You can’t touch, feel, or hold an NFT sports collectible.
Its underlying blockchain technology and what “NFT” stands for — non-fungible token — inspire mostly glazed and befuddled looks, especially from Boomers.
But in the midst of the current collectible craze centered around old-school cardboard trading cards, NFT sports collectibles are as real as they are virtual.
“An NFT is a new cardboard that has advantages that traditional cardboard doesn’t,” said Alexis Ohanian, investor, internet entrepreneur, and proud new owner of the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken obscenity-scrawled baseball card. “Time and time again, when I think about what makes technology successful, I look toward the user experience.
“It’s less important to me that people understand NFTs — I mean, they should; please, do your research, educate yourself — but what’s going to make it cross the chasm, though, is an amazing user experience so that it’s seamless to get on board and be a part of, that it’s as simple as downloading an app, creating an account, and then getting in it.”
A TopShot NFT is an NBA or WNBA “moment” — a short video clip of a player making an impressive play, with a few graphic bells and whistles stitched in. Sure, you could view the same video clip on YouTube, but that does not mean you own it. Because blockchain guarantees that they are authentic and unique, the TopShot moments, like a cardboard card, are not only bought but resold on the platform.
The site went gangbusters for the first half-year after debuting last October, generating some half a billion dollars in sales.
Star power, authenticity, and the scarcity of moments that were minted are the three major factors that influence TopShot’s marketplace, which has conducted more than $700 million in sales in less than a year. The top price paid for a single TopShot was $230,023 late last month for a LeBron James dunk from last year’s NBA Finals. That NFT was one of 79 minted, with a serial number of 23, also James’ uniform number. As of Friday, the three highest priced TopShots for sale were going for $1 million apiece, two 2019 James dunks and one Derrick Rose layup from last year.
Jimmy Perfetuo sees TopShot, as well as Bitcoin, as a money-making opportunity.