- GameStop’s Ethereum NFT marketplace will support Loopring’s layer-2 technology, along with Immutable X.
- Users can connect a wallet to the beta version of the marketplace now, but trading functionality is not yet live.
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Video game retailer GameStop is embracing the crypto world as it increasingly pivots its business away from physical goods, and its long-teased NFT marketplace is finally taking shape. Today, the retailer launched a limited-functionality beta, built on Ethereum scaling provider Loopring.
Users can now connect an Ethereum wallet (like MetaMask) to the platform and add funds via Loopring’s layer-2 scaling solution. You can also set a display name and profile, but otherwise there’s no NFT trading functionality at present.
Loopring’s layer-2 tech is faster, cheaper to use, and more energy efficient than Ethereum’s own blockchain, yet it inherits the security of the Ethereum mainnet. That’s because Loopring uses zkRollup technology to bundle together thousands of transactions and then commit them to Ethereum in a single mainnet transaction.
The firm’s involvement in GameStop’s NFT plans was leaked last fall, as internet sleuths discovered references to Loopring tech in the evolving marketplace codebase, plus other potential hints. As a result, Loopring’s LRC token skyrocketed in price at the time, rising more than 200% in the span of a week.
Now, however, the official announcement may be confusing to anyone who’s been following GameStop’s recent NFT news. That’s because in early February, GameStop announced that rival layer-2 solution Immutable X would power the NFT marketplace, with the retailer and Immutable establishing a $100 million token incentive fund for game developers.
1/ Immutable X is powering GameStop’s NFT marketplace as their preferred partner - together we are sourcing, building and investing in a world-class pipeline of gaming content to deploy on to the GameStop marketplace using the Immutable X protocol. This is in their 8K (image)🖐️🎤 pic.twitter.com/KJdvpfMtNE
— Immutable | $IMX (@Immutable) March 23, 2022
Both layer-2 tech providers will ultimately power GameStop’s NFT plans, it turns out. Today, Immutable tweeted a thread that notes that it is GameStop’s “preferred partner” for the marketplace, and that the firms are working closely to source game developers to launch their NFTs on the platform. Immutable says that it has fielded thousands of inquiries from game makers and NFT creators about its IMX token incentives.
Immutable added that Loopring integration “was not a surprise (and we welcome them!),” and that the GameStop marketplace will act as an aggregator across NFT minting platforms. But ultimately, it appears that Immutable X will receive the most focus on the marketplace.
Loopring’s LRC token is up 34% over the past 24 hours, as of this writing, at a current price of $1.12 per CoinGecko. Immutable’s IMX token is up nearly 3% at a price of $2.28.
Last week, amid mixed results for its Q4 2021 fiscal year earnings, GameStop announced that its NFT marketplace is planned to launch by the end of its Q2 2022 fiscal year. As GameStop’s 2021 fiscal year just ended on January 29, that gives the retailer a late July deadline to officially launch its NFT initiative.
Immutable X is providing substantial IMX token payments to GameStop as part of the deal, and during the week that their partnership was announced in February, GameStop sold off $47 million worth of tokens. The price of IMX dropped significantly at the time, and was down as much as 23% over the previous 24-hour span after the news broke.
“Immutable doesn’t comment on the actions of $IMX holders, but Immutable has sold no tokens since the public sale of IMX,” the firm said in a statement provided to Decrypt in February. “Future token allocations to GameStop are attached to milestones based on the success of the GameStop NFT marketplace, including achieving $3 billion in transaction volume.”
Earlier this month, Immutable announced that it raised $200 million in Series C funding at a valuation of $2.5 billion, making it the latest crypto firm to join the unicorn ranks—that is, startups valued at $1 billion or more.