On January 1, 2021 we had a grand total of 4,796 collectors who owned a Moment. That was only 112 days ago.
Today there are 460,000 NBA Top Shot collectors who have started their collections, a figure that’s increased 100x YTD. This is as much a testament to the community of NBA Top Shot collectors who’ve championed our product and helped us make the most of our early beta budget, as anything we’ve done ourselves. There have been over 4M Marketplace transactions in that same time frame because you see the value that we see.
The unprecedented hyperscaling of the NBA Top Shot community has brought challenges, of course. In January, when Top Shot hit virality, we were an organization of 90 – mostly engineers working on apps and infrastructure. The team went all hands on deck. Designers, marketers, and operations teams all pitched in and started working full time on customer support; seven-day weeks for the entire organization, with every employee working multiple jobs to keep the operation moving. In the background, we raised money to scale the team and invest in automated software to expedite processes. We have made massive progress, but know we still have much more to do.
As of mid-April, our organization has grown by approximately 50% including seasoned operators who have hit the ground running –– VPs and SVPs of Support, Operations, Product, and Marketing, as well as our first Chief Legal Officer –– and we are rapidly hiring new, additional personnel that can help us continue to improve the collector experience. We see the pain points that our community is facing and addressing these, more than anything else, is our top priority.
Among those pain points is the substantial task of streamlining the withdrawal process. While in many respects we are paving the way for a revolutionary technology from the ground up and are integrating it -- in real time -- with existing infrastructure in an unprecedented way, these are the challenges that we signed up for as an organization and we don’t take the responsibility lightly.
One of the most significant factors that impedes our withdrawal process is the requirement that accounts be created for at least 45 - 60 days before an account is eligible for withdrawal access. This policy is in place for a very specific reason: to protect the community from the ripple effects of credit card chargebacks initiated by bad actors. Our mission is to make the world a more open place by driving adoption of decentralized technologies. Allowing people from around the world to use credit cards in the crypto space opens doors for NFTs in the future but also provides avenues for abuse.
When a purchase is made with a credit card, the card holder has the ability to initiate a chargeback with the card issuer, to essentially request that the charge be reversed. Having a waiting period helps prevent people from abusing this system by purchasing Moments in packs or on the Marketplace, selling them on the Marketplace, withdrawing their funds and then initiating a chargeback to negate the original purchase.
The next step in withdrawals is the processing of requests. We have put substantial resources toward optimizing this part of the NBA Top Shot experience and are pleased to have reached a point where 90% of withdrawal requests are processed within 7 days, but there is work to be done to improve even these benchmarks to ensure that all collectors have a reliable, seamless experience.
As of today, April 23rd, more than half of our eligible collectors have access to withdrawals, based on security reviews from our compliance team:
We are continuously automating and supplementing our security and compliance processes to serve the community as effectively as possible. We’ve doubled down on our efforts to enforce our community rules. Given the breadth of what we’ve taken on thus far and what we hope to accomplish in the future, we are meticulous about partnering with best-in-class organizations to provide additional services and functionality in order to make the NBA Top Shot experience as fun, engaging, and safe as possible.
At the end of the day, while the past six months have been game changing for our team and for the industry as a whole, we are still very much in the early stages of this project and wouldn’t be anywhere without the community that has pushed the platform to new heights at an unbelievably rapid pace.
For that reason, until every single collector within the community is completely satisfied with their NBA Top Shot experience -- including and especially the withdrawal experience -- we’ve got work to do.
In the spirit of transparency, this is the first of a handful of blogs we plan to release over the next month in which we’ll tackle frequently asked questions and provide updates around heavily anticipated features including but not limited to our long-term roadmap for the Marketplace, our distribution approach for Series 1 Base Set Moments, and our plan for withdrawal limit increases.
Thank you, not only for your patience, but for pushing us and supporting us as we change the very concept of digital ownership together.