The NBA has recently teamed up with Dapper Labs to create a digital version of NBA trading cards. However, these digital collectibles aren’t cards at all.
Instead they’re collectible in-game highlights from NBA players called Top Shots. NBA Top Shot releases packs of Top Shots on its website every so often, and they sell out quickly. The technology that makes these digital collectibles possible are non-fungible tokens.
Unlike most NFTs, Top Shots aren’t ERC-721 tokens, instead these collectibles are NFTs on the Flow Blockchain, a blockchain created by Dapper Labs for NFTs. After Dapper labs clogged the Ethereum network in 2017 with Cryptokitties, they opted to create their own blockchain network for Top Shot.
Typically, non-fungible tokens use Ethereum’s blockchain to make it impossible to duplicate the collectible. Ethereum tokens used for digital art, concert tickets and collectibles all use the ERC-721 token standard for Ethereum tokens. What makes ERC-721 tokens special is that they’re non-fungible, meaning that each token is capable of holding a distinct value.
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NBA Top Shots NFTs
The NBA Top Shots are digital collectibles that may be the next evolution of trading cards. However, these collectibles hardly resemble a physical NBA trading card. Top Shots main feature is player highlight video clips.
For example, the Lebron James Dunk Top Shot features Lebron James dunking on the Houston Rockets. This Top Shot is particularly sought after and extremely limited –– the highest sold edition sold for north of $200,000. Other Top Shots are as cheap as $5, and you can view the transaction history for each collectible to get an idea of how its value has changed over time.
How to Buy NBA Top Shots NFT
- Make an NBA Top Shot account.
To make an NBA Top Shot account, visit nbatopshop.com and click sign up. You can sign up with an email or by connecting your google account to the website.
Next you’ll be prompted to copy a one-time code you can use to recover your account –– make sure to save this somewhere safe in case you ever need it. After this, you’ll be greeted with some videos explaining what NBA Top Shots are and how to go about purchasing them.
- Buy a wallet (optional).
If you plan on holding your NBA Top Shots NFTs for the long term, you should transfer your collectibles to your Dapper Wallet. Dapper makes a special wallet to use for the Flow Blockchain, and you can download it from Dapper’s website. Cryptocurrency wallets are a much safer way to store your crypto assets; leaving your NFTs or cryptocurrency on an exchange puts your assets at risk of being hacked. Since these NFTs are on the Flow blockchain, you can’t store your Top Shots on an Ethereum wallet like other NFTs.
- Buy a piece from the collection.
You can either buy singular Top Shots on the secondary marketplace or purchase card packs from NBA Top Shots directly. Currently, all card packs are sold out and often sell out extremely quickly after the release.
NBA Top Shot has 2 types of card packs: a base set and a Rising Stars pack. The base set sells for $9, while the Rising Stars pack retails for $199 and gives you a much better chance at a rare collectible.
If you’re unable to buy a pack of Top Shots when they’re released, then you’ll need to buy the collectibles on the secondary marketplace. Purchasing from the secondary marketplace also lets you choose which card you want to buy.
Best Crypto Wallets
Here are the best software and hardware wallets to store your NBA Top Shot NFTs.
Best Software Wallet: Dapper
Dapper has its own unique software wallet you can store your NFTs on securely. The application is free to use, and you can create a new software wallet in just a few minutes. Since this software wallet works specifically for the Flow blockchain, you can’t store Ethereum-based NFTs in this wallet. If you try to send other types of NFTs to your Dapper wallet, your collectibles will be lost in the blockchain transaction.
Best Hardware Wallet: Ledger Nano S
Launched in 2014, Ledger has transformed into a fast-paced, growing company developing infrastructure and security solutions for cryptocurrencies as well as blockchain applications for companies and individuals. Born in Paris, the company has since expanded to more than 130 employees in France and San Francisco.
With 1,500,000 Ledger wallets already sold in 165 countries, the company aims at securing the new disruptive class of crypto assets. Ledger has developed a distinctive operating system called BOLOS, which it integrates to a secure chip for its line of wallets. So far, Ledger takes pride in being the only market player to provide this technology.
- ERC-20 tokens
- All experience levels
- Easy to set up and use
- Supports more than 1,500 different digital assets
- Tamper proof
- Long-lasting battery
- Bluetooth connectivity features
- Can be quite pricey
The safest way to store your NFTs and cryptocurrency is with a hardware wallet. Hardware wallets are physical devices that store your cryptocurrency offline, making it impossible for your assets to be stolen by online hackers.
Ledger is one of the most well known hardware wallet producers on the market. They offer a few products, most notably the Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X. Both these hardware wallets serve the same function, but the Nano X is Ledger’s more premium wallet.
The Ledger Nano S comes in at an affordable price for most crypto investors, coming in at just over $50. If you opt for the Ledger Nano X, expect to pay north of $100.
Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms
Cryptocurrency exchanges let you purchase crypto using your bank account. In order to buy Ethereum, Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash, you’ll need to use a cryptocurrency exchange. Alternatively, if you know someone who owns cryptocurrency, you could buy it directly from them and have the seller send the crypto to your cryptocurrency wallet.
Some popular exchanges that make it easy to buy and sell cryptocurrency are Gemini, Coinbase and eToro.
Coinbase is especially secure. It stores 98% of investors funds in a hardware wallet, leaving the other 2% on the exchange for liquidity. These exchanges all have easy to use interfaces and support all 3 of the cryptocurrencies that NBA Top Shots accepts.
