Only 11 hours remain before the bidding is closed on an auction to purchase a limited edition highlight for an NBA player. The current bid for that highlight is $70,000. With a 20% buyer’s premium applied by Heritage Auctions, the total price tag is currently at $84,000.
The highlight is one of many collectibles found on the increasingly popular platform called NBA Top Shot, which the NBA originally classified as a first-of-its-kind blockchain game where basketball fans are able to collect, trade, and own some of the greatest moments in NBA history. The NBA and the players’ union have officially partnered with Dapper Labs, which created the blockchain for NBA Top Shot, and own the underlying intellectual property in the moments. Users are not acquiring any rights to the videos. Instead, they are buying and selling collectibles that are in limited quantity.
With scarcity and demand, prices have skyrocketed. The aforementioned limited edition highlight with a current bid of $70,000 features Zion Williamson blocking a shot from Malik Beasley on January 24, 2020. Not only is the highlight just one of 192 such moments on the NBA Top Shot platform, it has been labeled as the first number in the collection. Collectors not only desire the first number of a collection, but there is added significance with Williamson’s highlight since he also wears the #1 on his New Orleans Pelicans jersey.
The current owner of the Williamson highlight is an individual who goes by @pranksyNFT. He is the first to ever auction not only an NBA Top Shot on the Heritage Auctions website but also any NFT whatsoever. NFT stands for non-fungible token. These tokens are lauded for their capacity to prove authenticity and ownership of a variety of digital assets such as art, cards, and highlights like those found on the NBA Top Shot platform.
There have been eighteen bids with just eleven hours left for bidding on the Williamson highlight. Many will be watching to see if the auction price eclipses the $208,000 that was paid for a LeBron James moment merely a week ago.
More than $11.5 million has been spent on NBA Top Shot moments in the past twenty-four hours, which is actually a decrease in the amount of money that exchanged hands on the platform during the prior twenty-four-hour period. Over the last thirty days, over $223 million has been spent on the website, generating transaction fees for Dapper Labs, which it shares with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association.
NBA Top Shot has even become a larger trending topic on Google than blockchain itself.
You do not have to understand NBA Top Shot nor the value that people find in the highlights being purchased and sold to have an appreciation for the immense marketplace that has been established and continues to gain steam. However, it is important to understand that there is no true intellectual property that is being acquired. The marketplace is built purely on supply and demand without anything truly fundamental being exchanged in the transactions. I mention that not for the purpose of dissuading people from engaging on the NBA Top Shot platform, but instead so that there is an understanding that the economics of the marketplace can change at any time and for a multitude of reasons.