- Single-player mode.
- Behavioral Shift.
- Planned Behavior Theory.
- Perceived behavioral control (how easy and safe is it to use the app?).
- Sneaker Types
- Sneaker Quality
- Stepn — Sneaker characteristics.
- Stepn Economy Model.
- Stepn tokenomics and activity
- Stepn token distribution and vesting terms
STEPN has a layered social message: self-actualization, sports, and environmental protection. Users can vote on how much of STEPN’s profits will be used to buy Carbon Removal Credits.
- Twitter 401.7K
- Discord 500K
- Telegram 196K
- Team ranked 4th out of 500+ projects at Solana Ignition Hackathon 2021.
STEPN has raised $5 million in a seed round co-led by Sequoia Capital and Folius Ventures, along with other leading investors including Solana Capital, Alameda Research, 6th Man Ventures, DeFi Alliance, M13, Corner Ventures, Sfermion, Zee Prime Capital, Lemniscap, Spark Digital Capital, MorningStar Ventures, Openspace Ventures, Solar Eco Fund and WelinderShi Capital. Notable angel investors include Santiago Santos and Asian partner Republic Zhen Cao.
- During its IEO on Binance Launchpad, STEPN raised over $3.6B deposited by participants to access the $GMT tokensale at $0.01. On April 28, the $GMT price reached ATH $4.11 (yield 411x).
- Since launching in late December, the game has experienced steady growth. In March 2022, the amount of $SOL contributed by users grew by an astounding 400%.
- Rapid growth and trend leader: Thanks to an active community, STEPN crossed the 100,000 DAU mark in March, and is currently at 200,000 DAU.
- STEPN has successfully integrated the GameFi concept into the SocialFi product, taking advantage of both niches to create a “durable platform that promotes Web 3.0 user-generated content.”
- STEPN is a Web3 Lifestyle app on Solana and BNB Chain that allows users to use NFT sneakers and earn $GST tokens while walking, jogging or running outdoors IRL.
- Players can turn in or sell their NFT sneakers on the app’s internal marketplace. The $GST earned is stored in the app’s wallet, which has a built-in exchange feature.
STEPN — Move to Earn
The human needs to exercise. Countless studies have shown that regular physical activity is associated with a wide range of health and wellness benefits — emotional, mental and physical. There is an increasing cultural focus on health and well-being, but capitalizing on this trend has proven difficult for many brands:
- Running is one of the most popular forms of fitness today, with more than 110 million participants in the United States in 2017.
- It is estimated that 105 million fitness trackers will be sold by 2022, although studies show that most people stop using these devices and forget about them after a short period of use.
- Fitness and exercise typically have low retention rates; only 30–60% of those who bought a gym membership renew it. STEPN offers a new financial incentive for people to get up and exercise.
- By combining fitness tracking with blockchain technology, STEPN has created a “move to earn” model as a habit-forming machine. Using the power of gamification, economics, marketing and community building, STEPN is pioneering a version of SocialFi that emphasizes the importance of social and personal health.
Gameplay — Move to earn money
Users wear NFT sneakers and begin their STEPN session to earn tokens through physical exercise. Users will also have a chance to get a Mystery Box containing NFT Gems.
- Marathon mode (under development): A competitive mode, participants who finish first in the leaderboard will receive $GST/$GMT as a reward.
- Background Mode (under development): Passive income for NFT sneaker owners for steps tracked by the Health Data mobile app, with a limit of 3,000 steps daily.
$GST/$GMT is paid for every minute of movement and depends on the following factors:
- type of sneaker;
- Sneaker efficiency attribute ~ ↑ to $GST earnings;
- Sneaker comfort attribute ~ ↑ $GMT earnings;
- Speed of movement: To maximize earnings, users must maintain optimal speed;
- GPS signal, internet strength and stability.
These game features reinforce STEPN’s vision of SocialFi the way:
- Bringing together a community of people who share an interest in running and blockchain technology.
