STEPN is the most popular move-to-earn blockchain game in the crypto market this year after some significant adoption by the market and big moves with other major exchanges and well-known sneaker brands.
Move-to-earn is a new way to earn money through gaming with the novelty that it rewards not only digital activity within a game or app, but also physical activity. In short, the more you move in the real world, the more you are rewarded in your digital app.
STEPN has been crushing it lately after surpassing 300K daily active users (DAUs), receiving a strategic investment from the venture capital arm of Binance, and launching a unique collection of NFT sneakers on Binance NFT marketplace in partnership with sports brand ASICS.
What is STEPN?
STEPN is a move-to-earn health and fitness app with game elements built on Solana. Users equipped with sneaker NFTs can run and walk outdoors to earn tokens and NFT rewards. The funds earned can either be used to increase earnings in the app or can be withdrawn and sold. The mobile app has a built-in wallet, swap, marketplace, and rental system that allows non-crypto users to onboard.
How does STEPN work?
Anybody can earn tokens and NFTs in STEPN by downloading an app, buying NFT sneakers, and completing various forms of exercise. Similar to how Bitcoin mining works, users in STEPN have to prove they have physically worked out, at the cost of their own time and energy. This is validated by the app’s anti-cheating mechanics using GPS and machine-learning technology.
The tokens and NFTs are then minted to users’ wallets from the people, not from the game developer FindSatoshi Lab, known for its work on cryptocurrency wallet Solwallet. In this way, people can trade their tokens and NFTs 100% peer-to-peer and over time. STEPN has created an ecosystem where the value of tokens and NFTs is based on supply and demand.
STEPN tokens: GMT and GST
There are two types of tokens available to players, GMT (total supply of 6 billion) and GST (unlimited supply). GMT is a management token that allows users to increase their income. GST is an in-game token that users receive for in-game activity.
To create a balanced token ecosystem, the developers have decided not to limit the GMT governance token earning to a small group of people. Instead, they have made GMT and GST broadly accessible to ensure balance in the mining of these two tokens.
Since many GameFi projects with a similar dual-token economy have tended not to thrive, the question is raised about whether GST, with its unlimited supply, will go into a death spiral. STEPN’s model addresses this by making GST earning irrelevant at a higher level. As people approach the higher levels, they are presented with the option to choose which token to earn, and they would naturally want to earn the limited supply of GMT.
This will get amplified over time as more GMT is burned and more GMT use cases are released. This should reduce the GST token supply enough to balance the token value. If too many people are mining GMT, they will earn less than what they can with GST, so they will switch to earning GST. This will reduce the competition for earning GMT, and, in turn, make GMT mining profitable again.
Getting started with STEPN
To get started with STEPN, you must first download the app to your smartphone via Google Play or Apple Store. Then, following the on-screen instructions, you will need to create an account and receive an activation code.
You will be able to use the app fully once you have purchased your NFT sneakers from the in-app STEPN shop. Choose your sneakers based on your abilities. Once you have purchased the sneakers, open the game and start walking or running. You will start earning immediately.
How to join STEPN: Step-by-step guide
1. Download the App
First, you have to install the app on your smartphone. Depending on the model of your phone, you can do this either from the App Store or from Google Play.
2. Create an Account
After launching the app, you will need to enter your email address, to which you will receive a registration confirmation code. Enter your email address and press the ‘Send Code’ button. A code will be sent to your email address, and you will need to enter it in the corresponding field.
3. Obtain Activation Code
You then need to obtain an app activation code. To obtain the activation code, register in the STEPN community on one of the official social networks. Choose the social network that suits you best (Twitter, Telegram, Discord, etc.) and proceed according to the on-screen prompts. An activation code can also be received from a friend via invitation or bought from another user.
Once you have received the activation code, the main app screen will open. Click on the ‘Get activation code’ button. After you have entered your activation code, the app will open and the tutorial will start. Several screens will explain to you how to use the app.
4. Create a Crypto Wallet
You then need to create a crypto wallet in the STEPN app. Click on the wallet image in the top-right corner of the app. This will start the process of creating a crypto wallet, which will take a couple of minutes. While creating the wallet, you will be shown a secret phrase that you need to write down and keep in a safe place. Once the crypto wallet has been created, you will be taken back to the main app screen.
5. Start the Game
In the top-right corner, the token column will show zeros. To start the game, you need to deposit Solana (SOL) tokens into the crypto wallet you just created, in the amount that will allow you to purchase an NFT in the form of a sneaker. SOL can be bought on almost any major CEX or DEX.
6. Buy NFT Sneakers
TIP: Before you buy sneakers in STEPN, open the app and run for 10 minutes in running mode without sneakers. This is so that you can find the right type of sneaker for you. NFT sneakers are purchased in the shop. After buying the sneakers, wait until 25% of the energy has accumulated (approximately 6 hours) and then start the game. You are now ready to move-to-earn!
Playing and Moving to Earn
STEPN currently has solo mode only, in which users receive GST tokens as a reward for moving in the real world. This consumes virtual energy at a rate of 1 unit per 5 minutes of movement. All of these processes are only triggered after the purchase of NFT trainers. If the energy is at zero, no tokens are earned.
GST tokens, and subsequently GMT, are paid out depending on the following factors:
- The level and attributes of NFT sneakers – more efficient sneakers cost more. Up until Level 29, users can only earn GST, and from Level 30 onwards, they can switch to earning GMT if they wish.
- Sneaker comfort parameter – the higher it is, the more tokens are earned every minute.
- Running speed – it is necessary to maintain the recommended speed range for the sneaker. If you deviate too much from it, earnings will be reduced by up to 90%.
Marathon and background modes are set to be added later. Marathon mode will be an entirely new playstyle and is aimed for release towards the end of 2022. Background mode will be added when the STEPN team feels the time is right to approach non-crypto users.
The Importance of Energy
Energy plays an important role in earning tokens in STEPN. As soon as you run out of energy, your earnings will stop. Only when energy is available will your movement be rewarded. The amount of energy determines how many tokens you can earn for walking and running.
To increase the amount of energy you have, you can buy more NFT sneakers or get hold of rarer ones. The more NFT sneakers you own in your inventory, the more energy they will automatically generate. Higher levels and rarity sneakers will give you more energy.
Strengths of STEPN
One of STEPN’s biggest strengths in the current market is the successful combination and implementation of GameFi and sports. This could be seen as a clear advantage over any competition as many crypto-native builders don’t have the connections or knowledge to replicate STEPN’s GPS technology and machine-learning anti-cheating mechanics.
Because the health concept of the game and its everyday practicality is relatively simple compared to other games and apps in crypto, STEPN is a prime candidate for mainstream adoption.
Weaknesses of STEPN
There are still quite large barriers to entry for the average person. The registration process is too complicated, and to start playing, new users need to first learn how to open and fund a crypto wallet and buy an NFT item. For a newbie, this is not as straightforward as it should be.
NFTs also cost between 2.5 and 10 SOL, and way upwards of $100 if you want the best sneakers. This means there is an element of ‘pay-to-earn’ about STEPN. However, at the moment, the return on investment (ROI) is in the region of a few weeks, which is not bad at all.
Making money while keeping healthy is a win-win, and as a sports GameFi product, STEPN has struck a decent balance between game elements that are not too rich and complex to stop non-gamers from entering, and sports elements that are not too difficult to stop non-athletic people from trying it out.
The tokenomics also create value for both users and the platform. As long as the concept remains simple and participating remains profitable for the average user, STEPN should continue its impressive adoption rate.
For more information on STEPN, follow their official channels: