As Q4 2021 progresses and the launch of GameStop NFT remains ahead, the Chief Executive Officer of Loopring Daniel Wang has responded to a request for some Q&A.

On October 28th, GMEdd.com released source code from Loopring’s public GitHub repository that confirmed the highly speculated partnership amongst GameStop and the Ethereum-based high-throughput, low-cost, layer2 technology company.

Prior to this, GMEdd.com had published digital breadcrumbs leading to that same point, detailing how Loopring has the technology that GameStop would require to bridge traditional e-commerce and blockchain and engineer the revolution of gaming.

While speculative investors and crypto enthusiasts have eagerly awaited an official statement, a Canadian journalist has decided to ask Loopring’s CEO Daniel Wang his thoughts on scalability, the future of Loopring, and the all-but-announced partnership, granting GMEdd.com permission to share what he found.

The Interview

On November 23rd, 2021, the freelance journalist started with a simple request sent to the Loopring Foundation email for comment on a story in the works about layer-2 solutions in the Ethereum ecosystem.

Emails obtained by GMEdd.com, with private information redacted.

After requesting a quick interview with a Loopring representative and obtaining a response from Daniel Wang himself, the journalist, who asked we keep their identity private, sent over several questions for the CEO.

Three days later, Wang responded to the inquiry, providing color on several different topics related to the company’s technology and its anticipated adoption.

The questions, and Wang’s relevant responses, can be read in their raw format without edits below.

November 26, 2021

Q. Scalability has always been a major issue for Ethereum adoption. L2s like Loopring solve this problem, but the infrastructure is still in it’s beginnings. Do you think that, in the future, users will only interact with L2s, and that L1 will basically become an under-the-hood settlement layer?

Yes, I do think this will be the case for most users. A layered design is much easier to scale.

Q. How would you describe, in layman terms, the advantages of ZK rollups versus optimistic rollups? Is the withdrawal period the only major difference for the user?

The waiting period for withdrawals is a major (noticeable) drawback of optimistic rollups, but the other thing people often neglect is that there needs to be watchers of OR blocks to constantly find potential violation of rules and then challenge the operators in a timely minter to protect user’s interest. These watchers need to be incentives and they cannot share the same interests with operators to stay independent. 

Q. Loopring already has use cases, such as a DEX. But if you think about the finality of your protocol, ten or twenty years down the road, what use cases do you have in mind? Do you plan to be more business/payments-oriented, or game-oriented?

That’s a good question that I don’t have a good answer for. The blockchain space has been embracing new ideas and technologys on a daily basis. It’s hard to make a road map for even the next two years. We are more interested in building infrastructures instead of focusing on an application. Recently what makes me excited is that progress Ethereum Foundation has made in their zkEVM effort. I believe in a year or two, there will be general purpose zkRollup built on top of it to offer full EVM compatibility. 

Q. Vitalik Buterin recently talked about the importance of social recovery for wallets. Losing private keys is a big risk for users, and it’s holding many people from joining crypto/DeFi. Do you think products like Loopring Smart Wallet can help mass adoption? How do you see the evolution of this product in the next few years?

Smart wallet with social recovery is really a good product idea, but the adoption is slow due to higher gas cost of deployment and transaction compared with EOA wallets. I believe to solve this barrier to the market, smart wallets shall be deployed onto layer-2s instead of Ethereum mainnet. It will also be great if Ethereum can support converting EOA addresses to contract addresses so people can try EOA first, then convert them to contract-based wallets later to adopt social-revery based solutions.

Q. There have been a lot of rumors about a potential partnership with Gamestop, which is allegedly working on a NFT marketplace. Can you tell us more about this potential deal? And beyond Gamestop, how would you describe the way Loopring can integrate in the metaverse?

I cannot comment on that.

Q. How many users do you think DeFi can have in 20 years, and what place do you think Loopring will have in it?

I would image most people who have a smart phone will have crypto apps installed and owns some cryptocurrency. By then, Loopring will probably be gone — there will be a lot of younger and smarter people building next generation of technologies to outcompete most existing blockchain platforms/products. It will be sad that two years later most of the current projects are still around. Don’t you agree?

Our Interpretation

Daniel Wang envisions a future where end-users interact with Ethereum entirely on Layer2, leaving standard L1 ETH as a settlement layer, citing enhanced scalability. 

When the question was raised about a road map, the Chief Executive stated that due to the rapid embrace of new ideas in the sector, “It’s hard to make a road map for even the next two years.”

On Loopring’s Discord server in September, Wang stated he was struggling to write the company’s third quarter report in fear of leaking secrets and breaching a non-disclosure agreement, indicating the secrecy of the project.

