GameStop’s new digital wallet launches amid fierce competition and crashing crypto market
Video game and electronics retailer GameStop’s stock had a strong start to the week, as the company announced it was preparing for the launch of its online NFT marketplace with the release of its very own digital wallet.
Upon the announcement, GameStop shares jumped nearly 3% in pre-market trading on Monday.
The wallet follows reporting that the company has launched a 20-person division to establish cryptocurrency partnerships, the Wall Street Journal previously reported. GameStop may also be trying to revitalize its brand after its relatively poor quarterly earnings report last March when the company announced to have missed its earnings estimate amid supply chain issues.
A crypto wallet is kind of virtual password ledger that allows holders to quickly and easily access and trade the digital assets they own. Downloading GameStop’s wallet will add a crypto wallet extension app to a browser, and holders can send and receive cryptocurrencies and NFTs without having to leave their computer screen, according to the company. .
The wallet will eventually become available as a mobile app that can be downloaded directly to a smartphone, according to GameStop.
Wallet holders will be able to use it to store and trade NFTs and other digital assets in decentralized apps, including GameStop’s upcoming NFT marketplace, according to the company. GameStop’s NFT marketplace will launch by the end of July, the company announced in its fourth quarterly earnings report in March.
But it will have to contend with a crowded market, after other big tech companies have launched their own virtual wallets.
Crypto-friendly trading platform Robinhood made a splash with its wallet drop last month, with 2 million users who put their names on a waitlist before the wallet’s release. And last week, Robinhood announced it would be working on a standalone wallet, separate from the already-released one, that will act as a standalone app, and can store NFTs (something the first wallet does not do). The second wallet will allow users to connect to NFT marketplaces and fix one of the main gripes crypto followers had with the original version.
With their new crypto wallets, GameStop and Robinhood are up against established industry behemoths like Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange service that was launched in 2012 and supports a wide range of different currencies. Like GameStop, Coinbase’s wallet can be used as a browser extension, and can also store and trade NFTs.
GameStop’s wallet will also be competing against MetaMask, a wallet released in 2016 by blockchain company ConsenSys that also acts as a browser extension and allows users to directly access NFT marketplaces. MetaMask currently counts over 30 million users worldwide, according to the company’s website.
Gamestop’s turn towards digital assets comes at a complicated time for a crypto industry, as several major currencies crashed in recent weeks.
GameStop took to Twitter to urge users to be responsible with their new crypto wallet, and appeared to caution some people against buying the wallet.
“This is a beta launch. Please use responsibly, and do not add more funds than you are comfortable with,” the company tweeted Monday morning.
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