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NBA offers more free ‘The Association’ NFTs to fans after minting mishap

Coding flaw meant fans entitled to a free NFT lost out to others who noticed exploit.

25 April 2022 Steve McCaskill
NBA offers more free ‘The Association’ NFTs to fans after minting mishap

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  • 18k free NFTs were on offer to Discord and Top Shot users
  • 30k tokens will be offered in initial drop to compensate

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has apologised after a coding flaw meant fans keen to secure one of 18,000 free non-fungible tokens (NFTs) missed out.

‘The Association’ initiative was launched by the basketball league last week, offering dynamic NFTs that change appearance based on a player’s on-court performance over the course of the season.

The first drop took place on 22nd April, with 75 NFTs available for each of the 240 players competing in this year’s NBA Playoffs.

The NBA had promised 16,000 members of its Discord server would be able to secure one of the dynamic tokens on a first come, first served basis. Meanwhile 2,000 NFTs were reserved for top collectors of each team on another league licensed NFT platform, Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot.

Whereas Top Shot focuses on player highlights, The Association collection is more analogous to traditional player cards.

However, an issue with the smart contract, the code that enables NFTs to be created and traded between users, meant that anyone ‘whitelisted’ could provide access to multiple wallets. This meant some users could mint as many NFTs as they wanted.

Decrypt says the NBA identified the issue within an hour and will increase the volume of the initial collection from 18,000 to 30,000 to compensate affected users. This would mean, in theory, however that the value of the NFTs in question would fall due to increased supply. Other users have complained that they would have expended ‘gas’, a payment made on the Ethereum blockchain in the Ether (ETH) cryptocurrency, to mint the NFTs which are not as valuable as previously thought.

‘Thank you for your patience as we’ve worked to analyse the issues experienced in yesterday’s The Association NFT mint,’ the league said on Twitter. ‘We appreciate the engagement and feedback we’ve received from this community as we’ve worked towards a solution.

‘In order to do this, we will be increasing the size of the collection from 18,000 to 30,000 NFTs. With that, each of the 240 players in the 2022 NBA Playoffs will have 125 editions (previously 75).’

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