Shares of GameStop (GME), the original meme stock that stoked retail investor frenzy in buying highly volatile stocks last January, surged as much as 31% in after-market trading Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is launching a division to build a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and to establish cryptocurrency partnerships.
The video-game retailer hopes the new unit will lead its turnaround efforts to become profitable, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with its plans.GameStop’s plan calls for it to build an online hub for buying, selling and trading NFTs of virtual video-game goods such as avatar outfits and weapons. The company has hired more than 20 people for the division.The Grapevine, Texas-based company is also close to signing partnerships with two crypto companies to share technology as well as co-invest in games and in other NFT-related projects, the Wall Street Journal said.Prices for LRC, the native token of layer 2 protocol Loopring, spiked about 15% on the news. There have been rumors that Loopring is one of the crypto companies that is working with GameStop on its NFT marketplace. That speculation sent LRC’s price soaring in November.In October, GameStop said it was looking to build an Ethereum-based Web 3 arm, according to a job listing posted by the company.