tl;dr Summary: STEPN is a ‘move-to-earn’ project on Solana that offers users the ability to earn crypto for their regular day-to-day movement by holding ‘sneaker’ NFTs within the app wallet. A share of profits is reserved for environmental causes. Given the number of buzzwords in the last two sentences, it is perhaps no surprise that the governance token $GMT continues on a rapid upwards trajectory!
STEPN claims to be the “first project to effectively bring to life a functioning move & earn concept.” The idea is simple – to encourage a healthy lifestyle by providing rewards for physical activity. The Solana-based app was developed by Australian developers ‘Find Satoshi Lab,’ and started to make waves after winning the gaming track of the Solana Ignition Hackathon in 2021. The project has been going from strength to strength ever since, with the native governance token $GMT soaring 10x in the month of March.
To start earning with STEPN, users first must acquire their very own NFT ‘sneakers’ from the app marketplace. Sneakers come in the form of ‘walkers,’ ‘joggers’ or ‘runners,’ each with a different optimum speed for earning rewards. Every sneaker minted is unique, with varying qualities of ‘energy’ and ‘durability’ that determine their reward-earning potential. Once a user has their sneakers, all they need to start earning rewards is a GPS signal on their device and some in-game ‘energy.’ Available energy is capped by the game algorithm, but is replenished every six hours to encourage regular movement throughout the day.
Rewards are paid out in the native game token, Green Satoshi Token ($GST). Rewards can be used to ‘level up’ within the game, to mint new sneakers, or to ‘repair’ worn sneakers. $GST can also be traded out for $SOL or $USDC via the in-app marketplace. The supply of $GST is unlimited, however there are multiple burn mechanisms to keep the total market cap in check, with tokens burnt during sneaker mints, repairs or upgrades. The project also carries its own governance token, Green Metaverse Token ($GMT). $GMT has a maximum supply of 6 billion tokens, and can also be earned from in-game activity once a certain ‘level’ is reached. Holding and staking $GMT allows participation in ecosystem governance.
A novice user of the app can expect to earn over $20 daily, with some reporting that this can increase to over $100 with sneaker upgrades and ‘level-ups’ from regular participation. Seems too good to be true? It is worth noting that the floor price for a pair of STEPN sneakers currently sits at 9.25 $SOL—over $1100 USD at current prices! Whilst this is enough to price many out of the market, STEPN is introducing sneaker ‘rental’ in the coming months, whereby users can rent sneakers from other users via the app’s marketplace. The developers hope that this will remove both financial and also technical barriers to getting started.
The team acknowledge that the current process of creating a crypto wallet, transferring over some $SOL from an exchange, and then minting an NFT is undeniably rather complex for a crypto newbie. By providing quick and easy rental of their sneaker NFTs, STEPN hopes to bring newcomers into Web3, and act as a stepping stone to further exploration of the space.
Project revenue is generated from in-app fees, with a cut of minting, rental, trading and upgrade fees collected into a treasury pool. This treasury pool is used to pay dividends to those holding and staking $GMT, but also to carbon offset the project (explaining the ‘green’ elements of the $GMT and $GMT token names!). Carbon offsetting is achieved by buying up carbon removal credits, all of which are recorded on the blockchain to ‘guarantee transparency and immutability.’ The proportion of the treasury that is used for carbon offsetting is decided by governance, with $GMT holders able to choose to be a ‘generous giver’ or a ‘greedy taker,’ based on the share of profits they are willing to allocate towards carbon credits.
STEPN remains in its public beta phase, with developers working on the introduction of new game modes and the introduction of further ‘social-fi’ elements in the coming months. Ticking play-to-earn, game-fi, health and environmental boxes within the Web3 space, it is no surprise that STEPN adoption continues to grow, and as yet shows no signs of stopping!