The STEPN app was first introduced in December 2021. The M2E concept gained popularity due to this project. One of the drivers of user demand was the list of investors and venture capital funds that supported the startup at the nascent stage. Among them was Sequoia Capital, a fund very selective in its investments and invests in startups with big futures, which have included Apple, Google, Stripe, WhatsApp, Airbnb, and PayPal. Another investor, Alameda Research, has 10% of the capitalization of the entire cryptocurrency market, and the fund is considered one of the most influential in the industry. Finally, the project was supported by the largest centralized exchange, Binance.
The STEPN app runs on the Solana network. To join the game, you must buy NFT sneakers for SOL tokens. The game defines daily limits for running and walking, which are paid for. Each sneaker has two units of “energy,” each of which amounts to 5 minutes of walking or running. The more sneakers a user has, the more energy they can generate and therefore earn. Having spent the daily energy, 10 minutes per sneaker, the player must turn off the pedometer to restore it, which takes about a day.
A GST utility token is awarded to players based on the following sneaker categories:
- Walker — speed from 0.6 to 4 ml/h, 1 energy — ~4 GST;
- Jogger — speed from 2.5 to 6.2 ml/h, 1 energy — ~5 GST;
- Runner — speed from 5 to 12.5 ml/h, 1 energy — ~6 GST;
- Trainer — speed 0.6 to 12.5 ml/h, 1 energy — ~4–6 GST.
To estimate potential earnings more accurately, you can use this calculator. The owner of one basic Walker sneaker can earn approximately 10 GST (~$1) per day.
Where to start? A new gamer’s path can be divided into three general stages:
- First, you need to install the STEPN app on your mobile device. After that, you need to create a cryptocurrency wallet in the app and transfer SOL to buy the NFT sneaker. The virtual shoes range in price from 3.8 SOL (~$130) to 399 SOL (~$13,485). Next, you must obtain a code to enter the game from any authorized STEPN user.
- Based on the type and number of sneakers, the step counter automatically sets the walking or running speed and minutes in the app, which are then converted to energy, and then to GST.
- GST can be exchanged within the app for SOL to withdraw assets to any other cryptocurrency wallet to hold or trade.
The virtual sneakers “wear out” and must be repaired almost every day, by burning a certain amount of GST to continue the game. Besides, you can also raise the sneaker level in the same way and earn 5 GST more with each level.
Genopets is the world’s first Move-to-Earn concept game, which was introduced a month before STEPN and ran on the Solana network. “Genopets” refers to the pets inside the game, which is a mixture of two areas: M2E and P2E. The idea for the project came from the Pokemon GO game. The ability to play, move and earn without investing money to buy NFTs made Genopets popular. The app works identically to other M2E games. Players have two options for joining the game:
- Make money without investing. Any player can get a baby Genopet for free. Raising a unique pet and selling it on an internal or external marketplace is the only option to earn without investing. In this mode, when the user walks, they get “energy,” which can be spent to improve the Genopet or exchanged for an internal unit of the app — XP. It cannot be exchanged for game tokens or withdrawn. XP can only be spent on improving the levels of the pets. There are a total of 12 levels. Growth and improvement of a Genopet take a minimum of three months. There is no daily step or minute limit in the game. Information about the number of steps exchanged for energy and then for XP is not provided, however, the algorithms are described in the Litepaper.
- Profit with investments. To make money from walking, you must have an adult Genopet and land it inhabits, which is not given out for free. The service token of the game is KI. In this game mode, one energy can be exchanged for 0.022 KI. Depending on the level of the pet, a daily limit of 40 to 80 KI (~$4.5-$8.8) tokens is set. In addition, players can participate in various quests and pet battles. If they win, they are also rewarded with KI. The cheapest pet costs 70 SOL (~$2,360), and the most expensive Genopet is worth 200 SOL (~$6,760). The price of land ranges from 0.45 SOL (~$15) to 75 SOL (~$2,530).
Burning a service token is also compulsory in the game. This is done when you improve pets and lands, which determine your ability to play further and the amount of KI you earn by walking, running, or in tournaments.
