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GameStop and Venezuela’s Petro Coin – Tale of Two Crypto Exits

Crypto News | Jan 15, 2024

GameStop has decided to shut down its NFT marketplace

About a year and a half after its launch, GameStop is exiting the NFT business. The company's decision to wind down its NFT marketplace, which supported gaming NFTs and other collectibles across Immutable X and Loopring, both scaling networks, is primarily due to the ongoing regulatory uncertainty in the crypto space. This move comes just four months after GameStop announced the termination of its NFT wallet for similar reasons.

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GameStop first ventured into the NFT space in 2021, hiring a 20-person team to oversee the gaming NFT marketplace. Despite initial enthusiasm, including a collaboration with Immutable and establishing a $100 million fund in Immutable's IMX token, the venture faced challenges. The company even cashed out a significant portion of the IMX tokens shortly after receiving them.

The marketplace's closure, effective February 2, 2024, has been communicated to traders via a pop-up message on its site. Interestingly, the decision to stagger the departure from crypto, instead of a simultaneous shutdown of both the wallet and the marketplace, remains unclear.

Meanwhile, Venezuela Announce Closure of Its National Cryptocurrency, The Petro (PTR)

Venezuela's national cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR), will cease operations on January 15, 2024. Launched in 2018 as a means to circumvent U.S. sanctions, the Petro struggled to gain acceptance both domestically and internationally. The coin, backed by the country's oil reserves, was launched amidst significant opposition and scandal, including a $5 million bounty by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the capture of Joselit Ramirez Camacho, head of the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets overseeing the Petro.

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Despite achieving full functionality in 2020, the Petro was never traded abroad and failed to become legal tender in Venezuela. Its limited domestic use and the lack of mandatory acceptance contributed to its downfall. The closure of the Petro is part of a broader reorganization within Venezuela's crypto and oil sectors.


The closures of GameStop's NFT marketplace and Venezuela's Petro coin signify a cautious approach towards digital assets amidst regulatory uncertainties and market volatility.

Both the decision by GameStop to shutdown its NFT marketplace and Venezuela's Petro Coin to cease operations are prime examples of the difficult challenges traditional companies and governments face when integrating cryptocurrencies and NFTs into their operations and economies.

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For GameStop, the pivot away from NFTs and crypto might be a strategic realignment to focus on its core business in the gaming industry.

In the case of Venezuela, the Petro's failure to gain traction, both domestically and internationally, reflects the difficulties in creating a state-backed digital currency that can operate independently of traditional financial systems.

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