NBA Top Shot Overwhelmed by Demand in Record $1M Pack Drop

Over 200,000 collectors waited in line Friday, hoping to buy into Dapper Labs' runaway NBA hit.

Feb 26, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:47 p.m. UTC

Dapper Labs' booming digital collectibles platform, NBA Top Shot, just completed its most anticipated NFT release yet, selling 10,631 packs of basketball videos hashed to the Flow blockchain for a record $1.05 million in revenue.

The project’s latest pack drop, which at its peak had over 200,000 hopeful collectors waiting in line for what are essentially serialized National Basketball Association highlights, pushes total pack-generated revenue to $7.38 million for the 8-month-old NBA Top Shot, according to data crunched by CoinDesk.

The secondary market for Top Shot pack “moments” is even bigger: Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou said the platform has seen $50 million in transactions in the last 30 days. Some moments featuring top players have resold for six-figure sums.

“I think we're on track to be the fastest growing marketplace,” Gharegozlou said Friday.

Top Shot is quickly emerging as a breakthrough in the blockchain collectibles space. Though it has been around since June, the league-licensed project has gone off like a rocket in the past month as players pump the hype – and mainstream collectors pile in.

Indeed, the site has struggled mightily to keep up with surging demand. 

Dapper Labs delayed this latest pack drop at least two times and shut off new sign-ins in an attempt to get a handle on back-end operations, ward off bots and keep the site (which is still in beta) rolling relatively smoothly. The firm was only somewhat successful; Friday’s drop experienced delays even after it began.

NFT full-court press

There’s no sign the NFT issuer is slowing down anytime soon. Built atop Dapper’s in-house Flow blockchain, the project has blasted into mainstream sports culture in recent weeks with NBA stars and owners like Mark Cuban calling Top Shot’s “moments” the next big thing.

It has gotten to the point where players all but plead with the public for gifts of the digital sports cards. Other NBA stars invested directly in Dapper Labs in earlier rounds. The startup reportedly raised $250 million at a $2 billion valuation earlier this month.

NBA Top Shot is leading an entire digital collectible ecosystem in a charge toward the normies. That it lives atop a walled blockchain powered by tokenomics is largely irrelevant to its swelling user base, who, unfazed by the decentralized backend, have signed up in droves. Notably, NBA Top Shot moments are making their first foray out of the Flow garden and onto the OpenSea marketplace among the many Ethereum-based NFTs.

“The FLOW token is what powers it all, but you don't need to know that in order to play NBA Top shot,” Gharegozlou said during the pack drop livestream. “There's nothing about cryptocurrency. It's about basketball, and the crypto technology is simply what enables the software to exist.”

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