What would motivate you to exercise more? According to the founders STEPN, cold hard cash is what would encourage you to exercise more. The move-to-earn app gives users cash rewards for being more active. It has attracted millions of users in just a few months.
Yawn Rong is the co-founder of STEPN. He says, “We wanted incentivise people change their behavior and do more exercise.” It’s a way for Web3 technology to be shared with a wider range of fitness enthusiasts.
Users must first download the STEPN App and then purchase a virtual pair in the form a non-fungible token NFT. After they do that, each time they run, jog, or walk outside, STEPN’s motion sensor technology and GPS tracking track how far they have traveled and reward them with tokens. These tokens can be used to upgrade sneakers or cash out for hard currency.
These potential rewards look very attractive. Rong states that the minimum amount users can expect to make is $25 per 10 minutes of activity. Some users earn as high as $4,500 per day. He says that not everyone takes all of the cash. They can use their earnings to purchase new NFTs in the game, trade with other players and give some of their cash away to charities.
This sounds too good to true? There is a catch. You will need to purchase the NFT sneakers in Sol currency, which is the native cryptocurrency of the Solana Blockchain, where STEPN operates. They’re also expensive. While the daily price in fiat currency can vary depending on the Sol value, the most affordable sneakers will cost you hundreds of dollars. Sometimes, even $1,000.
STEPN plans to offer a rental service for sneakers in the future to help players avoid paying a large upfront cost. The new players would rent shoes from an existing player, sharing the revenue with the sneaker owner until the sneakers are purchased. This would encourage more people into the game and help STEPN expand its reach. Currently, it is most popular in wealthy countries like Japan, France, USA, and UK. Users can afford their first NFT purchase.
However, for now, people don’t seem to be discouraged by the high initial purchase prices and barrier to entry. The app has had 2.3 million active monthly users since its launch in December last year, and half a million are using it on any given day. This has led to STEPN’s tokens gaining in value, with trading volumes in GMT governance tokens surpassing those of Bitcoin or Ethereum on certain days.
STEPN is attracting a lot of attention in the crypto investment world. The tokens have seen gains of several hundred per cent at their peak but with significant volatility. While new cryptocurrencies have been popping up at a dizzying pace over the last couple of years, some investors believe that the move-to earn principle that underpins STEPN will allow it to continue growing.
STEPN takes a 6% cut from its NFT trading fees. This generates significant revenues for the company within a short time. The company has already been valued at more than $1billion by some analysts and made a $26m profit in the last quarter.
Rong and Jerry Huang, his co-founder, aren’t content to rest on their laurels. They see STEPN as a step in the right direction for a wider Web3 offering. They believe that users will become more comfortable with cryptocurrency and decentralised financing, and this will allow them to offer more services. Rong says that STEPN will continue to bring new and exciting developments to users. The app plans to incorporate more socialfi elements in its platform, and will release exciting features for non native crypto users to make it easier to join the Web3 world.
They are keen to emphasize their green credentials. As well as STEPN’s use of Solana, widely seen as a more environmentally-friendly blockchain, the business gives users the opportunity to donate some of the profit pool to buying carbon removal credits.
Traditional sportswear companies are starting to pay attention. STEPN announced a partnership with ASICS last month, which saw the release of a limited edition set branded sneakers via the app. “The STEPN App is an amazing feat of technological innovation. We believe that ASICS will benefit millions of people around the world by collaborating with them in the near and long-term,” Joe Pace, ASICS’ head of business development.