At the age of 38 I feel like I’m of the generation that spans the digital gap. The first part of my child hood was free of internet, WiFi and mobile phones. But as I approached my teens, I started to engage more and more with the tech boom. I’m comfortably digital, music, movies, banking – during this pandemic I even go to the pub online. However, I can feel that the pace of tech is edging away from me, I’ll never be a luddite but I can see my daughter one day being able to do things I never dreamed of. So when I heard about NBA Top Shots I was intrigued. Is it a sports card? Is it a digital currency? What on earth can slam dunks and cross overs have to do with block chain and BitCoin? So I thought I’d find out.
What is NBA Top Shots? NBA Top Shots is a blockchain based platform that allows users to own and trade numbered versions of specific, officially-licensed video highlights. Created in 2019 as a collaboration between the NBA, Dapper Labs and the NBA Players Association. It harnesses the power of FLOW blockchain, the addictiveness of trading cards and the excitement of video highlights to create a new and exciting market place.
You’ve got questions? Yep. I did too. Read on!
🚨 TOP COLLECTOR ALERT 🚨— NBA Top Shot (@nba_topshot) September 29, 2020
This is 1️⃣ of 4️⃣9️⃣ LeBron James Moments that can ever be minted in our Cosmic packs. Scooped up by user rapid_goji_berry2079 via the #NBATopShot marketplace 📈
Start collecting Moments like these before the beta opens! https://t.co/S4XvtARyar 🏀⛓ pic.twitter.com/Lqm8grEIF1
How can I get NBA Top Shots?
The first place to start is NBATOPSHOTS.com, the official place for all things NBA Top Shots. Once you have created an account you can buy “packs” which contain varying quantities and grades of “Moments” depending on how much you pay. The Base pack containing 3 “Common” moments start at 9USD. The top end packs currently cost 230USD and consist of something like the following:
- This legendary pack contains the following 10 Moments:
- 1x legendary Cosmic
- 3x rare Metallic Gold LE (Serial numbers 153-254/299 available while supplies last)
- 6x Base Set (Serial numbers 100-158 available while supplies last)
It is of course the rarity of production and the all-important serial numbers that will control the future value of the contents.
In the Tweet at the top of this article you can see a Lebron James “moment” went for a very, very high value on the Marketplace. This is the next place you can obtain NBA Top Shots.
The Top Shots Market place can be accessed through your account on NBATOPSHOTS.com. It is this official secondary Market that will probably drive most of the media attention. It is essentially an online digital market, designed specifically for you to see the value, showcase, buy and sell “Moments” from your collection.
Can I make money from NBA Top Shots?
Yes, if you know what you are doing you can make money trading in NBA Top Shots moments. How much, or how consistently is yet to be seen. Below our associate Craig Sharland talks a little about the packs he’s purchased already and how he can see some potential margins to be made.
When are the NBA Top Shots Drops?
Once you have an account on NBA Top Shots you will be able to enable alerts and updates for when new collections will be dropping. You can also follow NBA Top Shots through the usual social media channels.
In case you are unfamiliar with the concept of a product drop, we have briefly outlined below.
What is an NBA Top Shot Drop?
In order to control the supply and create demand for something which in theory is an infinitely reproducible digital product (Spotify don’t run out of Drakes latest album) all the Moments are limited in number, defined by their serial numbers, this is where FLOW Blockchain comes in. The rarest, by definition, provided in lower volume, the more common… well you get the idea. These are also only available in a small number of packs released at specific and varied times. You have to be constantly on the ball in order to buy a pack. This in turn drives collectors to the trading market, driving up prices, creating demand and infinite hype!
Still with me?
Is NBA Top Shots an official NBA product?
Yes! NBA Top Shots is very much an official NBA product. It was created by the NBA in association with the NBA Players Association and Dapper Labs, most famous for CryptoKitties, which NBA Top Shots has now more than surpassed in sales value.
Is NBA top shots a Crypto Currency?
This needs a more nuanced answer than just yes or no. NBA Top Shots is based on FLOW Blockchain, a computer program that uses similar technology to most (legit) cryptocurrencies. So yes, in that way it is similar to a Crypto Currency, like Bit Coin. It also, by way of the market place, holds a defined monetary value that can go up and down depending on market action. This monetary value can be realised by selling your moments for actual money. However, it is not officially a currency, not does it bill itself as such. Turnips can be stored and traded based on fluctuating value, but turnip farmers don’t claim their turnips are currency. Or if you are after it more in Tech Speak:
…unlike forms of cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, which are readily exchangeable, each NBA Top Shot moment is a non-fungible token (NFTs), which means it can only have one owner and cannot be copied. NFTs are used “to create verifiable digital scarcity” and digital ownershipForbes.com
Is NBA Top Shots Bit Coin?
No, NBA Top shots is definitely not Bit Coin. But is bit coin adjacent – see above paragraph.
What is the most expensive NBA Top Shots?
According to Forbes.com. On Friday 22nd January 2021, a No. 1 LeBron James ‘Moment’ from Top Shots, from The Top Series 1 set sold for 71,455 USD. Currently it is estimated that the trading card business, where NBA Top Shots seems to sit is worth $5-$6 billion a year. With the rapid rise of NBA Top Shots, it could soon be grossing $1 billion annually on its own.
Can I watch NBA Top Shots Highlights on YouTube?
You can absolutely watch NBA Top Shots Highlights on YouTube for free. NBA Top Shots isn’t about catching up on the action from Saturday night. It’s for collectors. Its aim is to create something rare and sought after that’s value grows due to its uniqueness. NBA Top Shots is certainly not for everyone, but if it can convert some of the Sports Card market over to digital or capture the imagination of a newer younger customer who may otherwise have turned their nose up at owning a physical anything, let alone sports card, it will be absolutely huge.