Webull, founded in 2017, is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading. It’s regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Webull offers active traders technical indicators, economic calendars, ratings from research agencies, margin trading and short-selling. Webull’s trading platform is designed for intermediate and experienced traders, although beginning traders can also benefit.
Webull is widely considered one of the best Robinhood alternatives.
- Active traders
- Intermediate traders
- No charges to open and maintain an account
- No account maintenance fees or software platform fees
- Intuitive trading platform with technical and fundamental analysis tools
- Only offers 14 coins
Founded in 2015, Exodus is a multiasset software wallet that removes the geek requirement and keeps design a priority to make cryptocurrency and digital assets easy for everyone. Available for desktop and mobile, Exodus allows users to secure, manage and exchange cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and more across an industry-leading 10,000-plus asset pairs from a beautiful, easy-to-use wallet. The noncustodial functionality is encrypted locally on users’ own devices, ensuring privacy, security and complete control over their wealth. Exodus is on a mission to empower half the world to exit the traditional finance system by 2030.
- Newcomers to the cryptocurrency world
- Ease of use
- Trezor integration
- Huge selection of cryptocurrencies
- Excellent 24/7 customer support
- No personal info needed
- FTX app not available on the mobile app
SoFi takes a modern approach to personal finance. It recently created buzz with the release of SoFi Crypto, a way to trade cryptocurrency on the app. The platform allows investors to familiarize themselves with crypto. It offers a high level of security, great customer support and an intuitive interface. However, it does have shortcomings with the number of cryptos offered and geographic restrictions.
- Centralization of your money
- Charges low or no fees for some functions within the interface.
- Relies on Coinbase, a very secure platform, to process transactions.
- Presents a low barrier of entry — you only need $10 to start trading.
- Currently only offers 28 coins.
eToro is headquartered in Cyprus, England and Israel. A major eToro plus is its social trading operations, which allows new clients to copy trade the platform’s best performers. Its social trading features are top notch, but eToro loses points for its underwhelming research and customer service features.
- Investors looking to CopyTrade other traders
- Simple user interface
- Several major cryptocurrencies and altcoins
- Expansive network of social trading features
- Large client base for new traders to imitate
- Only 29 coins available
Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that offers investors access to over 100 coins and tokens. Founded in the US, Gemini is expanding globally, in particular into Europe and Asia. Offerings include both major cryptocurrency projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and smaller altcoins like Orchid and 0x.
Gemini is 1 of the only brokers with multiple platform options based on skill level. New investors will love the streamlined interface of Gemini’s mobile and web apps, while advanced investors might appreciate all the tools that come with ActiveTrader.
In addition to a host of platform choices, Gemini users also have access to insured hot wallets to store tokens without worrying about digital asset theft. Learn more about what Gemini can do for you in our review.
- New investors looking for a simple mobile and web app
- Day traders looking to use technical analysis tools
- Users looking for a 1-stop-shop to buy, sell and store all of their cryptos
- Easy and quick signups — can get started in as little as a 5 minutes
- Multitude of platforms to accommodate traders of all skill levels
- Hot wallets include insurance to protect your from theft and hacking attempts
- Charges both a commission and a convenience fee for users buying and selling through the desktop or mobile app
Coinbase is one of the Internet’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms. From Bitcoin to Litecoin or Basic Attention Token to Chainlink, Coinbase makes it exceptionally simple to buy and sell major cryptocurrency pairs.
You can even earn cryptocurrency rewards through Coinbase’s unique Coinbase Earn feature. More advanced traders will love the Coinbase Pro platform, which offers more order types and enhanced functionality.
Though Coinbase doesn’t offer the most affordable pricing or the lowest fees, its simple platform is easy enough for complete beginners to master in as little as a single trade.
- New cryptocurrency traders
- Cryptocurrency traders interested in major pairs
- Cryptocurrency traders interested in a simple platform
- Simple platform is easy to operate
- Comprehensive mobile app mirrors desktop functionality
- Coinbase Earn feature rewards you with crypto for learning about available coins
- Higher fees than competitors
Current Crypto Prices
Non-fungible tokens have gained popularity alongside the current cryptocurrency bull market. The entire cryptocurrency market cap has appreciated hundreds of billions of dollars this year alone.
Typically, large market capitalization cryptos are less volatile than small market cap coins and are regarded as a less risky investment. To get an idea of the cryptocurrency market sentiment, you can monitor how the price of large cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are moving.
NBA Top Shots or Traditional Cards?
Since NBA Top Shots are digital collectibles, they can offer more than traditional trading cards. These collectibles are cube-shaped, and each face of the cube has different features. The collectibles feature in-game clips of different basketball players, as well as game records and a picture of the player featured on the card.
If NBA Top Shots replace NBA playing cards in the future, the initial releases will likely be worth a lot of money someday, like rare trading cards from the 1950s.
Frequently Asked Questions
When did NBA Top Shot start?
NBA Top Shot started in October 2020. Since its inception, the company has transacted over $230 million of Top Shots on its website. The company is a joint venture between the NBA and Dapper Labs, the developer of the popular crypto game, CryptoKitties.
How does Top Shot work?
Top Shot is a platform where you can buy and sell digital basketball collectibles. It’s powered by the Flow Blockchain made by Dapper Labs, and it uses non-fungible tokens to authenticate its digital collectibles. If a token is non fungible, then each token can hold a distinct value, allowing for collectibles like trading cards to be tokenized on the blockchain.