GameStop has decided to shut down its non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, GameStop NFT, stepping back from its Web3 ambitions due to what it cites as the “continuing regulatory uncertainty of the crypto space.”
As a result, starting from February 2, 2024, users will no longer be able to engage in buying, selling, or creating NFTs on the platform.
Loopring, the Layer-2 scaling protocol for GameStop’s NFT marketplace, also confirmed the shutdown via an X (Twitter) post on January 12, expressing gratitude to GameStop for choosing it as an integration partner.
NFT holders, despite the closure, can still access and sell their assets through other platforms. Loopring, in its post, recommended holders migrate NFTs and collections to LoopExchange, its new ecosystem designed for NFTs.
GameStop initially unveiled plans for its NFT marketplace in January 2022, forging partnerships with crypto-related companies. The marketplace officially launched in July 2022, catering to gamers, creators, and collectors.
The decision to shut down the marketplace, after two years of operation, aligns with recent moves by other platforms such as X removing the NFT profile picture feature and Meta eliminating NFTs from Instagram.
While other companies cited a shift in focus for their NFT shutdowns, GameStop attributes its decision to the lack of regulatory clarity in the crypto space, possibly influenced by recent regulatory actions against major exchanges and celebrities.
Instances like Binance facing legal accusations for alleged illegal operations in the United States, along with its former CEO admitting guilt in violating money laundering laws, have heightened concerns. Additionally, soccer icon Cristiano Ronaldo faced a class-action lawsuit tied to his NFT collaboration with Binance, raising questions about potential involvement in the promotion of unregistered securities.
Governments worldwide are in the process of defining and regulating the emerging crypto space. While some, like California, have implemented stricter rules through laws like the “Digital Financial Assets Law,” others are still in the process of formulating regulations. The ongoing uncertainty poses a disincentive for companies and individuals to fully engage within the crypto space.