The NBA’s “Top Shot” market is thriving, and the league is now bringing its blockchain ambitions to the next level.
The NBA’s Blockchain Goals
According to a report in sports publication Sportico, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has formed a blockchain advisory committee comprised of a number of its billionaire owners, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Monumental Sports owner Ted Leonsis, Bain Capital and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, and Utah Jazz co-owner Ryan Sweeney are among the new association’s members, dubbed the “Blockchain Advisory Subcommittee” by the NBA.
The news follows the recent success and popularity of Top Shots, a digital card collectible game created by Dapper Labs, a licensing partner. Player cards and brief videos called “highlights” are included in the card game, which sell for upwards of $200,000 on a regular basis.
Top Shots produced over $267 million in trading volume over the last month, according to data from the crypto analytics app Dappradar, and $10 million (and 121,000 users) just yesterday. Overall, the marketplace has brought in over $230 million in revenue.
According to the paper, the league’s specifics are being kept secret for the time being, but the group’s mission is to look into ways to incorporate blockchain into the league’s operations. Cuban, on the other hand, was quoted in an email as saying, “It has very little to do with Top Shot.” It’s all about blockchain apps, and Flow is just one of them,” he said, referring to the blockchain on which Top Shots are distributed.
Cryptocurrency use is increasing
Members of the blockchain association include Cuban and Ranadive, who owns the Sacramento Kings and has become one of the most vocal backers of blockchain and cryptocurrencies throughout the business world. The Kings became the first major professional sports team in the United States to embrace bitcoin in 2014, and four years later, they became the first to launch a cryptocurrency mining program.
Meanwhile, NBA teams have a long history of embracing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in their arenas and associated industries such as gambling, sports betting, and digital art.
Andre Iguodala, Aaron Gordon, and JaVale McGee are among the players who have invested in Dapper Labs. In 2019, Spencer Dinwiddie, a crypto enthusiast, attempted to tokenize his NBA contract.
In recent years, Cuban has been something of a crypto evangelist. He’s a huge fan of Ethereum, DeFi software, and cryptocurrencies in general, and he just released Dogecoin payments for Mavericks fans to buy tickets and other merchandise at the stadium. For the past two years, the team has accepted Bitcoin.