Amid widespread rumors and source code leaks, by opting to state that he “cannot comment,” in his latest interview on the GameStop partnership, Wang acknowledges the existence of the speculation and declines to negate it.

While official announcements have yet to be made, and with GameStop’s third quarter fiscal 2021 earnings results disclosed on Wednesday, December 8th, retail investors anticipate a product launch of GameStop NFT, bridging the gap between traditional e-commerce and blockchain, within the upcoming month.

Source: Emails with Daniel Wang

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Cryptic tweets are nothing new to GameStop investors, but Chinese is. What is the Loopring CEO saying on Twitter?

Loopring’s LRC Ethereum token has climbed over 120% in only days as speculation rises that GameStop’s NFT marketplace is launching soon.

On Wednesday, October 27th, GMEdd published source code from Loopring’s public GitHub repository that confirmed the highly-anticipated partnership amongst the ambitious digital pioneers.

The Swordsman (劍客)

While traders attempt to position themselves accordingly, Loopring’s CEO has shared a classic chinese poem on Twitter.

Loopring CEO Daniel Wang tweeted this at 9:37 PM EST on November 1st.

The text originates from Jia Dao’s classic Chinese poem, The Swordsman (劍客).

十年磨一剑

霜刃未曾试

今日把示君

谁有不平事

Jia Dao was a Chinese Buddhist monk and poet active during the Tang dynasty.

According to Dr. James J.Y. Liu, a professor of Chinese and comparative literature, Jia’s poem sums up the spirit of knighthood in four lines.

Here is a translation, courtesy of Andrew W.F. Wong.

For ten long years, a sword I whetted,  
Its frosty blade, as yet, untried.
Today, I hold it unsheathed before you;
Of you, to whom was justice denied?

What does it mean?

The poem can be understood as an analogy of a man, the poet, after studying hard (whetting his sword) for ten years, is now ready to take the imperial examinations (show his sword/swordsmanship to represent scholarship and abilities), pledging that he, as an official (the “swordsman”, as in the title), will right all injustices.  

One explanation is that Wang considers himself the swordsman, and, after years of hard work, he is now ready to present his abilities, GameStop NFT, to the world.

A special thanks to all of the GMEdd readers in China. We appreciate your support!

Source: Daniel Wang on Twitter, Andrew W.F. Wong Translations, Jia Dao on Wikipedia

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Posts by Loopring on LinkedIn reveal that GameStop’s soon-to-be-announced NFT marketplace will feature instant, gas-free transactions.

Last night, GMEdd published source code from Loopring’s public GitHub repository that confirmed the highly-speculated partnership amongst the ambitious pioneers.

Prior to this, GMEdd.com had published digital breadcrumbs leading to that same point, detailing how Loopring has the technology that GameStop would require to bridge traditional e-commerce and blockchain and engineer the revolution of gaming.

You know the drill. Read those posts first, then come back. Actually, you’ve probably read them already, considering GMEdd.com crashed amid all the traffic and LRC went up 58.5% today. You’re welcome, Loopring. Sorry if we startled you.

Nobody Rides for Free

In an October 13th, 2021 thread on Twitter, Damiana Amabile, a former Chewy executive turned GameStop Director of Product shared her frustration with completing her first purchase on leading NFT marketplace OpenSea. 

Amabile states that, “the process was not easy,” and that it was eye-opening considering how traditional e-commerce has embraced a one-click/tap checkout experience.

The first tweet in Amabile’s Twitter thread discusses gas fees.

The GameStop Director of Product’s first complaint about OpenSea was that the concept of “gas fees” is so foreign to anyone not in the space. She imagines this is a high drop off point in the conversion tunnel. 

“Gas fees” are the transaction fees that users pay on a blockchain protocol to have their transaction executed. The system works on a standard supply and demand mechanism. 

If there is more demand for transactions, users will be forced to pay more to have their transactions processed quickly and efficiently. Currently, there’s plenty of demand.

High gas fees can be regarded as one of Ethereum’s biggest inhibitors to growth, with little desire for users to complete trades that often cost more than what they’re worth.

High gas fees have plagued Ethereum for over a year.

In a CoinDesk Opinion story from October 14, 2020, former Amazon executive turned CEO of a blockchain education company Michael J. Garbade writes that High Ethereum gas prices make it impossible for ERC-20 projects to run any microtransaction payments on Ethereum, defeating the idea of using the Ethereum network for one of its principal use cases.

Garbade explores one potential solution: zkRollup technology, stating that the trustless protocol from zkSync was, at the time, the most efficient answer.

zkRollup technology has the potential to solve high gas fees on Ethereum’s network

While there are several companies that have built ETH Layer 2 protocols using zkRollup technology, Loopring has since emerged as one of the most advanced and capable of mass-adoption.

