What would motivate you to exercise more? The obvious answer, say the founders of STEPN, is cold hard cash. Their running app offers its users cash rewards for becoming more active and has already persuaded millions of people to sign up in just a few months.
It’s a pretty simple principle, explains Yawn Rong, co-founder of STEPN. “We wanted to get people to change their behavior and exercise more,” he says. “It’s a way to share the benefits of Web3 technologies with a diverse new pool of fitness enthusiasts.”
To participate, users must download the STEPN app and then purchase a virtual pair of sneakers in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT). Once they’ve done that, every time they go for a walk, jog or run outside, STEPN’s GPS tracking and motion sensor technology monitors the distance they’ve walked and rewards them with tokens. . These tokens can then be spent in-game – on upgraded sneakers, for example – or cashed in hard currency.
The potential rewards on offer sound enticing. Rong says the minimum users can expect to earn is $25 for 10 minutes of activity, and some users earn up to $4,500 per day. But many people don’t take all the money, he adds. They use their earnings to acquire new in-game NFTs, participate in trades with other players, and choose to donate some of their money to good causes.
If all this sounds too good to be true, there is a catch. To start playing, you will need to purchase these NFT sneakers, which are priced in Sol, the native cryptocurrency of the Solana blockchain, on which STEPN operates. And they’re expensive: The day-to-day price in fiat currency fluctuates with the value of the ground, but the cheapest sneakers will set you back hundreds of dollars — and, at times, the price of entry has run well over $1. 000 dollars.
In the coming months, STEPN hopes to introduce a sneaker rental feature to circumvent this large upfront cost of participation. New players would rent sneakers from someone already in the game, sharing the revenue they earn with the sneaker owner until they earn enough to buy their own NFT sneakers. This would encourage more people to participate – and help STEPN enter new markets; it is currently most popular in wealthy countries like Japan, France, USA and UK where users can afford that first NFT purchase.
For now, however, the barrier to entry of high initial purchase prices does not seem to be a deterrent. Since the launch of STEPN last December, the app has registered 2.3 million monthly active users, with half a million using the app every day. This has seen the value of STEPN’s tokens skyrocket, with trading volumes in its GMT governance tokens exceeding those of Bitcoin and Ethereum on some days.
Indeed, STEPN is attracting considerable interest in the world of cryptocurrency investment, with the tokens seeing gains of several hundred percent at their peak, albeit with significant volatility. As new cryptocurrencies have come and gone at a dizzying pace over the past two years, some investors are betting that the move-to-win principle that underpins STEPN will give it more longevity.
As for STEPN itself, it is taking a 6% cut in its NFT trading fee, generating significant revenue for the company in a very short time – the company made a profit of $26 million during the last quarter of last year alone and has already reached a valuation of over $1 billion with some analysts.
Yet Rong and his co-founder Jerry Huang aren’t resting on their laurels. They see STEPN as a first step towards a broader Web3 offering, believing that users who get used to the concepts of cryptocurrency and decentralized finance will develop the confidence to participate more broadly. “Users can expect more exciting developments from STEPN in the future,” says Rong. “The app plans to integrate more socialfi elements into its platform and will roll out exciting features for non-native crypto users to ease their integration into the Web3 world.”
The founders are also keen to highlight their green credentials. In addition to STEPN’s use of Solana, widely considered a more environmentally friendly blockchain, the company offers users the option to donate a portion of the profit pool towards the purchase of credits. carbon removal.
More traditional sportswear companies are taking notice. Last month, STEPN announced a collaboration with footwear giant ASICS, which released a limited-edition set of branded sneakers on the app. “The STEPN app is an incredible feat of technological innovation and we believe that ASICS’ immediate and long-term collaborations with them will help millions of people around the world to have a healthy mind in a healthy body,” said said Joe Pace, business development manager at ASICS.
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Meet STEPN, The Crypto App That Promises To Pay You To Get In Shape
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