GameStop is going all in on crypto. The video game retailer launched its own self-custodial ethereum digital wallet, it said Monday. The wallet will be accessible through a Google Chrome extension and can be used to buy and sell NFTs on GameStop's upcoming NFT marketplace, which is expected to launch by the end of July.
NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, are digital assets like pictures, video or art whose ownership can be traced using blockchain technology. Many different businesses --including the NFL and Twitter -- have embraced the technology this year, as some of the collectible assets have sold for hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars.
Self-custodial wallets only give the user access to the private digital key needed to access the wallet. The key is not stored anywhere else, which means that users don't have to rely on an intermediary like Robinhood or PayPal to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
GameStop partnered with blockchain startup Immutable X to create its upcoming NFT marketplace. To help boost the venture, the companies are also planning to launch a $100 million fund that will award grants to artists who make NFTs for GameStop's marketplace.
Instead of dollars, the fund will pay artists in Immutable's own cryptocurrency, IMX, which has declined significantly in value over the course of the year.
Last year, GameStop hit the headlines when its stock rose to massive heights as Reddit users banded together to buy shares of the struggling game retailer. The frenzy may be long over, but the fallout continues: One hedge fund said last week it's closing its doors after it was unable to recover from 2021's GameStop short squeeze.