Loopring, we’re not done yet

Loopring states that one major advantage of being application specific is that the protocol can optimize Loopring’s L1 footprint to the extreme as opposed to other Layer 2s. 

This means Loopring L2 is much more scalable, faster + less expensive to use than other general purpose Ethereum L2s.

If you’re confused, Loopring’s Head of Community Byron Wiebe can frequently be found answering questions from LRC holders and curious GameStop investors alike on Loopring’s Discord server (to the best of his ability given the circumstances).

Byron answered some questions from ManBearOrca on October 26th.

When asked about delaying the launch until ETH2.0 is live, Byron goes on to state that Loopring’s technology is already capable of handling 4,000 transactions per second currently, “similar capacity to Mastercard daily transactions globally.”

Byron also states that Loopring’s free Layer2 Wallet will be launching simultaneously or prior to the NFT Marketplace, allowing for easy adoption amongst those who aren’t used to crypto.

“We Uh, We Fixed the Glitch.”

In a LinkedIn post today, Loopring has added some commentary on their Q3 2021 Quarterly Update, which was published by Byron.

Loopring announced that they will be enabling NFT support, “allowing anyone to mint and trade NFTs instantly and gas-free.”

Loopring shared this post on LinkedIn on October 28th 2021.

Loopring goes on to state that this functionality is now the foundation of a new NFT Marketplace launching soon.

With Damiana Amabile’s major gripes with NFT transactions solved by Loopring, the gap between traditional e-commerce and blockchain could be bridged.

It’s now beyond a reasonable doubt that GameStop has found a partner for their venture into the future.

We just wouldn’t be so sure that Loopring is the only one.

Sources: Loopring on LinkedIn, Damiana Amabile on Twitter, CoinDesk, Loopring Discord

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Loopring’s public GitHub repository has leaked code confirming GameStop’s highly speculated partnership with the Ethereum Layer 2 scaling protocol.

On Friday, GMEdd.com published clues that Loopring has the technology that GameStop would require to bridge traditional e-commerce and blockchain and engineer the revolution of gaming.

The following Monday, GMEdd discovered and shared GameStop’s latest NFT job listings, which detailed interest in Web3.0, Blockchain Gaming, and even an NFT marketplace.

Since then, Loopring has been hard at work to prepare for the team’s anticipated Q4 2021 launch, and has pushed new code to its GitHub repository labeled “NFT feature”.

Git happens

GitHub is a popular platform amongst developers that is typically used for version control. It is helpful when more than just one person is working on a project. 

While Loopring made progress towards their NFT Marketplace launch, updates were pushed to a public GitHub repository.

On Tuesday, code was committed to the Loopring GitHub repository by Loopring developer W. Tang.

Loopring’s ‘NFT feature’ code reveals several references to GameStop

The amended code in the branch “NFT-DEV” under the GitHub commit titled ‘NFT feature makes reference to “gameStopMeta” and an IPFS URL.

IPFS is a distributed system for storing and accessing files, websites, applications, and data. IPFS was noted to be used by GameStop previously during their first NFT project reveal

GameStop uses IPFS to store and share data.

The IPFS URL resolves to a directory with 7 .json files that contain “Hello World” placeholder code in various graphic styles. 

Hello World is a common sample text designed to familiarize users with most programming languages.

GameStop has used several stock “Hello World,” images as placeholder NFTs, within an NFT collection titled ‘Styles of Programming’. 

Hello, GameStop NFT!

The names of each style 1 through 7 are: C Style, Console Style, Green Bold Style, Old Game Style, Classic Style, Declarative Style and Javascript Style.

Power to the creators

Also found within the JSON files are references to “creatorRoyaltyBips,” with a value of “500”. 

Bips, otherwise known as basis points, are a unit of measure used in finance to describe the percentage change in the value of financial instruments. 

One basis point is equivalent to 0.01% (1/100th of a percent) or 0.0001 in decimal form. 

A fractional basis point such as the 500 bips referenced in the code is equivalent to 5%.

GameStop’s IPFS details ‘creatorRoyaltyBips’

These findings suggest GameStop’s NFT marketplace will allow for resale of digital assets, including the ability to pay royalties to the original creator on future transactions.

This aligns with the slogan revealed on NFT.GameStop.com from May.

Power to the players.

Power to the creators.

Power to the collectors.

EIP-1155: Putting the Fun in Fungible

The code posted on GitHib reveals that GameStop NFT is built on EIP-1155 which allows the creation of Fungible, Non-Fungible, and Semi-Fungible in one single token standard.

ERC-1155 is a unique token that supports non-fungible (NFTs) and fungible tokens. It’s faster and more efficient than prior iterations.

