On January 6, a source familiar with this matter said that GameStop Corp (GME.N) shares gained 27% in extended trading as the video game retailer is launching a division to develop a marketplace for nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and establish cryptocurrency partnerships.
GameStop did not comment. The first platform to report the news was the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) citing people familiar with the matter.
To turn GameStop away from brick-and-mortar and towards e-commerce, the video game retailer is undergoing an extensive revamp, with Chairman Ryan Cohen tapping executives from companies including Amazon.com Inc.
Select game developers and publishers are being requested by the company to list NFTs on its marketplace, for it to have a lot of content when it launches later this year, according to the report by the WSJ.
An NFT is a digital asset that exists on a blockchain, a record of transactions kept on networked computers. Serving as a public ledger, the blockchain allows anyone to verify the NFT’s authenticity and who owns it.
The unit which is building an online hub for buying, selling, and trading NFTs of virtual videogame collectibles such as avatar outfits and weapons has more than 20 people hired to run it by the retailer, according to the WSJ report.
After launching its NFT website last year, GameStop has been inviting creators to join the platform.
During the “meme” stock trading frenzy last year, in which retail investors hyped stocks on news site Reddit and brokerage site Robinhood, a blow to several hedge funds that bet against the stocks would tumble, the company was also at the forefront.