‘Move-to-earn’ StepN, an app developed by Solana, is the latest cryptocurrency game craze – Mail Bonus

Since its release in December, StepN, an app that lets users walk and run to earn tokens, has become a household name in the world of play-to-win blockchain gaming, or GameFi. Jerry Huang, co-founder of StepN, recently told TechCrunch that the app now has between two and three million active users a month worldwide.

This number fades compared to the hundreds of millions of players that have been seen in famous Web 2.0 games, but for a five-month-old cryptocurrency, it is a great achievement. As of May 22, the market value of the StepN GMT native symbol was about $ 860 million.

Founded by Huang and Yawn Rong in Adelaide, Australia, StepN debuted at the Solana Hackathon in October. After finishing in fourth place, the event’s fame helped recruit its first beta users. Two months after its initial launch, the blockchain community was already aware of the system that allows users to earn money by being active. Despite the absence of a costly advertising campaign, a significant number of individuals were added.

In a few weeks, StepN developed so fast that the company had to limit the number of daily listings. Tens of thousands of new users join the app every day, according to Huang.

Huang, a tech entrepreneur, and Rong, a blockchain venture capitalist, first funded the project themselves as they were “financially strong”. However, they realized in September that funding could provide other useful resources, such as collaboration and promotion. Before the founders received a $ 5 million seed lot in November from Sequoia Capital and others, the founders met with more than 100 investors and reviewed the presentation table forty times.

“We did not have a product at that time and many investors could not understand what we were doing. Sequoia did it. “The process of addressing investors’ questions also helped us refine the product to where it was later,” said Huang.

The fast growing app seems to be sustainable for now. Trading expenses generate a daily net profit of $ 3 million to $ 5 million and a monthly income of up to $ 100 million. In April, Binance made an additional strategic investment.

Is this a game?

Some argue that the success of StepN and other blockchain games that can be played to earn, such as Axie Infinity, could be related to the fact that they are inherently gamic financial products.
To start earning tokens and track mileage on StepN, users must first invest at least 12 suns ($ 600) in a pair of virtual shoes. Even though digital shoes are in the form of an invertible symbol (NFT) that works on the Solana network and the Binance smart chain and could be resold, the entry fee for free participants is not negligible.

StepN players will have to acquire new kicks over time to recover. After about a month, depending on their level, functionality and current price of StepN tokens, users could start earning hundreds of dollars every day. In other words, the game has enormous economic potential.

According to a number of game experts, playing the majority of GameFi applications is “simple and mindless”. In Axie Infinity, for example, cute creatures that look like blocks are involved in an original war. As a result, the Web 2.0 gaming console is flocking to GameFi, promising to restore industry quality.

Huang strongly disagreed. Before moving to Australia a decade ago, Huang had his own gaming company in China.

“Many newcomers to GameFi are blindly pursuing triple-A production,” he continued. “But if they had not already succeeded in web2, why would they be in web3? Some simple games are not so simple behind the scenes; for example, how we design the economics of our app. “

Is it sustainable?

Others object to the game’s economic potential to earn. To maintain such a revenue model, the game must be so catchy that users can continue to play without paying out their money, or the app must attract new users who buy in instead of those who pay out. Some opponents have likened playing to earning a pyramid scheme.

Axie Infinity’s magnificent climb is over. Sky Mavis, the Vietnamese gaming company behind the game, was valued at $ 3 billion in a $ 150 million funding round held in October last year. Nevertheless, after peaking at $ 160 in November, the token has lost approximately 80% of its value and its sales volume has dropped from $ 754 million to just $ 5 million.

For the majority of 20- to 40-year-old StepN consumers from affluent countries like the United States, Japan and Europe, it’s not scary to lose a few thousand dollars. According to Huang, trading in cryptocurrencies is banned in China, which accounts for less than 5 percent of the world’s user base. Despite this, the majority of Axie Infinity’s players are from poor countries such as the Philippines and Venezuela, as they risk a significant proportion of their revenue from the game, which has become an important source of money following the outbreak of COVID.

StepN proposes a dual strategy for achieving sustainability. It is designing a price stability system to ensure that its currencies are always priced at the level that makes the shoes accessible to new users but prohibits current users from hitting and selling new shoes on the blockchain.

Its dual token system allows for price changes. StepN will encourage players to burn GMT “government currency” to produce new shoes if the price of GST’s “user currency” rises too high and shoes become too expensive. As a result, the supply of GST increases, leading to sales and price reductions.

According to Huang, the fitness component of StepN separates him from Axie Infinity. Users could initially earn money using StepN, but once they get used to being active, they will continue to walk or run regardless of financial motives.

They do not see it as a driving program where users could make money on it “Curt Shi, co-founder of Welinder & Shi Capital and an early investor in StepN, said a lot. Now it is impossible to determine exactly what it is, but time will tell.

Killer app?

Huang’s third justification is the role that StepN can play in announcing the blockchain to the outside world. 30 percent of app users have never used blockchain services before, according to estimates.

“Many people may have used centralized exchanges like Binance and Coinbase to trade, but few know what DEX is. [decentralized exchange] is, nor have they traded with NFT on the marketplace or owned a self-storage wallet. We have the potential to take in tens of millions of web3 users and I think this is something very significant. “

“I think people pay too much attention [sustainability] issues, “said the founder.” Yields may slow down over time, but all games have a lifecycle. You also need to look at what value the app creates. “

Due to falling bitcoin prices, the app’s growth could slow down sooner than expected. Start-ups are advised to prepare for a “cryptocurrency winter” while industry giants such as Coinbase halt their recruitment efforts. If consumers lose confidence in the market and are less willing to spend on tokens or NFT, blockchain applications that rely on acquiring new users to grow their economies may face additional barriers.

Huang, on the other hand, sees silver lining in the current downturn. “There was a lot of foam on the market. Now that the pimple is bursting, our shoes will be cheaper, and a little [blockchain] applications for practical use will continue. “

“The market was clearly frothy, so that’s good [StepN’s market cap] has shrunk in recent days, “said Shi. “Maintaining an extremely high market value can be stressful for the team and now the team will focus more on the product itself and we believe that StepN will perform better and become a winner in the next bull market.

The next step for StepN is to build a social product based on its iconic community, with a rapidly growing team of 70 people located in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore. Now it must show that it can continue to attract a steady number of new runners.

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About Humano

He is a freelance writer based in Turkey. He loves NFT, football, movies and technology.

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