This allows flexibility to create unique “non-fungible” items, such as rare collectibles, artwork, in-game items and “fungible” items such as in-game currency, points or cosmetic items that can be owned by many people. 

The second NFTType reference is to EIP-712, a secure method of signing a transaction on Ethereum.

Stealth Projects Started at Chewy

While at Chewy, Ryan Cohen led the stealth “Project Bear,” committed to disrupting the $9B pet pharma industry. Despite Cohen’s departure 3 months earlier, Chewy did not roll out or even announce the initiative until it was completely ready for launch.

Chewy launched Chewy Pharmacy in July of 2018.

It is likely that GameStop will not make any splashy public reveals about GameStop NFT until the offering is finalized, following the same playbook as Chewy.

Fortunately, CHWYdd.com was unavailable at the time to break Project Bear news before release.

The full application of GameStop’s NFT Marketplace and the kinds of assets that will be offered for trading remains unclear.

Loopring has disclosed a launch date “at some point in Q4 2021,” and the partnership appears keen on disrupting the $150B gaming industry.

As GMEdd.com curated this piece, Loopring’s loopring-web-v2 public repository and IPFS links were taken down, leading our sources to point to archived versions.

Toast, vestro, and Jenna researched and contributed. Toast edited and contributed. 

Sources: Loopring on GitHub, nft.gstop-sandbox.com, Winda Tang on GitHub, 1.json, 2.json, 3.json, 4.json, 5.json, 6.json, 7.json, Winda Tang on GitHub, Loopring Github Archive, nft.gstop-sandbox.com, Pet Product News

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GameStop’s latest job postings share an inside-look at their plans in the metaverse, including blockchain, Web3, and hints towards a futuristic NFT marketplace.

On Friday, GMEdd published clues that Loopring has the technology that GameStop would require to bridge traditional e-commerce and blockchain and engineer the revolution of gaming.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, GameStop isn’t holding back.

GMEdd.com’s #gme-tracker bot has published GameStop’s latest daily job postings since early June 2021, even picking up on some blunders in September. Sorry.

The bot sends the latest jobs postings every day at 11:00 PM EST.

On October 25th, GameStop shared 8 new job listings for 3 different roles within their NFT division, featuring descriptions and requirements detailing the company’s ambitions in the rapidly-evolving industry.

Heard from the grapevine before grapevine

The jobs were posted as remote working opportunities based out of the windy city of Seattle, Washington, the home of GameStop in Grapevine, Texas, and Ryan Cohen’s very own South Florida.

Wow, who would have thought?

We would’ve thought.

GMEdd first publicized GameStop’s corporate expansion into South Florida in May, and Seattle in July. GameStop confirmed the Florida offices in September, and Seattle-based employees have since shared images on Twitter, verifying GameStop’s new grasp on the tech hub of The Pacific Northwest.

GameStop’s latest job listings call to hire a Director of Product Marketing – NFT Platform, Sr Software Engineer – NFT Platform, and a Product Owner – Head of Web3 Gaming.

Three new nifty roles within the ranks for GameStop Corp.

Titles are great, but what do the jobs entail? Take a look at the job descriptions and some of the requests of applicants, pulled right from GameStop Careers.

Director of Product Marketing, NFT Platform

GameStop’s Job Description

Have you built products from scratch? Have you launched new initiatives and grown them to billions in revenue? If so, we want to talk to you. GameStop is looking for a unique individual who is a blend of Product Marketer and Product Owner to help take out NFT platform to the next level. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in a high pressure challenging environments, is skilled at developing partnerships internally and externally, and has delivered results in record time.

GameStop’s Job Responsibilities and Nice to haves

Full archive available here

Senior Software Engineer, NFT Platform

GameStop’s Job Description

GameStop is looking for a Sr. Software Engineer to join our NFT/Blockchain team. This role will be remote and will collaborate with a team of engineers, product managers, designers, and business partners distributed across the U.S. In this role, you will help design, build, and maintain highly scalable services and core API components, powering products and features that delight millions of GameStop customers. The ideal candidate will be customer-obsessed, highly collaborative, and passionate about creating customer experiences that are both frictionless and delightful. A passion for gaming, crypto and e-commerce are a plus!

GameStop’s Job Responsibilities and nice to haves

Full archive available here

Product Owner, Head of Web3 Gaming

GameStop’s Job Description

Have you built products from scratch? Have you launched new initiatives and grown them to billions in revenue? Have you dabbled in the new Web3 world? Are you a gamer to your core? If so, you belong here with us.

GameStop is looking for a unique individual who can help accelerate the future of gaming and commerce. In this future, games are the places to go, and play is driven by the things you bring. Future creators won’t just build games but also the components, characters, and equipment. Blockchains will power the commerce underneath.  An ideal candidate will have experience across several domains in gaming, content creation, partnerships, game design/development/mechanics, and a general understanding and experience with Ethereum, NFTs, and blockchain based gaming platforms.