- Targeting both individuals and groups of runners with single and competitive running modes.
- Orientation to different demographic groups with different shoe attributes, health conditions, and running skills.
- Encouraging users to walk outdoors and exercise for better health.
- Using people’s self-actualization and competitive spirit in social groups (family or friends) through PvP modes, communication, announcements, and leaderboards.
- Reaching a broad user base through availability on iOS and Android with low device quality requirements, as well as a sneaker rental system to attract users who are not blockchain product users.
According to planned behavior theory, certain products/services are designed to optimize a user’s intent to buy/use products/services by targeting attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral controls.
Planned Behavior Theory.
STEPN aims directly at the layer of subjective norm and perceived behavioral control to improve user attitudes toward M2E. This will help “push millions of people toward healthier lifestyles, combat climate change, and connect the public to Web 3.0” through the following initiatives:
- Attitude (How valuable is it to the user?)
- Running with STEPN is beneficial (healthy mind and body).
- Running with STEPN is profitable (earning/selling tokens, increasing the price of tokens).
- Running with STEPN is fashionable and stylish (tech savvy, social signal).
Fitness, sustainability, and philanthropy are perceived globally as positive social values. STEPN allows users to signal their worth in a variety of ways:
- A badge and leaderboard system.
- A user interface for the app that displays total distance, carbon sink, calories burned, etc.
- Self-realization through customization and rarity of NFT sneakers.
Perceived behavioral control (how easy and safe is it to use the app?).
- Minimum run time of only 10 minutes per session.
- All-in-one mobile app with low hardware requirements, integrated Marketplace, Wallet and Swap, which removes almost all barriers for users.
- A rental system for users who cannot afford NFT or fear price volatility.
- Disabled/healthy users can still participate in the game using low-speed sneakers and Solo Mode.
- Efficiency — ↑ $GST to earnings.
- Luck — the frequency of Mistery Box drops.
- Convenience — ↑ $GMT to earnings.
- Resilience — Durability / repair frequency.
Stepn — Sneaker characteristics.
- Gems and Sockets: Sneakers can be upgraded by opening gem slots to improve performance. Upgrades require gems, $GST and $GMT.
- Mint Sneaker: Similar to breeding Axi or mentoring Cyball .
Once the NFT Sneaker reaches a certain level, additional features open up, such as shoe minting, the rent feature, gem nests, earning $GMT, etc. At level 30, users can burn $GST/$GMT/NFT to personalize sneakers.
Game Economy Model
Stepn Economy Model.
Stepn tokenomics and activity
Stepn token distribution and vesting terms
Until the end of 2022, circulation was mostly on Binance Launchpad, which acts as a market maker for the $GMT token (411x on ATH).
Since launching in late December, the game has seen steady growth. In March 2022, the amount of $SOL deposited has grown by an astounding 400%.
Daily Deposited SOL (shoe shopping)
- STEPN differs from the Axie Infinity model (one of the most popular play-to-earn projects) in that it expands the scope of the $GST token. The $SLP token in Axie Infinity was once used primarily to breed new Axies. Eventually, supply exceeded demand, leading to a drop in the price of the token.
- STEPN solves this problem by making its sneakers breakable (i.e., shareable). $GST is used to pay for in-game activities such as repairs, mining, and upgrades, which causes tokens to burn/deflate.
- When the user base goes through the initial high growth phase, most new $GST token issuance will be absorbed by token burning to create new sneakers, which supports the price of usable tokens. When user growth eventually plateaus/declines, demand for new sneakers will slow/reduce, making $GST increasingly inflationary over time.
- Farming $GMT but at the same time burning $GST for repairs is an intentional decision. Maintaining $GMT is vital if the game is to retain its value, and adds an incentive for users to level up to 30 to get a higher ROI.
SocialFi will be an important component of the economy; incentives such as spending $GMT to customize sneakers or collaborate with other projects and brands, and event-based marketing (e.g., Run to earn voucher, Run for IDO allocation, etc.) will encourage users to mine sneakers and run for reasons other than financial. All of this will increase $GST burn.
