Shares of GameStop (GME -3.88%) are about breakeven at 11:14 a.m. ET on Monday after the company announced it had launched its digital asset wallet for cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The video game retailer said the GameStop Wallet is a "self-custodial Ethereum wallet" -- meaning funds that a user alone controls -- that can be accessed without gamers having to leave their web browsers. The wallet will also enable transactions on GameStop's NFT marketplace, which is expected to launch in the company's fiscal second quarter.
GameStop is making a big bet on NFTs as a means of expanding its relevance beyond just physical media, but the timing couldn't be worse as the market for NFTs continues to evaporate with sales plummeting more than 90% from their peak.
And it's not just NFTs that are tumbling; the crypto market generally suffered a broad-based decline this month. Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) has fallen sharply and currently trades at around $30,000, a loss of more than 50% from its high of over $68,000.
The number of wallets are also dropping quickly. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that active wallets have fallen 88% to about 14,000 from their peak of 119,000 in November. The report points to rising interest rates as taking down risky investments across the board, but said that "NFTs are among the most speculative."
The video game retailer got a new lease on life last year when it became the poster child for meme stocks amid a trading frenzy. Although it's trying to effect a turnaround, the company has been very tight-lipped about how it expects to achieve growth once again, letting tidbits like the NFT marketplace and wallet drip out slowly over time.
In January of this year, GameStop partnered with Immutable X to build out its NFT marketplace.