StepN, a new game in which people are rewarded for walking or running, saw the value of its cryptocurrency plunge after it decided to unplug its Chinese players.
The move follows similar moves by Binance and Huobi, after Chinese authorities ruled any activity related to digital assets illegal.
Thursday, StepN announced on Twitter that it was going to disconnect users with a GPS signal in mainland China to ensure that it followed Beijing’s rules. This caused its native governance token called Green Metaverse Token (GMT) to drop 14% to $1.01 over the 24-month period, according to CoinGecko.
What is StepN, and how do I use it?
Developed by FindSatoshi Lab Ltd, a reference to the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, the application aims to be the first crypto-fitness game for smartphone users. Having won fourth place at last year’s Solana Ignition hackathon, it’s now in public beta and can be downloaded on Android and Apple devices.
“StepN aims to inspire millions of people to adopt a healthier lifestyle, fight climate change and connect the public to Web 3.0“, explains the company on its official website.
Gains are based on the amount of movement measured by GPS tracking that is performed for five-minute increments that correspond to a unit of energy, which naturally replenishes over time once completely depleted.
How much do StepN NFT sneakers cost?
Players must first spend Solana Tokens (SOL) to purchase an NFT in the form of three different types of digital shoes.
These have various characteristics that make them more or less valuable. For example, some sneakers are more efficient than others because they yield more in-game currency, called Green Satoshi Tokens (TPS), per unit of energy expended.
Some are also more durable, which means the user has to spend less on “to fix” over time to avoid a loss of earning capacity. Sneakers, whether for walkers, joggers, or runners, can also be upgraded by spending tokens.
On the NFT Magic Eden marketplace, the average price of StepN sneakers was the equivalent of about 400 dollars in Solana. On Binance, some “STEPN x ASICS NFT Sneakers” were offered at over $100,000but most were much cheaper.
When no longer needed, the sneakers can be resold or rented to other players who may not be able to afford them, in exchange for a split in their winnings.
But don’t try to tether your phone to your dog or cheat, as the game has penalties for what it calls “moonwalking“.
Backed by big names in the crypto venture capital space, such as Sequoia Capital, Binance, and Alameda Research, StepN claims to have some 580,000 players.
The company posted a profit of $20 million in the first quarterco-founder Yawn Rong told the South China Morning Post in April.
However, the durability of these type games “play-to-earn” raises serious questions.
When player base growth starts to plateau, the business model can backfire. As fewer and fewer people pay to buy in-game currency to buy NFTs, as more and more people cash out, the value and motivation of the game diminishes over time.
This is because there is no motivation to engage with the app once it ceases to be a form of income, and like any game where you have to play to win, players end up move on.
The most famous example, a game called Axie Infinity, developed by Sky Mavis, saw player interest decline sharply.
As a result, the value of its Smooth Love Potion (SLP) gaming token and Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) governance token had already begun to drop before a plunge in March following various glitches and hacking.
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What is StepN? New craze that lets you earn cryptocurrency by running and walking now blocks Chinese users | STEP | Cryptocurrency
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