NBA Top Shot is beginning to see a major growth in the sports card and digital collectible markets. The blockchain-based platform which allows users to buy, sell, and trade numbered versions of specific NBA highlights. Is now seeing more than $1 million in sales daily.
The product itself came about thanks to a deal struck between blockchain company Dapper Labs and the NBA in July of 2019. Not much of note came about until earlier in January when a highlight of a Ja Morant dunk was purchased for $45,000.
Just four days later a LeBron James highlight would sell for $47,500. It has now been eclipsed by another highlight from James, selling last Friday for $71,455.
According to a recent recent report from Bloomberg, the sports card and memorabilia boom has “come on the coattails” of surging cryptocurrency markets that “are near all-time highs with investors looking for hard assets to hedge against future inflation.”
Each NBA Top Shot moment is a non-fungible token (NFT) meaning it can only have one owner and can not be copied. These NFTs are used “to create verifiable digital scarcity” and digital ownership.
These effectively work as trading cards for this new era. After the NBA cuts its highlights, Dapper figures out how many they will sell, numbers them, and then places them into digital packs much like normal trading cards. Also like traditional cards, these highlights can be common or specialized highlights and the value is in the scarcity of the highlights created.
This looks to be only the tip of the iceberg for NBA Top Shot. There are currently three sellers offering the Holo version of that same Morant dunk for over $100,000 based on there being just 25 numbers.
Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, believes this business can grow into something major. “The trading card business is worth $5-$6 billion annually,” Gharegozlou noted. “I don’t see why we can’t get to a place where this business is grossing $1 billion alone.”