Partners and Investors
STEPN has raised $5M in a single round co-led by Sequoia Capital and Folius Ventures with participation from Solana Capital, Alameda Research, 6th Man Ventures, DeFi Alliance, M13, Corner Ventures, Sfermion, Zee Prime Capital, Lemniscap, Spark Digital Capital, MorningStar Ventures, Openspace Ventures, Solar Eco Fund and WelinderShi Capital with well-known angel investor Santiago R. Santos.
- Scott Dunlap: Vice President of Adidas, CEO of Runtastic GmbH.
- William Robinson: Executive at Alliance DAO.
- Jason Kam: Founder of Folius Ventures.
- Santiago R.: Web3 investor, formerly with JP Morgan, Elysium Health, and ParaFi Capital.
- Jerry Huang (co-founder) — Game industry veteran who has developed several games that have ranked high on the App Store. Former co-founder of Falafel Games. He has a background in computer science.
- Jaun Rong (co-founder) — Blockchain incubator and crypto angel investor. Former business ambassador to Algorand, South African representative to Blockchain Australia and co-founder of Crypto SA. Works in advertising, PR and email marketing.
- Jessica Duane (CSO) — Experienced in design, operations, strategy management, customer consulting, marketing and BD. Former co-founder of Soko Design studio. Architectural background.
- Ryan Turner (lead designer) — Experienced in illustration, graphic design and interior design. Former founder of Malicious Delicious.
For context, here are STEPN’s social stats compared to other prominent income movement or Web3 fitness projects:
Stepn, a multi-level social force
- Self-actualization. Owning STEPN sneakers (even just limited editions/collaborations with brands) indicates a certain level of affluence/social status. In addition, it demonstrates the owner’s awareness of trends and technologies.
- Social behavior and climate action. Users can vote to decide how much of STEPN’s treasury profits go toward buying tokens to remove carbon on the blockchain, meaning that owning STEPN sneakers signals that the buyer cares about climate change.
- Powerful workout proof signal. STEPN has built proof-of-workout into its product. STEPN sneakers store weeks or months of workout data. Posting a screenshot of the user’s sneaker data tells you how much dedication and how much sweat the sneaker owner has spent on fitness.
In the future, STEPN users will mostly come from SocialFi rather than GameFi.
Potential STEPN initiatives to create the perfect SocialFi platform:
- A content creation tool that allows authors to develop and sell interactive and collectible NFT sneakers that can be used by individuals and fashion brands alike.
- AR/VR integration to improve the user experience in a special place (similar ideas to Holoride, which optimizes UX inside cars using AR/VR).
- Location-based services: regional tournaments or local tours — running or walking to a specific location to access audio (similar to Zombie, Run!), etc.
- Collaborations or sponsorships. Any companies related to sports or health care should be interested in partnering with STEPN for advertising and even marketing opportunities.
- Develop an interactive map for users to meet and connect with other local runners.
- STEPN social networking for users to share their workout proofs with their friends (similar feature to Apple Workout) and share moments of how long you worked out, how many calories you burned, etc. that can be monetized by STEPN for advertising and advertising services in the future.
- Interactive console/device integration to expand the sports ecosystem in the app.
- In-app services: As STEPN develops, it may become a gateway to connect users to Web3, which will then create additional revenue streams for STEPN and its $GMT token manager via marketplace, exchange fees, etc.
Next, STEPN plans to partner with leading sneaker brands to add another social signal — tangible status through cultural icons and social capital. In just a few months, the app has grown rapidly.
Much of this growth can be attributed to the effectiveness of its multi-layered social signaling processes. With its brilliant game design, robust tokenomics, and enthusiastic consumers, STEPN is ready for a marathon, not just a sprint.
- Special thanks to @MapleLeafCap at Folius Ventures for the insights