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GameStop entered the still-fuzzy Web3 domain at a time when the hype around cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and metaverse was moderating ahead of the current prolonged winter that has encapsulated much of this nascent sphere. While GameStop's approach to NFTs appears to be on an increasingly shaky footing, ApeCoin (APE) and its affiliated Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) are still flying high, as evidenced by the coin's staking contract attracting substantial inflows over the past few hours.
To wit, Axios has cited its internal source as well as multiple LinkedIn posts to suggest that GameStop has laid off at least six software engineers recently, with much of this proverbial axing concentrated on the company's digital wallet initiative. Bear in mind that GameStop also initiated a wave of layoffs back in July, when the company's CFO was also placed on the chopping block, so to speak.
As a refresher, GameStop's dedicated NFT marketplace is built on Loopring's technology and harnesses the capabilities of Immutable X – an Ethereum Layer 2 (L2) solution – to allow for the minting and trading of NFTs in a "carbon-neutral" and zero-fee environment. In order to attract NFT creators, GameStop has created a $100 million fund that is denominated in Immutable X's IMX tokens. Additionally, GameStop has also launched a browser extension-based digital wallet that allows users the ability to send, receive, and store cryptocurrencies (ERC 20 tokens and Ethereum) as well as NFTs conveniently.
As if the declining interest in NFTs was not bad enough, GameStop also entered into a partnership with the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX back in September. As per the company's press release, the partnership was intended to "introduce more GameStop customers to FTX's community and its marketplaces for digital assets. In addition to collaborating with FTX on new e-commerce and online marketing initiatives, GameStop will begin carrying FTX gift cards in select stores."
While GameStop appears to be on a shakier Web3 footing, that is not the case for ApeCoin and the BAYC. For the uninitiated, ApeCoin is intended to power the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 profile pictures minted as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Developed by Yuga Labs, the BAYC is an exclusive NFT-focused organization, with entry reserved for only those individuals who actually own an eligible NFT. As a refresher, a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a deed of ownership of sorts for a digital item, thereby turning it into an asset. Bear in mind that Yuga Labs did not create ApeCoin. Instead, it is the brainchild of ApeCoin DAO, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) created to govern the token and its future development. Apart from acting as the governance token for the BAYC, ApeCoin also intends to become the payment medium of choice for dApps and metaverse offerings.
The ApeCoin staking contract went live around 20 hours back. Since then, the contract has attracted over $23 million in funds. In order to be eligible for staking rewards that will go live on the 12th of December, ApeCoin holders will have to lock up a certain number of coins on the staking contract, depending on the specific pool that such holders are targeting. Bored or Mutant Ape NFT holders can also participate in this staking activity by "committing" their eligible NFTs along with the requisite amount of APE, all mapped to a paired pool.
APE staking started 11 hours ago, and as of now, 2.9M $APE ($11.5M) has been staked.
— Lookonchain (@lookonchain) December 6, 2022
While GameStop eventually aims to host billions of low-cost, in-game digital assets and NFTs, including digital real estate and in-game skins, thereby creating a sizable new source for revenue generation, ApeCoin staking is designed to reward early participants over those who come later on, with rewards declining over a three-year period. This activity will essentially lock up a specific proportion of ApeCoin's supply, thereby creating a theoretical case for a price surge. However, over the short-term, concerns continue to mount whether a "buy the rumor, sell the news" type of move is in the offing. So far, the coin is down a little over 1 percent over the past 24 hours.
Do you think GameStop's latest round of layoffs will have an effect on the broader Web3 sphere? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.