NBA Top Shot: Everything to Know

By  Beluga Research September 12, 2023

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  • NBA Top Shot is a blockchain-based platform where users can buy, sell and trade officially licensed NBA collectible moments
  • "Moments" are tokenized as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and have unique digital signatures, ensuring authenticity and preventing replication
  • NBA Top Shot is officially licensed by the NBA, ensuring the authenticity and legitimacy of the digital highlights
  • Top Shot offers a marketplace, "pack system" and ownership rights for moments, with values fluctuating based on factors like player popularity and moment scarcity


NBA Top Shot is a blockchain-based platform where users can buy, sell and trade officially licensed NBA collectible moments. Each "moment," is represented by a non-fungible token (NFT), and reflects a specific in-game play or highlight and comes with a unique serial number, making them scarce and collectible. Users can showcase collections, participate in challenges and potentially profit from the rising value of popular moments in the marketplace.

A Brief History

NBA Top Shot was created through a collaboration between the NBA and Dapper Labs, a blockchain technology company. It was launched in October 2020 and quickly gained popularity among sports enthusiasts and collectors. The NBA's involvement added authenticity and legitimacy to the platform, attracting a large user base.

NBA Top Shot: Everything to Know

To participate in NBA Top Shot, users must first create an account and complete the registration process. Once registered, users can browse the marketplace to discover and purchase favorite NBA moments. Each moment is listed with a specific serial number, indicating the scarcity and uniqueness. The lower the serial number, the more rare and valuable the moment.

A key feature of NBA Top Shot is a "pack system." Users can buy packs that contain a random selection of moments. These packs are released periodically and are in high demand. The randomness of the pack contents creates excitement as users anticipate the moments they will receive. This pack system fosters engagement and community within the NBA Top Shot ecosystem.

When a user owns a moment on NBA Top Shot, they have full ownership rights. This includes the ability to sell it on the marketplace, trade it with other users or showcase it in a personal collection. Ownership and trading of moments are facilitated by the underlying blockchain technology, ensuring transparency, security and immutability of transactions.

The value of moments on NBA Top Shot can fluctuate based on factors like player popularity, moment scarcity and marketplace demand. Some moments have sold for significant amounts, with rare and sought-after moments fetching substantial prices. This has led to a vibrant secondary market where collectors and investors can buy and sell moments.

Getting Started

To start using NBA Top Shot, users need to create an account on the platform's website and complete the necessary verification process. Once registered, users can browse the marketplace and discover available moments for purchase. Each moment is represented by a "non-fungible token" (NFT), which is a unique digital asset that can be bought, sold and owned.

Users can acquire moments on NBA Top Shot by participating in "pack drops" or purchasing moments directly from the marketplace. Pack drops are limited-time events where users can buy packs containing a random assortment of moments. Packs come in different tiers, with higher-tier packs containing moments that are more rare and valuable. The marketplace also allows users to buy specific moments from other collectors.

Unique Aspects

One unique aspect of NBA Top Shot is the use of blockchain technology to ensure the scarcity and provenance of each moment. By leveraging the Ethereum blockchain, NBA Top Shot creates a transparent and unchangeable record of ownership for each moment. This means that once a moment is acquired, it can be easily verified as authentic and cannot be duplicated or tampered with.

Another interesting feature of NBA Top Shot is the concept of "serial numbers." Each moment has a specific serial number, representing the edition size. Lower serial numbers are more valuable and desired by collectors. For example, a moment with a serial number of 1 out of 100 is considered more scarce and potentially more valuable than a moment with a serial number of 50 out of 100.

Furthermore, NBA Top Shot uses a dynamic pricing mechanism based on supply and demand. When a moment is in high demand, the price may increase, allowing collectors to potentially profit from investments. Conversely, if a moment loses popularity, the price may decrease. This aspect of NBA Top Shot adds speculation and investment opportunities to the collectibles market, attracting both sports fans and cryptocurrency enthusiasts.


  • Scarcity - Each moment on NBA Top Shot is limited in quantity, creating exclusivity and potentially increasing value for collectors.
  • Authenticity - Blockchain technology ensures that moments on NBA Top Shot are authentic and tamper-proof, giving users confidence in ownership.
  • Ownership - NBA Top Shot moments exist in a digital format, reducing the risk of physical damage or loss. Owners can access collections from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Market Liquidity - NBA Top Shot provides a marketplace for buying and selling moments, simplifying transactions for collectors.
  • Accessibility - Top Shot moments are stored digitally, eliminating the need for physical storage space and allowing collectors from anywhere to participate.
  • Community Engagement - NBA Top Shot has an active community of collectors and enthusiasts who can interact through various platforms, fostering a sense of community.


  • Scalability Challenges - NBA Top Shot has faced scalability issues during peak times, leading to congestion and delays. The team is working to improve scalability.
  • High Transaction Fees - Blockchain transactions on NBA Top Shot come with fees, which can be high during network congestion, potentially impacting frequent traders.
  • Market Volatility - The value of NBA Top Shot moments can fluctuate based on supply, demand and market trends, similar to other collectibles or investments.
  • Learning Curve - Getting started with NBA Top Shot may require learning about concepts like "wallets," "gas fees" and "blockchain transactions," which can take time for newcomers.
  • Dependence on the Platform - Users rely on the longevity and continued operation of the NBA Top Shot platform as moments are stored on the blockchain.