The NFT sports collectible space is getting spicy.
Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou, a newly minted leader in the NFT space, dished some harsh criticism of Topps on Twitter Wednesday, calling out the company and Major League Baseball for creating what he views as a poor product.
Said Roham, of 39.8K followers, to user @ChrisBecraft, of 16:
Topps just happens to be Gharegozlou and Dapper's most prominent new competitor. And Wax, the crypto network that supports Topps, is a rival of Dapper's native blockchain, FLOW.
Dapper Labs is undoubtedly the top of the pile in the burgeoning NFT sports collectible space. Dapper recently raised funding at a valuation of $2.6 billion and the marketplace on NBA Top Shot, which markets multimedia NFTs of professional basketball players, recently surpassed more than $500 million in sales.
Topps, a mainstay in the tangible collectible card market, was recently purchased by Michael Eisner's Torante, and thus far is MLB's sole licensee for NFT collectibles.
Topps has been experimenting with NFTs in recent months, but debuted its first series of baseball NFTs on Monday.
Gharegozlou's criticism centers around the design of Topps first MLB NFTs. Unlike Top Shot, which features video presentations and will eventually connect to a planned video game, Topps NFTs will look far more like traditional baseball cards — with stylized 2D images and statistics.
Gharegozlou did not respond to a request for further comment. A spokesperson for Topps also declined comment.
Topps has the advantage of an audience with a deeper history with – and deeper pockets for – sports collectibles, but also one that skews older.
A 2017 Sports Business Journal study determined that Major League Baseball's average audience member was 52, twelve years older than the National Basketball Association.
NBA Top Shot has not been without its own troubles. Dapper Labs has, at times, had difficulty scaling the operation, leading to extensive downtime on its site. Additionally, both its product releases and marketplace activities have been beset by bot attacks, forcing the company to enact new policies on the fly.
Sales also flagged deeply during the month of March on Top Shot's marketplace, according to data from Evaluate.Market, before rebounding in recent days.
Note: Senior Reporter Stephen Stirling is an active TopShot user. His account data can be found under the name "Steef."