Can Gamestop Deliver A Robust NFT Marketplace?

To put things into perspective, since the start of 2021, the number of celebrities who have entered this fast-evolving market has been staggering, to say the least. From elite athletes such as Tom Brady, Steph Curry and Michael Jordan to musicians ranging from rapper extraordinaire JayZ to thrash metal pioneer Dave Mustaine — and everyone else in between — NFTs seem to have really made an impression on everyone.

From a purely monetary standpoint, it should be noted that over the course of 2021 alone, the total sales of NFTs exceeded the $25 billion mark, a figure that lies in stark contrast to the $100 million worth of sales that were recorded just a year earlier in 2020. As a result of this growing market interest, an expanding list of mainstream entities have continued to enter the NFT fray — with GameStop being one of the many big-name players to make their way into this burgeoning ecosystem recently.

A closer look at GameStop’s digital ambitions

Ever since the idea of a digital ‘metaverse’ entered into the consciousness of the mainstream masses early last year, there has been no dearth of active participants — both retail as well as institutional — looking to eagerly enter this space. This is because the concept surrounding tomorrow’s envisioned Web3 universe is one that offers an unparalleled level of transparency as well as decentralization (depths of which have yet to be witnessed ever before).

In this regard, GameStop hinted as early as May 2021 that it was looking to work on creating its very own NFT marketplace by partnering with “exceptional” engineers, designers, so as to explore the core framework underlying non-fungible tokens and the role they can potentially play in shaping the metaverse over the coming few years.

As things stand, the firm has listed a number of job openings since making its above-stated marketplace announcement. For example, they are looking to hire individuals to help them with their NFT marketing efforts, software engineering, and Web3 gaming departments. To be even more specific, GameStop has clearly specified that they are looking for competent individuals who can help the company build an NFT ecosystem “from scratch”, suggesting that the company’s long-term goals may be extremely broad and all-encompassing.

What sets GameStop’s NFT vision apart from its competitors?

Even though GameStop has been quite hush-hush when it comes to revealing details regarding its NFT ecosystem, it seems as though the company will be making use of the Loopring project to help facilitate the development of its project. To elaborate, a quick look at Loopring’s GitHub shows that the repository has been amended to include references to GameStop’s use of the highly touted InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) — which, in its most basic sense, can be thought of as a search engine for the Web3 universe.

The idea to integrate support for IFPS makes sense since it helps provide the GameStop dev team with streamlined access to a decentralized and distributed framework — tailormade to provide users with a medium through which to store/access files, websites, data, and applications from a single, unified interface.

Another core aspect of the aforementioned NFT platform is that it will most likely be built atop the Ethereum ecosystem, an extremely sensible step considering most of today’s popular NFTs and their associated platforms (such as Rarible, OpenSea, etc) have been devised atop the platform. Not only that, reports suggest that GameStop’s NFT marketplace will be fully compatible with Ethereum layer 2 products as well.

As a quick refresher, layer-2 systems are basically digital offshoots that have been designed to help Ethereum scale up and mitigate many of its exiting technical bottlenecks — such as high transaction costs, low processing rates, etc.

Looking ahead

Even though this may not be the first time a company has sought to marry the world of NFTs with video games, by GameStop deciding to enter this space, the idea, in general, has been provided with an added air of legitimacy. Therefore, looking forward, it would not be surprising to see many more mainstream entities enter the blockchain arena and continue to provide crypto enthusiasts with innovative solutions that can help the digital asset market as a whole grow.

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