The NBA and its players’ union have partnered with CryptoKitties’ Dapper Labs to offer blockchain-backed league collectibles on live game moments, such as Joel Embiid dunks or Kevin Durant 3-pointers.
The new digital platform and game, NBA Top Shot, will allow fans to purchase, trade and own exclusive digital NBA collectibles on blockchain. It will also feature a social experience built around digital collectibles and a free-to-play head-to-head game designed around NBA brands, players and teams.
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Similar to how people create brackets or dream teams in an effort to score points in fantasy sports, NBA Top Shot will task users with building ideal team rosters. Unlike traditional fantasy, however, users will build rosters by acquiring live in-game moments throughout the NBA season. Moments are acquired as digital collectibles or tokens, which can be either owned permanently or used as currency to compete against other players in online tournaments.
“The NBA and its players are among the greatest heavyweights in global culture,” says Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou. “We use the latest in blockchain technology to create assets and experiences that are guaranteed limited-edition and authentic, not to mention portable and permanent.”
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NBA Top Shot comes to market amid broad efforts to develop apps and experiences that engage sports fans during live events and in the downtime between them. Some of these efforts have involved blockchain technology. Over the past few weeks, for example, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced UnitedCoin as its official cryptocurrency partner, while the Miami Dolphins announced a similar deal with Litecoin. In November, another blockchain company, Hashletes, launched a fantasy football app that uses blockchain technology to verify the ownership of digital collectibles and trade them to build weekly lineups.
Many of these blockchain-backed collectibles have been supported from the players associations of major sports leagues. The digital player tokens from Hashletes, for example, have been licensed by the NFLPA. The MLBPA released its own player tokens digital collectables platform last year with a company called Player Tokens. The NHL and NHLPA are in a multiyear deal with Upper Deck on digital trading collectibles.
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Dapper Labs raised $15 million in financing in November to expand the development of its technology and increase consumer adoption of blockchain. The round included participation from prominent VC Andreessen Horowitz and eSports investing group aXiomatic, which is backed by Golden States Warriors and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter Guber; Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals and Washington Mystics; and Jeff Vinik of the Tampa Bay Lighting and Storm.
Dapper is known for CryptoKitties, the wildly popular blockchain collectibles platform. Its deal with the NBA marks Dapper Labs’ first foray into sports. The game is set to launch this fall to coincide with the start of the NBA season, with the head-to-head version following in 2020.
Source : sporttechie.com