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GameStop Launches Crypto and NFT Wallet

Business

Gold coins with cryptocurrency logos on them in a wallet and on a keyboard. | Image by Getty Images

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Video game retailer GameStop Corp. announced this week the company had launched a digital asset wallet for cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

According to the Grapevine, Texas-based company, the digital wallet will allow gamers and others to store, send, receive, and use cryptocurrencies through decentralized apps without leaving their web browsers. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency issued by decentralized networks through blockchain technology. NFTs are digital assets, including artwork and video files, that are verified, authenticated, and sold online. 

In a statement released last week, the corporation said that the GameStop Wallet is a self-custodial Ethereum wallet, and the extension can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store. The extension, which adds the wallet to a menu, will enable transactions such as storing and trading on GameStop’s NFT marketplace, which the company expects to launch in the second quarter of the year.

GameStop officials announced earlier this year the company’s plan to pivot into cryptocurrency in an effort to expand.

“We believe our emphasis on the long term is positioning us to build what will ultimately become a much larger business,” GameStop Chief Executive Matt Furlong said on an earnings call with analysts in January.

GameStop’s move into the crypto market comes after the company has experienced losses in the digital age. However, the digital market for cryptocurrencies and NFTs have been shaky lately. NFT sales fell 92% from their peak last year, The Dallas Express reported earlier this month. 

Those involved in the industry attribute the decline in cryptocurrency to several factors, including normal market fluctuation, Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations that appeared to give buyers pause in investing, and the fact that the NFT market is still new and developing.

In addition to the crypto market performance, a recent Forbes article questioned the link between GameStop and its consumer base, typically more involved in traditional console gaming. The article suggests that a disconnect between gamers and NFTs may be why publishers like EA and Ubisoft have shied away from the industry.

However, following the announcement from GameStop to launch the digital wallet, market shares have soared. On Wednesday, the company stock rose 29% to 115.17.

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