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Poking Holes in Critiques of NBA Top Shot

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Michael Caloca / ONE37pm

Well, it was certainly an eventful week for the NFT space. 

  1. A new record for highest-selling NFT was broken.

Mike Winkelmann, aka the digital artist Beeple, sold his piece, a form of NFT CryptoArt, “Everydays - The First 5000 Days” for $69.3 million, shattering the record for digital artwork sales and making it one of the biggest sales in the history of Christie’s Auction House. 

Now, not all NFTs are going to be valued at just under $70 million. However, I think it would be safe to say that a transaction like this is another example of just how real this space is and will be. 

2. In my first blog, one of the things that made me so confident in NBA Top Shot was the league’s effort to fully integrate the platform into its structure. Well, this week, NBA fans saw a sensational dunk from Anthony Edwards. And what was the first thing said by the announcer?

This is just another example of how invested the league is in incorporating Top Shot into its everyday language. 

Last week’s blog featured the reasons I am such a firm believer in NBA Top Shot. This week, I want to look at and address some of the biggest questions people have. 

Three Biggest Critiques of NBA TopShot

It’s a bubble. It is unsustainable.

It is a fair criticism. I think it is OK to be skeptical of something when we have never seen growth like this. As I explained last week, this is the fastest-growing peer to peer marketplace we have ever seen. Half a million people have poured onto the site in the past six months. A ton of people coming in and a lot of hype is surrounding the sphere. Can prices go up? 

The counter to that is that there are an estimated 500,000 fans on the site, but there are 400 million NBA fans. So even if Top Shot had 1 percent of that market share, it would be almost 10x of the current user base. So many people continue to ask, “am I too late to get involved?” That is far from the case. 

There are general issues with the website. Users can’t get money out and the site crashes with too much activity.

NBA Top Shot says they are in beta which is ultimately viewed as a cop-out for a lot of these problems. I think those claims are very fair, but I also think we need to take a step back and recognize the scaling issues that would come with any platform growing this much over a span of 6 months. I’m not going to deny that the website has problems, but the quarter of a billion dollars that was recently fundraised is enough for me to stay patient during these early stages. 

Oversaturation.

A lot of the products were very scarce to start, so it makes sense why they were valued so highly. With more and more moments being released, some people are concerned that the value may drop. On top of that, what happens when the NFL or UFC starts? Will the value of these NBA moments decrease? 

This is a two pronged response. First, as it pertains to more mints on Top Shot, Top Shot believes in the value of getting as many users on the platform as possible and also making moments of their favorite players accessible for utility in the future. In response to other leagues, I believe this can be a rising tide situation. As more sports leagues get in on the action, it might dilute some moments within TS, but overall it becomes a bigger pie. More people learn about NFTs, learn about how to buy/sell/trade digital collectibles and Top Shot can remain a big fish in an even bigger pond.

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