Dapper Labs is a blockchain company responsible for creating one of the most interesting, intriguing and viral phenomenons in the history of digital currencies. It’s called CryptoKitties. The game allows users to trade digital cards featuring different varieties of cartoon cats. Some cats are rarer than others and thus more valuable.
When the game first launched on the blockchain, few people knew if it would take off. While storing data related to memorabilia and collectibles on a blockchain was not a new idea, the idea of inventing a game from scratch that hosted collectibles on a blockchain and making those fictional collectibles worth real money was unprecedented in the crypto space.
Now Dapper Labs is trying to do the same thing again, but this time in coordination with the NBA.
The True Value of Digital Cats and Ballers
In discussing putting fictional cats on a blockchain, it’s natural to imagine that such a game or marketplace for collectibles would be geared toward children. After all, children are typically the target audience for things like sports cards, Pokemon and all kinds of other collectibles-related trends.
That being said, trading certain kinds of sports memorabilia or CryptoKitties is far from child’s play. In 2018, not one but two different collectible digital trading cards from the CryptoKitties game sold for more than $100,000. That’s a lot of Ethereum tokens! The world’s most expensive CryptoKitties sale saw a user cash in 600 Ethereum tokens that year, which at the time were worth $170,000 US.
The NBA’s Equivalent of CryptoKitties
The NBA’s blockchain-friendly collectible game is NBA TopShot. It’s an app Dapper Labs and the league have been working on since just after the time CryptoKitties exploded in 2018.
The collectible component is the most prominent aspect of the game. It will give participants the opportunity to show off their own collection and the first version of the game will feature prominent moments from the 2019-20 season. Dapper Labs eventually plans to include all-stars and Hall of Famers from past NBA seasons as part of the collection.
While nobody knows for sure whether an NBA token like the ones the company is creating are going to ever sell for $170,000, the starting price for these NBA tokens will be nine dollars and the most expensive version of the early tokens will retail for just $200. If NBA TopShot takes off, the $200 valuation for the most expensive tokens will skyrocket and it will be a great investment. If it doesn’t gain traction, however, both TopShot, CryptoKitties and other digital collectible games will be deemed nothing but a fad.
Is NBA TopShot Worth The Gamble?
CryptoKitties is the first blockchain-based collectible game to have really exploded and it’s one of the first times the average person being introduced to cryptocurrency experienced the use of the blockchain for something other than straight-up transfer the value.
Now, in a sense, of course trading collectibles for money is still transferring value, it’s just that the collectible in this case will feature an NBA player’s face and likeness on it, and it isn’t just tied to a nondescript coin.
The important thing to keep in mind, however, is that of all the collectible games that have tried to copy CryptoKitties’ success in the past, most have actually seen participants lose money in the early going. So is it worth the gamble to bet on the NBA’s version of virtual cats? It depends.
First, NBA fans and digital currency enthusiasts will need to rally around the project. For every buyer of these NBA tokens, there must be a seller on the other end. If both supply and demand are not present, people getting in early will actually lose money.
The best way to earn some cryptocurrency off of the NBA right now is to wager on the 22-team playoff that the league and its players association recently approved. There will almost certainly be some great lines and spreads available on Bitcoin betting sites. Anybody interested in sprinkling some value on TopShot is best served to start small for now.