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[Slashdot] - Can the NBA Make NFTs Cool?


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NBA Top Shot is a new use of NFTs, letting users trade virtual clips of their favorite players. "Top Shot is the best chance so far that NFTs -- which are mostly the domain of cryptocurrency enthusiasts -- could go mainstream," writes Elizabeth Lopatto via The Verge. "More than 800,000 Top Shot accounts are registered, leading to $500 million in sales." From the report: There are three big things going for Top Shot: it's easy to use (and designed with people who are unfamiliar with cryptocurrency in mind), the NBA is the second-most-popular sport in America, and purchasable Moments have a familiar real-life parallel: trading cards. Each Moment, a video clip of a specific play, comes with stats about the game it's from and the player featured, as well as the history of sale prices. And like trading cards, you can buy them in packs. The investing community has taken notice. Today, the company that runs Top Shot, Dapper Labs, announced it had a new funding round of $305 million, led by Coatue. Other investors include NBA players such as Kevin Durant, JaVale McGee, and Klay Thompson, as well as a smattering of MLB players, NFL players, Ashton Kutcher, and Shawn Mendes. This round means that the company has raised more than $357 million, Dapper Labs says. The process of "minting" an NBA Top Shot Moment starts with the basketball game. In any game, there is a handful of notable plays. This means deciding which Moments to mint is a time-consuming process, one that hasn't yet been standardized, says Adrienne O'Keeffe, who leads consumer products and gaming partnerships at the NBA. Right now, it's a stream of emails, Slack channels, and biweekly calls, she says. Once Dapper Labs and the NBA agree on a play, it goes through a review process that includes the National Basketball Players Association. Once it has signed off, the NBA and the Players Association send the Moment-to-be to Dapper Labs to go through the process of minting. In the future, O'Keeffe says, fans might help decide, too. After that, Top Shot mints the NFT -- which creates the beginning of the record. Price, ownership, and transfers will be recorded on the blockchain permanently. This is what makes each Moment unique; even if 100 Moments are made from the same play, no two will be identical. "It's hard not to view Top Shot as an inadvertent social experiment," writes Lopatto in closing. "Fans often feel a sense of ownership over the things they love, even if they don't actually own the intellectual property. Top Shot essentially monetizes this, letting hardcore fans buy a sense of ownership in their favorite plays..." "Top Shot is a better system than the art NFTs for observing this because the community means there's consensus around price," adds Lopatto. "By contrast, Beeple's NFT famously sold for $69 million -- but there's no real way to know if that valuation is accurate. Whether there's a resale market for that Beeple NFT is an open question, one that might not be answered for some time."

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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