What is NBA Top Shot?

Why these internet trading cards are changing the world.


NBA Top Shot is a new, blockchain-based trading card game that has been producing ridiculous amounts of money. On the platform, users buy “cards” which are actually short highlight clips. Users can then sell these cards or trade these cards with other users. These cards can also be obtained through opening “packs.” These packs get released in “drops” which happen roughly every week or so. These drops of different packs often sell out in minutes with queues to get the packs reaching hundreds of thousands of people. Trying to obtain these packs is so popular due to their monetary upside. These packs can sometimes contain cards worth thousands of dollars, with record-setting sales reaching egregious prices. Over the past month, a Lebron James card sold for 200,000, and a limited edition Zion card sold for almost the same amount. These tremendous upsides with the trading card style approach are luring many to try their luck. The creators of NBA Top Shot, Dapper Labs, reported that they have had 230 million in sales already, and that number is only going to grow. Some of you may be wondering: why don’t I just go on youtube and watch the highlight rather than spending hundreds of dollars to own the highlight? The answer is that NBA Topshot relies on a blockchain so, within their platform, there are limited numbers of each highlight. For example, there is a clip of Kevin Durant hitting a jump shot where only 12 of the card has been released. This scarcity is what gives it value on the site, despite it having very little intrinsic value anywhere else. This almost turns it into an investment for many, trying to buy highlights for a cheap price and flip them for a higher price or opening packs hoping to pull a card that could pay for college. For others, creating a collection of cool trading card style clips is what creates the appeal for them. The company, as a result of their popularity with the Top Shots platform, is now in the process of creating a mobile game which would incorporate the cards collected on the website. It is set to release at some point in the latter half of this year. As the internet continues to advance and evolve, the number of things that it allows you to do also continues to grow.