If you’ve made it this far, you’ve likely heard about the “Burning” of NBA Top Shot Moments. In this article, we’ll break down how that will hypothetically work and which Moments will be burned.

What is NFT Burning?

Burning is the act of destruction. In Top Shot terms, it means a Moment will quite figuratively cease to exist in the ecosystem and database. It is effectively “destroyed”.

It’s not yet clear how NBA Top Shot plans to “burn” Moments, but in the blockchain space this is typically accomplished by sending the tokens to an address that no one can access, effectively rendering them useless. NFTs = Tokens on a blockchain.

Are Moments burned when a player is traded?

So far, Moments are NOT being burned when a player is traded. Rather, the minting of that player’s Moments seems to be capped when they’re traded, which means no more of that particular Moment are created.

For example, when Caris Levert and Jarrett Allen were traded on January 14, 2021, their Series 2 Base Moments were capped at 5,000 because 5,000 had already been minted. The remaining amount of those Moments were released in subsequent packs. Once they were released and in Collector’s hands, that was it. No more were created.

The same situation applies for the James Harden Metallic Gold Series 2, which had been minted — but not fully released — before he was traded. The final 173 of Harden MGLE 2 Moments were released in Premium Packs on February 26, over a month after his trade.

And the same circumstances apply to Blake Griffin and his first moment (12000 LE), which was while he was still playing with the Detroit Pistons. The remaining moments that have already been minted will be released in upcoming packs, despite the fact he now plays for the Brooklyn Nets. 

***MARCH 25 UPDATE: This applies to all players who are traded during the traded deadline***

What NBA Top Shot Moments will be Burned?

So far, we only know about two sets of Moments that will be burned:

4,051 from the Rare Eastern Conference Finals Set

6,511 from the Rare Western Conference Finals Set

These Conference Finals Moments are going be burned because they were placed in packs that didn’t sell and are no longer available for purchase. That means the remaining, unsold supply will be destroyed.

Roham (Dapper Labs CEO) confirmed the upcoming NFT bonfire during one of his many AMAs in the Top Shot Discord server.

What happens to the Moments from these sets already in circulation?

This means many things for the Moments in circulation:

  1. They are considered more scarce than their serial numbers would indicate

There are 999 of each of these moments, but for many the actual total final count will be much closer to either 550 (WCF) or 275 (ECF). 

  1. The serial number will NOT be adjusted.

These are NFTs and their serial information is encoded forever. This means that a WCF Jokic #800 will remain #800 even if the total Moment count is brought down to 550. 

There may one day be a new badge or number ADDED to these Moments that indicate their true count, but nothing official has been announced yet.

  1. These Players and Moments were distributed equally

These Moments were randomized before being placed into packs, and thus the “new total supply” of moments will not be uniform.

For Example, that means you could see 600 Rajon Rondo Western Conference Finals Moments but only 475 Jamal Murrays.

  1. Some Moments are held in Unopened Packs by Collectors

In late September 2020, Collectors were given the option to hold onto their packs and leave them unopened. And this was early in Top Shot’s history, when it was still possible for Collectors to purchase dozens if not hundreds of packs.

The result is that many of Top Shot’s first few thousand Collectors could be holding onto unopened Eastern and Western Conference Finals Sets in their accounts. And who knows what they plan to do with them! What we do know is that Moments in owned but unopened packs will not be burned.

What about the Base Moments in those packs?

It’s likely that the moments in those unsold packs will ALSO be burned, but we’re still waiting for confirmation from Roham and Dapper Labs. It’s also difficult to decipher exactly which moments remain in those packs to-be-burned.

What we CAN do is look at the list of Moments that were included in both pack drops:

WCF Pack Drop List | ECF Pack Drop List

Will more Moments be burned?

There may be MORE Moments burned in the future, but there has been no specific timeline or information given.

Some Collectors speculate that we may be given the ability to burn several of their own Moments in return for a new Moment. 

What about all the Moments held in the NBA Top Shot account?

Many Collectors have noticed that the NBA Top Shot account holds thousands of Moments from Series 1. The plan for the release of these Moments has yet to be fully unveiled from NBA Top Shot, but we expect to know more soon.

What we do know: these Moments WILL be released to the community and it will be done in a fair and equitable way. You can read about those Moments and the intent behind their distribution here