A novel trend in 2022 is move-to-earn, and it came into the spotlight as STEPN’s native token GMT rallied parabolically. What is move-to-earn and its most prominent example STEPN? How does it work? We’re here to help with our quick explainer.
What are Play-to-Earn Games?
By crypto standards, play-to-earn (sometimes abbreviated to P2E) is a long-standing concept: it can be traced back to the first blockchain games in 2017 like CryptoKitties. In a nutshell, it describes the kind of games that provide monetary rewards to its players for performing in-game actions.
One of the better-known examples of play-to-earn is Axie Infinity, a virtual pet management game. It allows players to earn with both long-term and short-term progress: nurturing and breeding virtual pets called Axies as well as participating in pet battles. Both can reward players with the native token SLP.
Axie Infinity uses a dual-token economy: a governance token AXS and an in-game currency SLP. Both run on Ethereum and can be traded on open markets.
Other types of games, such as trading card games (Splinterlands) and sandbox games (Decentraland, The Sandbox) can also be considered play-to-earn to an extent. However, Axie Infinity pioneered a model in which users play the game competitively for a source of income.
What is Move-to-Earn and STEPN?
Now that we get what play-to-earn means, what is move-to-earn? You may already infer the concept by its name, but let’s give you a concrete example.
Web3 app STEPN takes the Play-to-Earn premise a step (pun intended) further. They take the real-world progress of users and combine it with their in-app experience.
How STEPN works
To begin with, users will have to install the Solana-based app and connect their wallet. To start earning, users can either purchase a digital “sneaker” NFT or rent one from someone else.
Renting sneaker NFTs is free but a player will have to share their revenue with the owner. And since the number of sneaker NFTs is limited, there is some competition.
By walking, jogging or moving, users earn GST tokens. Naturally, moving in a vehicle does not make one eligible for GST rewards.
STEPN uses a dual-token economy: there are GST tokens, which have an unlimited supply and are the rewards for user’s activities. The other token is GMT, which is used in governance and has a total supply of six billion GMT.
GMT can also be earned through in-game means but all of them are classified as premium. Therefore, it is a more scarce resource and is often viewed as a way of investing in STEPN.
Is Move-to-Earn the Future?
The concept of move-to-earn pertaining to Web3 was introduced by the STEPN team in August 2021, but they are already not the single player on the field.
Step App on the Avalanche blockchain is the most direct competitor for STEPN. The app supports microtransactions with fiat or native token FITFI.
The Wirtual app rewards users not only for walking but also for other kinds of exercise. The amount a user can earn a day is defined by their tier, not only their performance.
Finally, Genopets also leverages move-to-earn but gamifies the process of earning in-game currency so that the players can move on to a virtual pet managing part of the game. The game is more accessible for having both pay-to-play and free-to-play.
So far in 2022, STEPN is the most popular game in comparison with the rest and GMT is the best performing move-to-earn crypto. But is this just a fad? What is move-to-earn’s future?
We asked our Chief Marketing Officer Alexey, what he thinks:
STEPN has only started pumping now, even though the project is about a year old by now. There were other move-to-earn projects but they were nowhere nearly as successful. The right place and the right time made it happen.
Actually, STEPN has all the features of a pyramid scheme, and I am pretty sure that it is what it is. Unless you want to spend tens of thousand dollars on sneaks, there’s hardly anything else to do there.
We shouldn’t diminish the role of STEPN in bringing move-to-earn into the spotlight. In a year, we might see sleep-to-earn, petwalk-to-earn and other side projects with spin-offs of the premise. Gamification, NFT and the hype cause FOMO in no-coiners who then move deeper into the actual crypto industry.
As for the GMT token, I suppose it can reach a psychological level at $10, followed by a bearish divergence. Before that, though, there can be a correction at $6, and the demand is high enough not to cause a huge sell-off at that point.
Another argument in favor of STEPN is that Binance has invested into the project, they use their money wisely. Just look at BNB which is now outperforming the first cryptocurrency.
So, what is move-to-earn’s future and does it really lie with STEPN? It may be interesting to see in the long term, whether the trend catches on in the first place.