GameStop taps Immutable X for NFT marketplace

FILE PHOTO: A GameStop Inc. store is shown in Encinitas, California, U.S., May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo

(Reuters) - GameStop Corp is partnering with blockchain startup Immutable X to launch its non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace later this year, as it looks to take advantage of the booming market and complement its digital pivot into e-commerce.

The companies also announced a fund worth $100 million, in Immutable X's IMX tokens, dedicated to supporting creators of NFT content from gaming studios, "Web3" and metaverse gaming.

The market for NFTs hit nearly $25 billion in sales in 2021, compared to just $94.9 million the year before, as the speculative crypto asset exploded in popularity, data from market tracker DappRadar showed.

While some see NFTs as the future of ownership in the online world, and buying NFTs as a vote of confidence in the development of "Web3" or the metaverse, others are baffled as to why so much money is being spent on items which do not physically exist.

NFT sales extend to art, sports collectibles, and music.

Sydney, Australia-based Immutable raised $60 million in its last round of funding led by BITKRAFT Venture and King Rival Capital in September. Immutable is the developer of NFT games Gods Unchained and Guild of Guardians.

Immutable has created Immutable X, a Layer-2 scalability protocol for NFTs on Ethereum, the second-largest blockchain network. This means it enables transactions at a much faster rate compared to Ethereum, requires low computing power and has lower environmental impact.

Immutable X will also become a layer-2 partner and platform for GameStop.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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