It’s unlikely that someone hasn’t heard of StepN yet, the “move-to-earn” NFT app where you run outside to earn crypto. If you haven’t, read our complete overview of StepN here. Today we’ll share extracts of the interview with StepN’s CMO Shiti Manghani gave to gm podcast for Decrypt.
For starters, the reason why this interview even happened was quite obvious: Stepn’s GST token went off a cliff. It’s now trading at $0.14, compared to its all-time high close to $9 on April 28. Back in April, users talked on Twitter about earning as much as $30 just by going for a run. The entry price of one of StepN’s NFT sneakers (priced in SOL) was a ridiculous $600, but at GST’s highs, you could get your money back in a month or so. Now GST is at 14 cents, and running a few miles with an entry-level sneaker NFT will put less than $1 in your pocket.
StepN adherents and Shiti Manhgani herself say that is a unique proof case for NFTs with a real utility. And this is probably where NFT is headed — into the realm of actual use cases, away from just buying monkey JPEGs to enter a certain community. StepN is used to build a healthy habit and change your mindset with regards to digital money, crypto money and NFTs.
StepN is also onboarding newcomers into crypto. Manghani said one third of the app’s users are “non-crypto natives.” To continue its growth and avoid being purely tied to token price, StepN will need to escape the pitfalls of other P2E games like Axie Infinity, the creature-battling game that requires users to buy NFTs to play it. After the game’s active users and token prices soared, then plummeted, Axie made major changes, including free “starter Axies” to get people started. Manghani says that the new user sign-ups haven’t slowed down, the thing that prevents them from growing further is the lack of activation codes for the app. But this is actually intentional, as they have to avoid speculators.
“To be honest, it would be very easy for us to sit back and just go wild… as brash as that may sound, it is actually the easier thing to do. The harder thing, which is what we’ve done, is actually funnel the inflow of users so that the new users don’t end up becoming the exit liquidity for the older users. We’re absolutely paranoid about supply and demand.”
StepN has a lot in the pipeline according to Manghani, like introducing social features similar to what Strava and Nike Run Club apps have. They are also looking into music NFT growth as people often listen to music when running or walking. These major features and probably even more are planned to be introduced later this year. Shiti Manghani believes StepN will definitely emerge as a success story once the bear market is over.