A journalist has spent a month tracking his movements via a popular move-to-earn app to answer the question “Can you make money walking with NFTs?”. Ashton Miller, a journalist with MyTopSportsbooks, a website providing reviews of the best the best sports betting sites on the web, spent a month walking in non-fungible sneakers. The virtual shoes, represented in move-to-earn (M2E) app STEPN, award their “wearer” with cryptocurrency for every step they take.
Miller’s investigative journalism entailed using the STEPN app every day for a month and recording his progress and profitability. Along the way, he uncovered the M2E application’s mechanisms and tricks to keep players hooked.
In order to start earning cryptocurrency with STEPN, users must make an initial investment which they then aim to make back through walking or running. The STEPN app enables users to earn its native tokens, GST and GMT, by exercising after purchasing an NFT digital sneaker. Recovering this investment is made difficult by the game’s mechanics, which include fluctuations in the price of the token used to purchase the sneaker.
Another mechanism that can make it difficult to earn a return on investment, Miller discovered, is the way the game encourages players to spend the cryptocurrencies they earn. Users must repair their sneakers every time they “wear” them. They can also level their sneakers up in the hope of earning more cryptocurrencies in the future.
One key finding from the MyTopSportsbooks journalist’s investigation is that STEPN makes and adjusts the rules seemingly on a whim, with no accountability. App updates are frequent and often make recovering the initial investment even more difficult. Bugs frequently cost users cryptos, Miller found, with no means of holding STEPN responsible.