Topshot Update: An Emotional Roller-Coaster

Dealing with the highs and lows of the Topshot boom

At the time of my last update, it appeared as though Topshot was truly taking off. The weekend after that piece, we hit insane all-time highs — with a 24-hour trading period that saw over $50 million in sales. I sold some moments on the way up, something I mentioned at the tail-end of the previous article, and felt setup for success going forward.

Buying At The Wrong Time

As with all things, the market surge had to come to an end. As a result, prices started to dip on the marketplace as folks sold off for massive profits. This was especially true for early-adopters of Topshot, who had accrued seven+ figure account values. It was not uncommon to see OGs posting “stacks” of certain moments around the low-ask, just looking to sell and lock in massive, massive profit.

I viewed this as an opportunity to buy. In particular, user @snowfro was seemingly doing this regardless of serial number. Of course, it was tough to blame him, given that he had an account value in the millions…with less than $1,000 invested (it pays to be early, folks!). Though I had initially sold off stuff to lock in profits, this seemed like perhaps too good of an opportunity to pass up. I camped out his account, making what I thought were some savvy purchases.

Unfortunately, what I thought was maybe the bottom of a dip was only the beginning. Prices continued to go drop, and my account value sunk about 25% despite being invested primarily in Series 1 moments on players of merit, along with some rookies and stud S2 stuff.

Anxiety Attacks!

The mental side of gambling has been gaining steam in my content circles, but still is likely underreported on. Handling the swings of volatile assets like Topshot is not something that everyone is built for, and I know that I am certainly not one of those people. Though I had continued to make moves I believed to be +EV, the constant grinding of Topshot (thanks COVID) was starting to take a toll on me.

Specifically, we had begun to reach the “life-changing money” point of the venture…which was great! But it also had me feeling as though I was taking on too much liability without having some stored away. Some of the questions looming large in my mind over the past week:

  • What if the market doesn’t recover?

  • What if I blow it?

  • What if I get taxed so hard that I actually take a loss?

Some of these questions may stand out to you as illogical. They didn’t make total sense to me either! But I think part of dealing with obsessive compulsive disorder is struggling to de-fixate from things — even if logic would dictate that these concerns don’t make much sense (at least to the degree of my worry).

These worries led to chest pains, trouble sleeping, and constant stress. Putting it lightly, Topshot was losing the fun and excitement for me that it had at the beginning. There needed to be a change.

Switching It Up

It was pretty obvious to me that I needed to get back into sell mode to guarantee some sizable profits (for me). I spent a couple of days whittling down my moments to what I believed to be my very best stuff. The rest, I moved off of, including selling off a couple of recent purchases at a loss.

I’m positive that I did not maximize the value of these moments, but I also think that anytime you are selling in an emerging market, there’s going to be regret about not getting more. What I do know is that I started this journey without sinking a ton of money in, and was able to lock up 10x gains minimum within a month and a half. Can’t complain about that!

I also believe that a huge mistake people make in life is compounding a mistake with another mistake. I shouldn’t have made a bunch of these recent purchases, and letting them linger just to avoid taking a loss could easily lead to just taking a bigger one — certainly worrying about it.

Some daily habit changes were necessary as well. I muted a bunch of Topshot stuff on Twitter, as well as Topshot-based channels in the various Slacks I’m in. This isn’t to say that I don’t want to keep informed about the site, but rather take more control over my exposure. I know that I can pop in and out as I please, and won’t have to be constantly inundated with alerts for new information. Trying to cut-down on my screen time is a big thing too, and honestly long overdue anyway.

Going Forward

It would seem that we may be heading to another boom period soon, with the NBA revealing the 2021 Rising Stars rosters through Topshot:

This is obviously great for the platform, but be sure to keep in mind your own personal goals as you traverse on your Topshot journey. It is so easy to get caught up in a content stream that — by its nature — typically skews extremely positive (guilty on both counts). Terms like “paper hands” make you fill silly or weak for selling, but do not take into account the risk tolerance for each individual. Ultimately, you have to just do what is best for you, and try to avoid the FOMO.

The collection of moments that I have left are all ones I am looking to ride for some bigger profits. We’ll see just how high they can go. When I sell, it will be because they have reached a value I am comfortable with selling at. You can always convince yourself there is more to the top.

Quick Note On Withdrawals

I woke up this morning to the ability to withdraw, which I know has been a constant source of consternation for much of the community. As a reference point for any of you who may be waiting, I completed KYC at the end of January, and submitted a support ticket shortly thereafter asking when I could withdraw. The second step probably wasn’t necessary (they changed the procedures shortly after that as clamoring for withdrawals increased), but perhaps it did help.

Withdrawals also currently come with a limit, and that limit is not the same for everyone based on what I have seen. The team has mentioned those limits can increase in various interviews. My hope is that the eventual goal is limitless withdrawals at any time for all users, and that this has just been a scaling issue (this seems to be a reasonable explanation, but I certainly understand people having concerns). Roham noted that this is a priority going forward.

As the user-base continues to expand, this is something that will need to be squared away for long-term success. I would say there is less than a 1% chance Topshot is a scam at this point, but the optics of users being able to withdraw is critical for customer sentiment — regardless of the intentions of the platform.