GameStop to withdraw crypto wallets amid ‘regulatory uncertainty’

GameStop Corp. has announced the discontinuation of its cryptocurrency wallets due to “regulatory uncertainty.”

On Nov. 1, the company will withdraw its support for iOS and Chrome Extension wallets, which have allowed users to manage cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens, and decentralized apps on the Ethereum (ETH) network.

Navigating the evolving regulatory landscape

In an Aug. 1 announcement on its official website, GameStop, the US electronics retail company that reported $5.93 billion in 2022, assures customers that despite discontinuing the wallets, they will ensure a smooth transition.

As part of the transition plan, the company advises all users to secure their Secret Passphrase before Oct. 1, 2023. By having access to the Secret Passphrase, customers can recover their accounts using any compatible wallet.

GameStop to withdraw crypto wallets amid 'regulatory uncertainty' - 1
GameStop Wallet Announcement | Source: GameStop Wallet

GameStop’s decision to discontinue its cryptocurrency wallets signals a shift away from its crypto strategy, which was previously spearheaded by Chairman Ryan Cohen in an attempt to revitalize the struggling video game retailer.

In June 2022, GameStop shared its plans to grow its non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace and crypto business after facing $160 million in losses between the months of March and June.

The NFT marketplace was launched a year ago, on July 11, 2022, but it coincided with a decrease in the speculative frenzy surrounding digital tokens. Therefore, despite claims that these ventures would make the company profitable again, competition among NFT marketplaces has intensified, and six months later, GameStop announced that they were rolling up their NFT and crypto ventures.

However, the announcement isn’t the only change facing the retailer.

A July 27 press release shared a major change in the board leadership with the chief financial officer Diana Saadeh-Jajeh stepping down on Aug. 11. Saadeh-Jajeh had served in this role for a little over a year and had been with GameStop since 2020.

She had taken over the position from CFO Mike Recupero, who departed the company in July 2022. This recent development adds to the company’s ongoing efforts to shape its executive team and restore the company to its former glory.

Changes are underway

GameStop isn’t the only company that has been affected by regulatory uncertainty. 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) legal action against cryptocurrency giants Binance and Coinbase, accusing them of violating securities laws, has resulted in a number of changes for both exchanges and even companies like Wyre, a payments company that was previously valued at $1.5 billion.

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