GameStop NFT Marketplace Rumors Swirl — What It Means for the Future of the Meme Stock

Photo illustration in Spain - 13 Oct 2021
Thiago Prudencio / SOPA Images / Shutterstock.com

GameStop is going meta. The company, which reached a somewhat cult status among the Reddit army with its meme stock, has posted a slew of NFT-platform and Web3 gaming jobs on its career page this week, and rumors are flying as to what and when the company will launch.

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The company also has a barebone website dedicated to an NFT platform, which says “We welcome exceptional engineers (solidity, react, python), designers, gamers, marketers, and community leaders. If you want to join our team, send your profile or something you’ve built to: nfteam@gamestop.com.”

“Just like we saw with Amazon hiring for crypto and blockchain specialists earlier this year, we’re seeing more and more companies looking to integrate crypto and blockchain into their roadmaps,” Stephen Stonberg, CEO of Bittrex Global, told GOBankingRates. “The future includes crypto as well as its underlying technology blockchain — which has proven to be a catalyst of innovation in so many sectors outside of its well-known home base. Blockchain is really the key to a metaverse-esque future for gaming, retail, the medical sector, and other industries. It’s exciting to see frontrunners in each market category push for the integration of blockchain within their respective sector.”

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The job postings include three director of marketing- NFT platform positions; three senior software engineers- NFT platform positions; and two product owner- Head of Web3 gaming positions.

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Tobias Batton, Founder and CEO at Ex Populus, an entertainment brand and publishing platform built entirely on Ethereum, told GOBankingRates that “GameStop holds a very special place in the heart of the game and investment community and it’s encouraging to see the company leverage its resources to create an innovative new platform that drives the industry forward.”

Batton added that it is inevitable that smart contracts will become ubiquitous and commonplace in the commerce of games and even within the games themselves. NFTs in video games are the likely species of blockchain technology to lead the way in the mass adoption of crypto and its various appendages.

“We are cheering for GameStop and are eager to meet them in the arena as a competitor,” Batton said.

Anndy Lian, Chairman, BigONE Exchange and founding member of NFT studio and marketplace INFLUXO, echoes the sentiment, telling GOBankingRates that “it is good to see another mainstream listed company heading into the crypto space.”

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“Many of my friends think that this is a bullish sign for investors. I also see Redditors are claiming that they will buy more GME Shares when the marketplace happens. There will be an overflow to the crypto markets, too. From our exchange’s perspective, we have received more inquiries about listing of NFT Marketplaces in the last 24 hours, Lian added. “With the added publicity, I believe more companies will ride on the waves and take this as a chance. This would also mean that we will see more blockchain and crypto adoption through storefront locations, for example. Web 3.0 marketplace will be greater when more people are talking and using it.”

GameStop started getting in the news last January, when retail traders on the subreddit group WallStreetBets, who were intent on taking down hedge-fund short sellers by buying shares of stocks that didn’t seem to have much of a chance of success, sent stocks, including GameStop, soaring (and then crashing). This led to a slew of events, including a record 400% weekly gain for the week ending Jan. 29, which triggered intense regulatory scrutiny. Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its much-anticipated report on the GameStop frenzy, “the most famous meme stock, which raised questions about market structure and investor protections at the beginning of the year.”

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The company also had a string of resignations, including those of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell’s resignation in late February, and Chief Customer Officer and Executive Vice President Frank Hamlin resigning in March. Its CEO George Sherman also stepped down. Ryan Cohen, Chewy co-founder, was appointed in March to chair a newly formed committee to “further accelerate the company’s transformation” and lead its customer care and e-commerce fulfillment functions, the company said in an earlier statement.

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Last updated: October 28, 2021

About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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