GameStop debuts crypto and NFT wallet that 'markets don’t value' right now

In a bid to switch from a brick-and-mortar retailer to an e-commerce and crypto company, GameStop (GME) is releasing a “beta version” of its crypto and NFT wallet.

Now available for download through Google Chrome’s app store, the video game retailer’s digital wallet is non-custodial, similar to the crypto wallet launched last week by trading app, Robinhood.

The company’s first crypto product arrived Monday as investor interest for crypto as well as meme and tech stocks has drastically fallen over the last six months.

While GameStop’s wallet offering “marks the transition of GameStop from a retailer into a technology company,” the “markets don’t value that right now,” Joe Fonicello, a long time GameStop bull who helps run GMEdd.com, a crowd-sourced effort to track the company’s developments, told Yahoo Finance.

Investors can use the GameStop wallet to buy, sell, and hold non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other crypto assets. They will also retain all the responsibility for securing their crypto assets by way of a password and recovery phrase.

Unlike custodial crypto wallets, which are most often managed by crypto exchanges, non-custodial wallets don’t offer investors a chance to recover their password or recovery phrase from the company offering the wallet. Effectively, this means investors lose their crypto funds if they lose both passwords, but are also less vulnerable to exchange-related hacks.

GameStop’s digital wallet comes ahead of its previously announced NFT marketplace that launches before the end of July. It will be built through a partnership with Ethereum layer 2 network, Immutable X.

Months before indicating crypto ambitions this time last year, GameStop became a finance and pop culture sensation in January 2021 when retail traders — particularly on Reddit — bid up its share price from below $18 to an intraday peak of $483 on January 28.

While on the surface the stock’s upward trajectory relative to the company’s poor earnings defied Wall Street analyst opinions, its initial leap reflected a so-called short squeeze.

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