In early October, blockchain startup Dapper Labs opened its NBA Top Shot collectibles app to consumers worldwide. Less than five months later, cumulative sales have topped $123 million for the blockchain collectibles, including $59 million from 67,000 users within the last week. Less than $6 million was bought through direct purchases of digital basketball collectibles, with the balance traded through the secondary marketplace. We estimate that Dapper’s revenues from this are $12 to $13 million.
NBA Top Shot targets several types of consumers through a single app interface, including traditional card collectors, memorabilia traders, cryptocurrency enthusiasts, fantasy sports players, and even the sports betting crowd. It’s one of the highest-profile dApps to target mainstream rather than purely cryptocurrency audiences. That’s a fascinating challenge. A key reason for aiming at this broad audience is because the collectibles market is small, as we show later.
But what is NBA Top Shot? It sells packs of Moments – often five of them – which are video clips of basketball plays with animations. Much like physical cards, users won’t know what’s in the pack before they open it. Each Moment has a nonfungible token (NFT), which is unique to that specific Moment. With an NFT when a Moment is traded, its authenticity can be proven. And without the need to send physical memorabilia, the transfer is very quick. The NFT token standard