based on a number of factors. Obvious factors include the player in the highlight or the quality of the play, but rarity is also a key factor. Like sports cards, there are a finite number of Top Shot moments. As users, we can all see exactly how many exist and are for sale. Beyond these supply and demand factors, serial numbers on the cards also have great effect on prices, especially if you are lucky enough to have the player’s jersey number, a low serial number, or, to nobody’s surprise, serial numbers like #69 and #420.
Since its creation in October 2020, NBA Top Shot has seen over $230 million worth of transactions, a number that keeps growing with hundreds of thousands of dollars in transactions every day. Currently, over 100,000 different collectors own at least one moment. Crazy yet, the product is still considered to be in beta, with a project that would potentially add utility to the moments in some type of game in the works.
These large figures along with a recent $2.6 billion valuation of Dapper Labs has attracted a number of high profile individual investors including Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, Will Smith, and Ashton Kutcher. NBA Top Shot is also growing in popularity with a number of players, and even Mark Cuban, keeping collections of their own and buying cards on the market. A fun aspect of Top Shot that I enjoy is looked at what moments these people own, because it’s very easy to see anyone’s collection.
While it is unclear what the future holds for NBA Top Shot, it has been a tremendous experience for us so far. (Our journey began in March of this year.) We have completed a challenge and have been lucky enough to get a few packs and a handful of players and moments we enjoy. In the end, that is what NBA Top Shot should be all about. If you are interested in getting involved, the next pack drop will come this week, and the marketplace is there waiting now. If you want to check out our collection of nearly 40 moments, you can see them all here:
*This is not financial advice. We are avid collectors and fans of NBA Top Shot.
**If you want to talk Top Shot or if you want to see more updates and/or market discussion, let us know!