Ray Allen’s corner 3-pointer in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals is considered one of the NBA’s greatest shots ever.
Imagine if you could own it.
Well, Dapper Labs (a blockchain company) recently teamed up with the NBA to make ownership of in-game highlights a reality. How? Via a platform called NBA Top Shot.
Sports collectibles are big business
We’ve heard of multimillion-dollar baseball cards and autographed jerseys. But Dapper CEO, Roham Gharegozlou, tells The Hustle that he believes digital sports collectibles are the next frontier.
His platform (which we were given beta access to) offers users ownership of video clips like a “Jayson Tatum jump shot” or a “Zion Williamson block.”
These digital highlights come in “card packs” that start at $9. Each pack contains a different set of highlights that you can trade on the platform. Only one of each highlight is released, creating scarcity.
According to Gharegozlou, “cardboard cards are hard to authenticate, grade and move,” while these digital assets can be “sold at any time, don’t have to be evaluated and can have additional functionality over time.”
The team behind Dapper scored a previous hit with Cryptokittes
Pre-blockchain, the creation of digital collectibles was a challenge.
Launched in 2017 at the height of Bitcoin mania, Cryptokittes (a game in which users buy, sell, and collect virtual cats) became the busiest address on the Ethereum platform — and demonstrated, for the first time, how the blockchain could power a digital collectibles market.
Generally, digital goods are easy to copy (think MP3s) and have no reproduction costs. As a result, it’s difficult to: 1) claim ownership over them, and 2) create value through scarcity.
Because a blockchain is a decentralized immutable record, a digital asset can actually be assigned ownership to a single entity.
NBA Top Shot is built on a proprietary blockchain called Flow
Gharegozlou tells us Flow was created because existing blockchains (including Ethereum) are geared towards transactions rather than providing functionality for games, apps, and digital assets.
With $50m+ in funding, Dapper is moving into other digital collectibles categories.