GameStop is doubling down on crypto, and as part of its growing expansion into blockchain technologies, it announced a new partnership with crypto exchange FTX on Wednesday.
The two companies didn’t specify many details about what the partnership actually means, but they did share a few tidbits. According to a press release, “the partnership is intended to introduce more GameStop customers to the FTX community and its marketplaces for digital assets.”
One specific aspect of the partnership is that GameStop will begin carrying FTX gift cards in “select stores.” GameStop is also FTX’s “Preferred Retail Partner” in the US, which may indicate that FTX will sell other types of merchandise at GameStop at some point.
The partnership comes in GameStop’s headfirst dive into crypto, which has so far launched its own NFT marketplace and its own crypto wallet. The company recently laid off staff, and in a memo to employees about the cuts, CEO Matt Furlong highlighted the company’s blockchain group in the first sentence.
By partnering with FTX, GameStop seems to be signaling that it’s still serious about crypto — but the alliance could also help both companies navigate the so-called crypto winter. As digital asset prices fell earlier this year, FTX CEO and co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried tried to bail out some struggling crypto companies, such as Voyager and BlackFi, but those investments have had “mixed” results recently, he said.
GameStop isn’t the only company to partner with FTX recently; Reddit also tied up with a crypto exchange, while FTX spent extensively on advertising during the Super Bowl and sponsored various sports teams/leagues in efforts to raise its profile. Last year, FTX paid $135 million to rename the Miami Heat’s home American Airlines Arena to FTX Arena, before Crypto.com signed a $700 million deal to name the LA Lakers’ home court, formerly known as the Staples Center.