The regulatory mess in the United States continues to kill crypto projects, and video game retailer giant GameStop is the latest to join the list by winding down its cryptocurrency wallet initiative.
According to a notice pinned on its NFT marketplace, GameStop NFT, the video game powerhouse is going to remove support for iOS and Chrome extension of its GameStop wallet on the marketplace by November 1, 2023, citing regulatory uncertainty in the crypto space. The notice reads:
“Due to the regulatory uncertainty of the crypto space, GameStop has decided to remove its iOS and Chrome Extension wallets from the market on November 1, 2023.”
GameStop Wallet is a non-custodial L2-powered wallet that lets users store their crypto and NFTs assets and access Ethereum Dapps. The company has advised customers to make sure they have access to their secret passphrases by October 1. Customers with secret passphrases can recover their accounts in any compatible wallet. MetaMask and WalletConnect reportedly, as for now, are compatible with its NFT marketplace.
GameStop: A Giant Falling Apart
GameStop, with over 4,400 physical stores worldwide as of January 2023, is a video game retailer giant falling apart as the gaming industry swiftly moves toward online delivery. Troubles at the firm have resulted in many rounds of layoffs in recent years.
The company looked towards the crypto space to weather bad times. As reported, Gamestop launched its NFT marketplace and wallet in July 2022. On November 1, 2022, it launched its marketplace on Ethereum layer-2 scaling network, ImmutableX.
However, the timing of these developments could not have been worse as they coincided with the collapse of Terra Luna and FTX. The NFT project seemed to be in muddy waters since its inception, as in December, the company laid off six employees working on its crypto division.
The latest disappointing news came almost two months after the firm fired CEO Matt Furlong, who served during the launch of GameStop NFT and wallet. During a December 2022 earnings call, then-CEO Matt Furlong, hinting about the company’s vanishing interest in NFTs and crypto, said that crypto had potential but not enough to take outsized risks with company cash.
However, the company cited regulatory uncertainty, not internal troubles, for its decision to shut down its wallet. The specifics of the decision are not yet clear. Nevertheless, the recent enforcement action by the US SEC and CFTC has made life difficult for crypto companies in the US. Both regulators are engaged in legal sagas with many companies, including Coinbase, Ripple, and Binance.