GameStop to shut down NFT marketplace due to regulatory limbo

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Gaming retailer GameStop has warned its users that it will be phasing out its non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace next month due to regulatory uncertainty.

In a statement on GameStop’s website, it notified users that they have just over two weeks remaining to access its NFT platform. However, the company assured NFT holders that the decision to further scale down its relationship with crypto will not impact their NFTs.

“Effective as of February 2, 2024, customers will no longer be able to buy, sell or create NFTs. Your NFTs are on the blockchain and will remain accessible and saleable through other platforms.”

The gaming company cited lack of regulation as the cause for further diminishing its crypto services.

“GameStop has decided to wind down our NFT marketplace due to the continuing regulatory uncertainty of the crypto space,” the statement noted.

However, GameStop is headquartered in the United States. While numerous leaders in the crypto industry are advocating for increased regulatory clarity, the recent decision by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve 11 spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is seen as a positive indication that regulators are becoming more receptive to further regulation in the space.

Related: NFTs eye comeback following spot Bitcoin ETF approval

This comes after a string of reductions in crypto offerings from the gaming firm in recent years.

In August 2023, Cointelegraph reported that GameStop recommended its customers to secure access to their Secret PassPhrase, as it would be discontinuing access to iOS and Chrome Extension wallets.

GameStop notice to users of its crypto wallets in August 2023. Source: GameStop

The year prior, in December 2022, GameStop indicated that it would be moving away from its focus on crypto, after amounting $94.7 million in net losses in the third quarter and laying off staff from its digital assets department.

GameStop CEO Matt Furlong explained that while the company is optimistic for crypto, he wanted to avoid putting investor funds at risk.

“Although we continue to believe there is long-term potential for digital assets in the gaming world, we have not and will not risk meaningful stockholder capital in this space.”

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