GameStop Takes on MetaMask With Beta Launch of Crypto Wallet



Gamestop has launched a beta of its new digital wallet, enabling in-game purchases of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The retailer, better known for selling physical games, launched the new wallet as a browser extension to enable purchases, selling, and trading of a large number of cryptocurrencies as well as to hold NFTs. 

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The wallet will provide competition to established wallet MetaMask, which also exists as a browser extension and can connect to NFT marketplaces. 

MetaMask, released by ConsenSys in 2016, has 30 million users globally.

A cryptocurrency wallet contains unique strings of numbers called keys that function essentially as passwords to enable cryptocurrency transfer between two parties.

Robinhood launched a wallet recently to two million waitlisted clients and also announced a non-custodial wallet that can hold NFTs and connect to marketplaces like OpenSea. 

GameStop NFT marketplace launching soon

GameStop’s launch comes a few months after the company assembled a 20-person team to create an NFT marketplace that will launch at the end of July. The marketplace will offer NFTs of in-game items like weapons and avatar clothing developed by select game studios.

This year, the company hopes to establish partnerships with 14 crypto companies and co-invest to develop blockchain games after missing out on the videogame streaming platform boom a decade ago. 

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The new wallet will allow transactions without leaving the game environment, and will eventually become a mobile app, said the company.

Hard times for GameStop prompted management overhaul

Yearly losses, compounded by a lack of foot traffic to its brick-and-mortar stores due to the COVID-19 pandemic, culminated in a missed earnings estimate last March leading to an overhaul of management staff.

While revenue had grown by Oct last year, the company’s losses increased as new chairman Ryan Cohen adopted a more technologically-focused approach. 

The company was not deterred, instead opting for a longer-term view. “We believe our emphasis on the long term is positioning us to build what will ultimately become a much larger business,” said CEO Matt Furlong.

GameStop advises caution when using the beta version of its new wallet. “This is a beta launch. Please use responsibly, and do not add more funds than you are comfortable with,” the company said.

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