GameStop’s Job Responsibilities and nice to haves

Full archive available here

crypto punk? Welcome aboard.

GameStop states that applicants would be nice to have NFT marketplace experience and knowledge of crypto, Ethereum and Ethereum Layer 2 products for both the Director of Product Marketing and the Senior Software Engineer positions.

Hiring individuals with NFT marketplace and Ethereum Layer 2 experience shouldn’t be a surprise considering clues point toward GameStop launching an NFT marketplace with Ethereum Layer 2-based platform Loopring as early as Q4 2021.

GameStop’s Director of Product Marketing, NFT Platform job position

GameStop states that the Director of Product Marketing will be responsible for the development and execution of the marketing strategy for GameStop’s NFT platform including product go-to-market, creator acquisition & partnerships, and consumer awareness & product adoption.

The Director of Product Marketing is also asked to think big about the future of NFTs, and how they can bring creators, partners, and gamers into the ecosystem more quickly.

Power to the players, Power to the creators, Power to the collectors

The career posting for Senior Software Engineer applicants states that the role will help design, build, and maintain highly scalable services and core API components, powering products and features that delight millions of GameStop customers.

The Senior Software Engineer, NFT, position also asks applicants to be passionate about building innovative customer experiences.

Blockchain will power the commerce underneath

Future creators won’t just build games…

GameStop’s Head of Web3 Gaming posting reads more like a tech startup’s investor pitch deck than a job listing.

In GameStop’s envisioned future, games are the places to go, and play is driven by the things you bring. 

This is beginning to sound bigger than any NFT marketplace we’ve seen yet.

An ideal candidate will have experience across several domains in gaming, content creation, partnerships, game design/development/mechanics, and a general understanding and experience with Ethereum, NFTs, and blockchain based gaming platforms.

When an entire game is built on a blockchain, every interaction within the game is stored and verifiable as new blocks. Most games that utilize blockchain currently only use NFTs to represent in-game assets, allowing players to buy, trade, and sell skins, weapons, pets, and more for real-world money.

Valve, the parent company of Steam, recently updated its distribution onboarding guidelines to ban any applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs.

Blockchain gaming is largely uncharted territory by current tech giants, with Valve’s PC gaming platform Steam quietly banning games featuring NFTs and Blockchain implementations.

Microsoft and Sony, who GameStop Chairman Ryan Cohen used to follow, haven’t even begun to express interest in the disruptive technology.

“Billions, with a b.”

GameStop goes as far as to ask industry thought leaders who have built products from scratch and grown them to billions in revenue to apply for this role. Hopefully it pays well.

Not only is the job description informative towards GameStop’s conceptual future,  so are the listed job responsibilities.

The job responsibilities of GameStop’s Head of Web3 Gaming.

Web3, in the context of Ethereum, refers to decentralized apps that run on the blockchain. These are apps that allow anyone to participate without monetizing their personal data.

[You will] drive GameStop’s future growth engine by building relationships with the newest, and largest game publishers in the world

GameStop’s Head of Web3 Gaming establishing relationships with the newest and largest game publishers in the world would position the company to change the way gamers purchase their digital games, with the potential to utilize blockchain to solve used digital.

The Head of Web3 Gaming would also be in charge of leading integrations with Ethereum Layer 2 environments. 

So what?

The job listings posted on October 25th hint that GameStop is trying to be the first to establish a mass-adopted cross-publisher and cross-platform NFT marketplace for digital assets.

This marketplace will likely utilize Loopring’s zkRollup Layer 2 protocol on Ethereum and explore all blockchain-based opportunities in the global gaming space.

The gaming retailer is looking to deeply understand possibilities for gaming within Web3, which decentralists consider the “Internet of the Future,” utilizing blockchain to provide a safe, secure, and incentivized experience for everyone.

It is clear that GameStop is operating a stealth start-up within the aspiring tech company, and investors should be enthusiastic to see what may be unveiled.

Sources: GameStop Careers 1, 2, 3, Bitcoin.com

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GameStop and Loopring are both working on strikingly similar confidential NFT projects and the evidence towards a partnership between the giants is glaring.

GMEdd.com first unearthed the existence of GameStop’s Official NFT project in May 2021 upon discovering a website that didn’t detail much besides a potential slogan for the project, and ever since then investors have speculated what GameStop NFT entails.

Power to the players. Power to the creators. Power to the collectors.

GameStop’s NFT landing page remains unchanged since the May posting.

In June, GMEdd.com covered GameStop’s hiring of Jordan Holberg, an eccentric geek, gamer, decentralist, and now GameStop’s Principal Engineer. We recommend reading that piece before this one, if you haven’t already.

