NBA Top Shot is booming, but users report trouble cashing out after sales of the collectable NFTs

NBA Top Shot is booming, but users report trouble cashing out after sales of the collectable NFTs
Some NBA Top Shot users are eager to cash out their profits and fed up with long wait times to withdraw.NBA Top Shot
  • NBA Top Shot has seen around $500 million in sales, but users are having trouble cashing out.
  • Users eager to withdraw their profits are complaining online about the weeks-long wait times.
  • The platform, which has seen massive growth in 2021, says it's working through the backlog and expects the process to speed up.

Millions of dollars slosh through NBA Top Shot each day, but not much money is getting out.

The new platform, which lets users buy and sell NBA-licensed basketball highlight videos called "moments," has exploded in popularity in recent months, leading to a massive backlog of requests from users looking to withdraw funds. And some collectors eager to cash out their winnings are getting increasingly antsy.

"Completely unacceptable feels like my money is hostage!" one user said on the NBA Top Shot Reddit page. "At this point how long will users like myself have to wait to get our OWN money?"

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News that Dapper Labs, the startup behind Top Shot, closed a $305 million funding round in late March sparked a new wave of users griping about their inability to quickly access funds.

"Great news how about you put that money toward allowing your members access to their funds! And stop accepting more people to the site until then," one user tweeted.


Top Shot moments - something like virtual trading cards - have skyrocketed in value since the marketplace opened to the public in October, leaving many users with hefty profits. Some of the priciest moments have sold for upward of $200,000, and some early adopters have netted millions.

Read more: Speculation and cabin fever are driving the NFT craze. It's already attracting scammers and grifters who want instant wealth.

Dapper Labs, for its part, says it's working on the issue and attributes the delays to the exponential growth Top Shot has seen in recent months. A spokesperson for Dapper Labs directed Insider to the NBA Top Shot blog when asked about the delays.

"We've been listening to your feedback and know that withdrawing money has been a major pain point for many collectors," Dapper Labs said in a March 26 blog post. "We're hiring and growing very fast internally to better serve you and add additional functionality to further improve this process."

Since Top Shot opened to the public in the fall as a beta, the platform has registered more than 800,000 users, a Dapper Labs spokesperson told Insider. Between January and February, monthly sales on the marketplace grew fivefold from $44 million to $232 million, the spokesperson said. Sales hit $483 million as of late March.


New users currently need to wait roughly 6-8 weeks before they're granted the ability to withdraw funds, according to Dapper Labs. The process takes time because the firm requires users to verify their identity before they're able to withdraw. After that, each withdrawal can take 21 to 40 days or more because each request is manually reviewed, the company says.

As of March 26, roughly 28,000 Top Shot users had the ability to withdraw, and Dapper Labs says that number is growing quickly thanks to an expanding customer-support staff. The company says the withdrawal process will speed up as its automated systems improve.

Top Shot's astronomical growth and technical stumbles reflect some of the growing pains in the booming market for non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

Excitement around the digitally authenticated collectibles has exploded into a buying frenzy in recent months, with one virtual art piece selling for nearly $70 million in March. But the budding market hasn't been all rosy. In March, users reported thousands of dollars worth of art had been stolen from an NFT marketplace. That same month, Vice reported that some pricey NFTs people had bought were mysteriously disappearing.