Stepn’s ‘Move-to-Earn’ Model Has Crypto Analysts Seeing Value in Long Run

Stepn, an “move to earn” app on the Solana Blockchain that allows users get cryptocurrency rewards for walking or running, is gaining traction in digital asset markets.

In just a few months, the fitness app has seen over 300,000.

Stepn’s native token, the green metaverse (GMT) token (STPN), is currently changing hands for $2.20. That is 17 times more than where it began trading in March, even though it has fallen from its all-time high at $9.

“This actually has value in the long run,” said Will McEvoy, senior associate at the independent investment-research firm Fundstrat. “Price stability is important because if the price were to fluctuate 50% a week, it would incentivize users to pull out.”

The project is burning up the track so much in real life that there’s a waiting list to join its Telegram group, which has over 200,000 members already. To join the app, users must be invited by STEPN. The STEPN team has restricted the number of activation codes. These codes are available in Telegram groups, Discord chats, and other STEPN online community. The company issues approximately 3,000 joining codes each day.

A NFT sneaker can be a virtual sneaker users buy on the STEPN market to earn crypto. It is a shoe that you wear while running, walking or jogging. The app tracks user’s movements in a similar way to a Fitbit. The current starting price for a sneaker (denominated using SOL, the native token Solana), is approximately 12 SOL ($803). The price of the virtual sneakers varies depending on earning levels, the better the quality – the more benefits offered.

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NFT sneakers sales are also increasing. According to data from Delphi Digital, sales reached a high of $57 million daily and have dominated most of Solana’s NFT trading volume.

Delphi Digital notes that Stepn volumes result in significant fees for the app. The app charges a 6% commission (2% trading fee, and 4% royalty fee) each time it sells on its marketplace.

“The high fees have been earning the team around $2 to $3 million daily at current volumes, with their cumulative fees earned from Feb. 1-April 30 estimated to be $68.2 million,” said the report.

Stepn Earnings

Mohammad Noor is a freelance virtual assistant from Bangladesh. He said that he found Stepn through YouTube and became interested in the app as it could be a side hustle that could improve his health.

“Jogging is essential to me and now I earn money to do it,” Noor, 35, said in an interview with CoinDesk. He estimates that he makes $75 per day from running twice a week for 30 minutes each.

According to the company’s white paper, players can choose to lease or sell their NFT sneakers on the in-app marketplace; users’ earnings are stored in the in-app wallet, which has a built-in swap function.

Noor bought his first pair sneakers for 10.8 Sol ($70) and stated that they now cost 20 Sol. He thinks Stepn has a bright future because the app is earning money from users in more than just one way – minting shoes, selling shoes and from refilling users’ energy.

“It seems that the developers learnt lessons from other play-to-earn projects that failed,” said Noor.

Stepn is similar to so-called play-to-earn (p2e) games – where players can earn cryptocurrency rewards from playing video games – in the sense that users partake in an activity and earn a passive income from it. McEvoy says that Stepn is more stable than other p2e games such as Axie Infinity.

The app has repurposed p2e’s model, and now offers a lifestyle peg and fitness peg that encourages users exercise. To put it another way, get off the couch.

“The runway for Stepn is much longer than the runway of Axie,” said McEvoy. “This is because the total addressable market of people who would use Stepn is bigger than those who would use Axie.”

“Over a billion people walk and half a billion use fitness tracking apps on their smartphones. There you have 500 million people that this makes sense for,” McEvoy said.

Tokenomics

You can use the green metaverse token (GMT), to unlock, repair and level up your shoes. It can also be minted.

One issue with betting on the GMT tokens, according to Fundstrat’s analysts, is that they can be difficult to value.

Stepn developers are able to change the rules of this game, even though they only have 6 billion tokens.

“In a sense the Stepn developers play the role of a central bank, pulling demand-side levers that either support asset prices or cool them off, much like the Fed,” explains McEvoy. “This makes it difficult to predict how the token will play out.”

Developers have already modified the amount of GMT that is required to make in-game upgrades. To increase demand for the tokens, the developers have increased the GMT required to upgrade users’ sneakers.

GMT is burned when it’s spent on level-ups in the game. This decreases the total supply of the token.

“This type of change should have a positive impact on price and needs to be considered when valuing GMT,” said McEvoy.

According to CoinMarketCap data, GMT’s price reached an all-time high at $9.08 on April 28 and has fallen 58% since then.

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GMT Price

Soon, STEPN developers released an update to their game that temporarily substituted GMT for green satoshi (GST), the token needed for minting new NFTs.

GST is a utility token which can be used for purchasing goods within the app. It can be used to purchase goods in the app and has an unlimited supply.

The developers’ changes resulted in a decrease in demand for GST and an increase for GMT.

McEvoy states that these types of updates from developers provide price stability, which should help to ensure the app’s longevity and sustainability.

However, increasing NFT prices mean that less people can afford to play the game. He said that it will be important to strike a balance between GST, GMT, and NFT prices.

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