GameStop launches digital wallet for trading cryptocurrencies and NFTs

GameStop announced earlier this year that it would join the crypto gold rush and somehow find a way to insert itself into the NFT minefield. Today the retailer launched the GameStop Wallet (opens in new tab)an Ethereum-based digital app and browser extension that allows users to… well, store cryptocurrencies, trade NFTs, and that seems to be it.

There’s a full FAQ on the ominously named GameStop Blockchain website, but that’s too many words that equate to ‘you can buy and trade pictures’. Hilariously, among its highlights, the concept of ‘swap’ is defined: “Swap is a process that allows exchanging one asset for another”. Incredible.

It’s also pretty amusing that one of the big selling points for crypto and blockchain stuff in general is security – despite the almost weekly stories of hacks and breaches – but all this technology is at the mercy of a recovery passphrase that is essential for forgotten meatballs. Twelve words. You could have every algorithm in the galaxy behind these things and if any dummy shares that phrase, it doesn’t matter. What if a user is blocked from their wallet and has lost that Secret Recovery Phrase, they are completely screwed!

Do not rush at the same time to apply.

(Image credit: Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

GameStop’s NFT market has yet to launch, though it’s still apparently on track for the summer. Wall Street Journal reports (opens in new tab) that the company has hired over 20 people to make its foray into cryptocurrencies and is asking developers and publishers to create NFTs for this GameStop marketplace.

The foray into this area is part of the company’s new strategy under chairman Ryan Cohen, who was appointed last year after the meme stock phenomenon. Cohen’s appointment has been cheered by the stonklords, but he’s had a hard time changing the company since taking over, and nearly halfway through 2022 GameStop’s shares are down 35% since the start of the year.

GameStop’s project comes with the usual nonsense about eventually creating “in-game items that players can actually own” and how developers will build “in-game, carbon-neutral economies in which players can buy, sell and trade in-game assets ( e.g. digital real estate, swords, skins).” For now: there is a wallet.

As a company, GameStop’s prospects are difficult to see clearly after the giant rise in stocks from last year. Brick-and-mortar retail is its bread and butter at a time when it’s in decline, and it’s unclear whether movements like this will be the Ave Maria piece that needs to justify some of that ‘deep value’ of the meme – the gentlemen complain. Still, never underestimate the power of the internet: just last week it was announced that Mervin Capital, one of the hedge funds badly burned by the stock rally, was supposed to close.

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