Launched by FindSatoshi Lab, Stepn is a lifestyle app that successfully merges the concepts of augmented reality (AR) gaming and play-to-earn gaming. Built on Solana, an Ethereum competitor, it motivates users to exercise by rewarding them with crypto tokens.
The “move-to-earn” app takes cues from AR games like Pokemon Go and play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity, rewarding users with cryptocurrency for real-world exercise tracked via GPS. It is effectively a fusion of Fitbit, Pokemon Go, and Axie Infinity.
Stepn users earn rewards in the form of the app’s native cryptocurrency, the Green Satoshi Token (GST), for walking, jogging, or running during a specific time period that resets every 24 hours. To begin earning, users need to purchase an NFT sneaker, which can then be upgraded to enhance GST earnings per session. The NFT sneakers are tradable on secondary markets and are already fetching prices ranging from $400 to $100,000.
Understanding Stepn’s mechanics involves grasping two key features: the sneaker and energy. Upgrading your NFT sneaker can enhance five different characteristics, improving earning potential. Energy, on the other hand, represents the time allotted for a move-to-earn session, with one energy unit equating to five minutes. Initially, users have only two energy units, limiting earning opportunities to just ten minutes per day. To increase energy, more sneakers need to be purchased, creating a delicate balance between investment costs and potential earnings.
Stepn’s ecosystem includes three tokens: SOL (used for purchasing sneakers), GST (earned through exercising), and GMT (a governance token for platform voting rights). Both GST and GMT tokens can be purchased on crypto exchanges like Binance, OKX, Bybit, CoinTiger, and FTX.
Despite initial success, Stepn encountered difficulties in China due to regulations prohibiting the storage of citizens’ GPS data and subsequent market downturns. The app also suffered from several distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, causing disruptions in recording users’ workouts. If these hurdles are overcome, “move-to-earn” could emerge as a significant sector in the crypto space, motivating users to exercise more.