“As Principal Engineer for GameStop,  and … with my analog childhood and digital adolescence, I am the bridge between the old and the new — traditional “legacy” ecommerce and the next generation of blockchain.”

Since the RC Ventures settlement with GameStop, the brick-and-mortar focused retailer has hired at least a dozen individuals in the pursuit of establishing an “NFTeam,” tasked with envisioning a future where traditional e-commerce is bridged with blockchain.

GMEdd’s full tech hire sheet can be seen on our Report and Models page.

Some NFTeam members are publicly-known on LinkedIn, but it is easy to assume that the division does not end here.

What is the company building?

All Roads Point to Finestone

At the center of this crypto task force is Matthew Finestone, CFA, who was granted the title Head of Blockchain at GameStop in April 2021, departing his position as Head of Business for Loopring.

LinkedIn indicates Matthew Finestone transitioned from Loopring to GameStop in April 2021.

Matthew Finestone was one of Loopring’s first employees, and largely worked to advocate for the company’s revolutionary technology, making his departure all the more mysterious.

When Finestone left his position at Loopring, he signed off with a resignation letter titled, “Thank you, Loopring,” still readable on Medium.

Finestone’s departure letter was posted on April 5th 2021.

This letter details Finestone’s years of commitment to Loopring, and states that it has been his life’s work.

Finestone believes that it is hard to have a work-life balance in the world of crypto, and that it all blends together when your passion is your job and your job is your passion.

Most interestingly, Finestone states that he views his next project as a once-in-a-lifetime, perfect-timing, far-reaching opportunity/challenge that he needs to pursue for its own sake, and for his own personal development.

Finestone details his reasons for departure.

Finestone also states that he will not only remain an advisor for Loopring, but he still owns equity in Loopring Technology Limited, and looks forward to remaining a part of the company’s bright future.

Once at GameStop, Finestone began sharing hints that his new gig will bring tens of millions onto Ethereum, through a “stealth startup unit” within a large public corporation.

Finestone seems as enthusiastic about his new project as his last.

What is Loopring? What’s the company building? Grab some popcorn and buckle up, it’s going to be a fun ride.

Ring Ring Ring Ring, Bananaphone

Loopring is a zkRollup Layer 2 protocol on Ethereum that describes itself as “an open-sourced, audited, and non-custodial exchange protocol.” It aims to allow anyone to build non-custodial, order book-based exchanges on Ethereum by leveraging zero-knowledge proofs.

Now, an explanation for all us smooth brains… What you need to know is that Loopring is aiming to leverage blockchain to become the leading user-facing financial services application in the world. Revolutionizing trading, investing, payments, ‘banking’, to become the gateway of choice for users to experience the parallel financial system of Ethereum — in all its glory and security.

GameStop’s hire of Jordan Holberg, who previously founded Hodlberg Financial, a project that would allow their users and traders to easily interact with a wider range of decentralized, authenticated applications without compromising any privacy, is starting to make sense.

Matthew Finestone discussed his work with Loopring in March of 2021.

Matthew Finestone himself states that Loopring is striving to build global, consumer-grade financial applications. Their focus is, overall, delighting users. Who does this remind you of?

The Founder’s Quarters

On August 29th, 2021, Loopring founder Daniel Wang was invited to participate in EDCON 2021 and gave a speech on the theme of “Counterfactual Wallet & NFTs on Loopring”.

Loopring was founded by Daniel Wang, a software engineer based in China who previously worked at internet companies including JD.com and Google.

At EDCON 2021, Daniel Wang stated that Loopring has no plans to launch their own marketplace, but the company is working with a premium owner to make sure they can launch theirs.

Some people ask me a question whether Loopring will launch our own marketplace. The answer is no. We don’t have a plan to launch our own NFT marketplace, but we are working with a premium owner to make sure they can launch their marketplace successfully and very soon, probably in Q4 and with a lot of other stuff.

The transcript was posted on Medium.com.

Every 3 months, Loopring releases a Quarterly Update, where the team details progress towards major product launches and what to expect in the months ahead.

With only days until the team’s much-anticipated 2021 Q3 Update, Loopring CEO Daniel Wang expressed overwhelming concern towards his inability to provide any details on the company’s secret NFT partner on his Official Loopring Discord server.

Daniel Wang sent several messages on Discord on September 27th, 2021

Translated from Chinese, albeit poorly, Daniel Wang states he is struggling to write the quarterly report with fear of leaking secrets and breaching a non-disclosure agreement.

