GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) has quietly confirmed it is building a new non-fungible token (NFT) platform based on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain platform.
What Happened: The video game retailer has launched a new web portal for the NFT platform and invited engineers, designers, gamers, marketers and community leaders to join a team it is building.
The website includes the message, “Power to the Players. Power to the creators. Power to the collectors.”
A smart contract code on the website links to an Ethereum-based contract address that says “Game on Anon” and indicates that potential NFTs released by GameStop will utilize Ethereum’s ERC721 standard.
Why It Matters: The launch of the new NFT portal confirms speculations from April that GameStop may be venturing into the field of cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Shares of the struggling brick-and-mortar retailer are seeing continued interest from retail investors amid expectations that its adoption of a digital business model will be successful.
NFTs, blockchain-based tokenization of collectible items or art pieces, are seen as having a bright future in online games. Early NFT adopters included game developers that were deploying code to the Ethereum blockchain to create their own games, like CryptoKitties and the trend has picked up in recent months, with a tokenized version of Beeple art going for $69 million.
Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, is trading 8.1% higher during the past 24 hours at $2,812.40 at press time. However, the Vitalik Buterin co-created cryptocurrency is down 35.8% from its all-time high of $4362.35 touched on May 12, amid a market-wide slump.
NFTs are seen as a driver for Ethereum. Buterin has said he sees NFTs as holding more potential than simply becoming a “casino” for already wealthy celebrities.
Price Action: GameStop shares closed 16.3% higher in Tuesday’s regular trading session at $209.43.