If you're in the NFT space, it's unlikely you haven't heard of Stepn by now. The NFT-based fitness app launched less than six months ago and has amassed 3 million monthly active users—impressive for an app that requires you to buy an NFT just to use it.
The app, which CMO Shiti Manghani describes as "Strava meets Pokémon Go," became extremely popular in April on Crypto Twitter and among Web3 circles.
“It feels surreal almost," Manghani said on the latest episode of Decrypt's gm podcast. "Just stepping back, looking at the macro-environment, it took the airplane industry 68 years to get to 50 million users. And it took Twitter about two years, and then Pokemon Go some months. Web3 overall is squeezing that space of compounding growth, because we give everything back to the users."
But that was in April. In the first week of May, as the crypto markets tanked and Terra's ecosystem collapsed, Stepn's GST (Green Satoshi) token went off a cliff. It's now trading at $0.18, a 97% drop from its all-time high close to $9 on April 28.
The way Stepn works is that you earn fractions of GST for walking, jogging, or running; the amount of GST you earn depends on the level of the NFT sneaker you bought. Back in April, Web3 folks would boast on Crypto Twitter about earning as much as $30 just to go for a run. The entry price of one of Stepn's NFT sneakers (priced in SOL) was an eye-popping $600 at that time, but at GST's highs, you could earn your money back in as little as a month or so.
Now GST is 18 cents, and running a few miles with an entry-level sneaker will earn you less than $1.
But the app's adherents say that Stepn signifies something more significant: a test case for NFTs with real utility. Many in the NFT space believe this is where NFTs are headed: beyond a pure digital flex and into the realm of actual use cases, whether in "GameFi" or in-person event ticketing.