I don’t know how to write this quarterly report. The big news hasn’t come out yet. I’ve written it for fear of leaking secrets and breaching the agreement… If you don’t write it, you feel empty and empty…

All of what the Loopring team has been working on for months relates to their premium NFT marketplace partner, and this partner won’t allow Wang to disclose anything about it. 

Sound familiar?

At GameStop’s Annual Shareholders Meeting, Ryan Cohen stated,

We know some people want us to lay out a whole detailed plan today, but that’s not gonna happen. You won’t find us talking a big game, making a bunch of lofty promises, or telegraphing our strategy to the competition. That’s the philosophy we adopted at Chewy.

If Wang doesn’t state Loopring’s progress, he will let down his investors, but if he does, he will break the contract. 

Daniel Wang sent several Discord messages before the Loopring Q3 Update

A few hours later, the Loopring CEO returns to Discord to urge his supporters to remain patient. Wang states, “just wait guys, the stuff that will be announced, will be worth 10 quarterly reports.

Loopring has since teased the Q4 announcement, with several tweets on their @loopringorg Twitter profile.

Loopring’s tweets have a familiar energy.

GameStop.Loopring.Eth

Etherscan is a Block Explorer and Analytics Platform for Ethereum.

Essentially, Etherscan allows anyone to explore and search the Ethereum blockchain for transactions, addresses, tokens, prices, and other activities taking place.

One search of the Ethereum Name ‘gamestop.loopring.eth’ resolves to the address ‘0x269635DF1C17f24e15E27786f0C28C3DD409B3D2’.

gamestop.loopring.eth is a product of Matthew Finestone.

The only transaction sent to this smart contract wallet is from ‘0x381636d0e4ed0fa6acf07d8fd821909fb63c0d10’, an address owned by Matthew Finestone, Head of Blockchain at Gamestop, on May 27th, 2021, over a month into his GameStop employment.

Why would finestone.eth fund the wallet ‘gamestop.loopring.eth’?

GMEdd.com was able to confirm that finestone.eth is owned by Matthew Finestone of GameStop.

Finestone even uses one of the NFTs held by his finestone.eth account as his profile picture on Twitter.

New Subdomains, too

Through tracking GameStop’s subdomains as they emerge, internet sleuths can reveal a lot about what a company is working on.

GameStop has created a new NFT subdomain: support.nft.gamestop.com, as of October 22, 2021. 

gamestop.com has 519 unique subdomains as of today.

While it currently redirects to a Zendesk page stating that the support center does not exist, it shows GameStop is in the process of building a customer service platform directly for their NFT offering. 

Getting started on a support center possibly indicates how soon the GameStop NFT project will be launching. If there wasn’t a product announcement imminent, would the company be concerned with providing support?

Family Ties

It was a night of cocktails, shopping and beats at the brand new Aventura Mall hotspot Jared Lang. The shirts, shoes, swim, outerwear, and hosiery designer Jared Lang celebrated his eponymous store opening with a select group of VIP’s and fashionistas who checked out the brand new brick and mortar hotspot situated in between Tiffany & Co. and Givenchy in the luxury wing of Aventura Mall. 

Ashley Finestone was photographed at Jared Lang’s grand opening celebration.

The lavish event was on March 15, 2018 in Aventura, Florida. Thanks to photography by Andrew Stankus, we can see that Ashley Finestone was in attendance, photographed alongside designer Jared Lang.

Finestone… where have we seen that name before?

Ashley Finestone shared Matthew Finestone’s LinkedIn Post in May 2021.

“Proud of my brother as he embarks on his next endeavor,” says Ashley Finestone, as Matthew Finestone departs his position as Head of Business at Loopring for a project seeking full stack/blockchain/solidity developers “looking for a big challenge and opportunity….” later revealed to be GameStop.

Who else was photographed at this grand opening celebration?

Ryan Cohen was photographed at Jared Lang’s Grand Opening.

The man who brought dog food onto the internet himself, Ryan Cohen, co-founder of Chewy and Chairman of the Board at GameStop.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, as Jared Lang proclaims Ryan Cohen is his closest friend and brother-in-law.

Jared Lang on LinkedIn in 2019

So, GameStop’s future Chairman and the sister of GameStop’s future Head of Blockchain both happen to be “Select VIPs” at a small opening party all the way back in 2018?

The Cohen family ties seem to extend past Jared Lang, possibly even to Finestone.

If you think this may just be one hell of a cohencidence, look no further than Facebook.

Ryan Cohen’s wife updated her profile picture on May 12, 2020.

On a May 2020 profile picture update by Ryan Cohen’s wife¹, Ashley Finestone reacted with a heart.

We would never want to invade anyone’s personal privacy here at GMEdd.com, even in the pursuit of investigation, so do note that these are public posts, shared on social media.

Ashley Finestone has updated her profile picture too.

