GameStop launches non-custodial Ethereum wallet to store cryptocurrency and NFTs

The video game retailer of meme-stock fame will let its customers fully own their digital assets.
Written by Evan Zimmer, Staff Writer
GameStop Wallet creation page
Source: GameStop

GameStop announced Monday that its non-custodial, browser-based cryptocurrency wallet is now available. The GameStop Wallet is currently in Beta and works with the Ethereum (ETH) network and uses Loopring Layer 2 technology to facilitate transactions. 

The company also announced that its NFT marketplace will be launching sometime during the second quarter of this year. GameStop's second quarter is set to end on June 31, 2022.

With the GameStop Wallet, users will be able to have full control over their digital assets. Using the wallet, they can store, send, swap, and receive NFTs and cryptocurrency. The GameStop Wallet will also work seamlessly with GameStop's upcoming NFT marketplace when it releases. 

A non-custodial wallet means users are given their own unique, 64-digit key to access the wallet. Custodial wallets are wallets in which a third party holds the key for the wallet's owner.

Also: Robinhood's non-custodial, no-fee crypto wallet will store all your digital assets

The GameStop Wallet can be downloaded as an extension with Google Chrome or the Brave browser. According to the wallet's website, the wallet will also be available to use with iPhones. The wallet will operate similarly to MetaMask, and users can migrate their MetaMask wallet to their GameStop wallet.

And despite being a hot wallet – a digital-only offering through a browser or on mobile – it is compatible with cold wallets, or physical hardware that must be plugged into a computer and accessed with a PIN. Cold wallets are more secure than hot wallets.  

Transactions used by the GameStop Wallet are facilitated by Loopring, a Layer 2 exchange protocol for the Ethereum network. Layer 2 technology attempts to solve a number of problems plaguing the Ethereum Mainnet, or Layer 1. Layer 1 is often congested with a high volume of transactions which results in egregiously high transaction fees, or gas fees, on the ETH network.

However, users will need to activate Layer 2 before they can use it. When users initially set up their wallet, it will run on the Ethereum Mainnet, or Layer 1.

According to the GameStop Wallet's FAQ page, to activate Layer 2 users will need to deposit ETH into their Layer 2 balance, click "activate", and pay a small fee. By utilizing the Layer 2 exchange protocol, wallet users should experience faster transaction times with lower gas fees.

It's worth noting that in the wallet's privacy agreement, the company says it may use user data as well as track their location. Anonymity is a big draw for many investors in the Web3 space, so this could be a point of contention with potential clients.

The privacy policy states that it will automatically collect data including the user's IP address and geolocation. The policy also says the wallet will monitor "how you interact with others using our Services, pages or screens you viewed, how long you spent on a page or screen, browsing history, navigation paths between pages or screens, information about your activity on a page or screen, access times, online status, last seen status, and duration of access, and whether you have opened our marketing emails or clicked links within them."

But, by utilizing a virtual private network (VPN), users can get some anonymity back by masking their IP address. However, using incognito mode with Chrome – which doesn't save browser history, site data, or cookies – will cut down on how much of your data is shared. The Brave browser will do all of that automatically and even block pesky pop-up ads.

NFT and crypto integration into video games is already a polarizing topic among gamers, with many viewing it as an unnecessary and intrusive way of monetizing their hobby by video game publishers.

That said, some see it as a way to have a more meaningful experience by providing true ownership of digital assets through blockchain technology. The technology could provide real-world value for assets many gamers spend countless hours obtaining.

Game developers, including Ubisoft and Square Enix, have faced considerable backlash for supporting NFTs, with the former forced to shut down its planned NFT integration into Ghost Recon Breakpoint due to player backlash. But many GME holders hope the company's move into the cryptocurrency space will fuel the stock's trip to the moon. 

GME was up 3% Monday in premarket trading to $96.58, but just a few hours later, has fallen slightly to $95.33 per share.

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