Another updated profile picture, this one by Ashley Finestone on the 9th of November, 2014, was liked by Ryan Cohen’s wife. 2014. 

We can also recall that Ryan Cohen is a college dropout from Montreal, Canada per a Forbes article from 2017. Matthew Finestone, however, graduated from McGill University, a school in Montreal, Canada.

Both Matthew Finestone and Ryan Cohen have roots in the Canadian city of Montreal.

It seems the relationship of Ryan Cohen and Matthew Finestone dates back much, much, further than the April 2021 hiring of Finestone as GameStop’s Head of Blockchain.

Is it possible that recruiting Matthew Finestone to lead an NFT division was part of Ryan Cohen’s transformation plan from the beginning?

Rolling it all back up

Nobody knows for certain what GameStop’s extensive NFT division has been working on. 

Loopring is keeping secrets as well, with the CEO disclosing that the Ethereum-based technology company is working with a premium partner who demands they keep quiet.

GameStop’s Head of Blockchain speaks with incredible passion about his time at Loopring, even a month after transitioning to working for GameStop.

Matthew Finestone sent out this tweet on May 12, 2021.

Although Matthew Finestone was formerly listed on LinkedIn as an Advisor to Loopring while simultaneously maintaining his employment at GameStop, he has since departed his advisory role at Loopring, possibly to stay in good corporate governance amid a partnership between both companies.

In Finestone’s Loopring departure letter, the former Head of Business left a heartfelt message to the engineering team, stating that he has absolutely zero doubt that Loopring’s future is bright.

Finestone’s Loopring departure speaks directly to the team he worked alongside.

Digital breadcrumbs allow for reasonable assumptions to be made, as it seems Loopring has the technology that GameStop would require to bridge traditional e-commerce and blockchain and engineer the revolution of gaming.

With Q4 of 2021 already underway, it is only a matter of time until Loopring’s NFT Marketplace partner is announced, and we can expect GameStop investors will be on the edge of their seats until then.

Toast and vestro researched and contributed. Toast edited and contributed.

Sources: Finestone on Medium, About Loopring, Facebook, Jared Lang on LinkedIn, Finestone on Twitter, Finestone on Twitter, Ashley Finestone on Facebook, World Red Eye, Loopring on Twitter, Loopring on Twitter, Forbes, Matt Finestone on LinkedIn, Ashley Finestone on LinkedIn, Finestone on Medium

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¹Personally identifiable information on a private individual has been redacted.

GameStop’s Head of Blockchain felt the need to clear the air as anticipation rose towards the rumored July 14th GameStop NFT launch date.

GameStop’s Head of Blockchain, Matt Finestone, took to Twitter to reveal that the highly-anticipated launch date of July 14th seen in GameStop’s NFT contract was nothing more than a nod to the anticipated date of Ethereum’s next upgrade.

EIP-1559 greatly improves the UX of tx fees on Ethereum!

The GameStop NFT Contract

GameStop investors and crypto-enthusiasts alike had begun to speculate on the launch date based on line 936 of the GameStop NFT contract, which stated a ‘public launchDate’ of GameStop NFT in unicode as ‘1626261600‘.

Converted out of unicode, a launch date of July 14th, 2021, at 4:20 AM PT was revealed.

Several other mishaps have been previously noted in the GameStop NFT contract, such as a seemingly out of place reference to the cryptopunks craze. 

In late May, when one Twitter user claimed that GameStop had “just FOMO into Ethereum,” foobar, a contributor to the GameStop NFTeam,  went on the defensive and worked to explain GameStop’s NFT contract.

The GameStop NFT contract creator and Punk #4257 states that the contract that was posted on nft.gamestop.com only mints the standalone teaser NFT, and that’s it.

foobar goes on to say that he spent too much time on the vanity address, which featured several gaming references that fans appreciated.

0x13374200c29C757FDCc72F15Da98fb94f286d71e

Spent too much time on the vanity address and not enough on variable names… Back to building!

busy building, moving fast

Finestone has also expressed similar rhetoric towards a push to continue building.

In a response to Twitter user HappyBagholder, the Head of Blockchain stated that there is no date set in stone for GameStop NFT, and now the team is busy building.

GMEdd has counted double-digit blockchain/NFT hires bringing innovative experience to the gaming retailer, with current data visible on GMEdd’s Report and Models page. 

GameStop’s Blockchain division hires include, but are not limited to:

While bullish investors may be disappointed to hear GameStop’s NFT project isn’t ready for a launch four days from now, a tweet from May 5th by foobar looking for crypto talent reminds everyone that the team moves fast.

Join the GMEdd Discord Server to participate in the latest discussions on GameStop’s NFT project.

Sources: foobar on Twitter, finestonematt on Twitter, GameStop NFT