This project has received support from several major foundations:
- Pantera Capital — one of the largest hedge funds on the market;
- Animoca Brands — one of the leaders in the gaming industry, the company’s assets are estimated at $16 billion;
- Yield Guild Games — one of the most successful DAOs in decentralized gaming.
Walken, also operating on the Solana network, is suitable for users who love fluffy animals and want to race around while earning money. The app became available on June 7, 2022. In Walken, players can go up against each other in the real world by competing in sprints or long-distance runs. To start earning in the game, you must complete these three steps:
- Download the Walken app on your mobile device. Create a cryptocurrency wallet in the app and get a free random CAThlete — that’s the name of the NFT-animals that represent gamers in the Web 3.0 world.
- You must power up your pet before you can earn money. For running or walking, the game rewards you with an internal coin, GEM, which you use to improve your CAThlete’s performance. 1 GEM is awarded for 1,000 steps, for every 10,000 steps walked per day, the user receives an additional 5 GEM as a gift. GEMs cannot be exchanged for a service token or sold, their only function is to be burned to upgrade a pet.
- When the pet and its owner are ready to compete, they can take part in a tournament. The app randomly selects two users who will compete in sprints or long-distance running. Each participant must turn on the pedometer in the app. When the race is over, the app automatically identifies the player who was the fastest. As a reward, they will receive WLKN service tokens. The project’s Whitepaper has no information about the number of tokens that can be won in competitions.
WLKN costs $0.06888 at the time of writing. It is not yet clear how the project will find the resources to reward users. However, Walken has been supported by large organizations such as Huobi Ventures, one of the largest centralized exchanges, Infinity Ventures Crypto, which invests in startups with great potential, and DEX Capital, a decentralized exchange for trading tokens backed by physical assets.
The Digital Fitness project started being talked about at the end of 2021. The DeFit app has been available since May 2022 and already has more than a million downloads. It works on the Ethereum and Polygon blockchain networks. Users don’t need to buy NFTs to start the game, and it works a little differently from other Move-to-Earn games. Digital Fitness is a kind of virtual sports world where users don’t only have the chance to earn, but also share messages in the app, like on social networks.
This game offers several options to earn money:
- Free-to-Play. The solo option is for those who don’t want to invest money. The user has to download the app and connect an existing cryptocurrency wallet, such as MetaMask, to it. Then the user can choose any of the four sports listed: running, swimming, cycling, or walking. For every 30 minutes of activity, the player gets 1 DEFIT, a service token. The minimum withdrawal limit is 100 DEFIT (~$6.6).
- Club Member. To become a club member you need to have at least 10,000 DEFIT in your wallet app, which can be purchased or earned. The project’s Whitepaper states that earnings with membership increase up to twofold. Moreover, by being a member of the club, gamers get a discount on partner brand products. The first level — silver (10,000 DEFIT) offers a 10% discount on products. The most advanced and expensive level costs 100,000 DEFIT and offers a 30% discount.
- You can enter competitions in DeFit and buy NFTs — BabyFit, which represent users in Web3.0, bringing in more tokens. The algorithms are described in the Whitepaper.
It is worth remembering that gamers will have a drop in energy, which can be compensated for by burning DEFIT. One of the key ideas of the project is to give people who want to play sports the opportunity to create their own communities and interact with each other remotely.
The concept of the Dotmoovs game is different from the listed projects. The game is developed on the Ethereum network. Currently, Dotmoovs offers two sports options for participants — freestyle soccer and dancing. By the end of 2022, it is expected to include new sports.
The basic operating principles are:
- Like previous M2E apps, in Dotmoovs you need to create a cryptocurrency wallet in the app and purchase NFT to enter the game. You can also rent non-fungible tokens from other players.
- To start the game, pick a suitable type of dance or move in soccer. Place your mobile device so that the camera can record your movements. Make sure you can see the instructor’s movements and then repeat them.
- The app then randomly selects an opponent with similar settings and organizes a competition. Each participant makes a certain bet in MOOV tokens and then records their moves. The winner is determined by algorithms, the criteria of which are not specified in the Whitepaper. The winner takes all the stakes. Developers of the app recommend practicing and mastering the moves well before competing.
The most expensive NFT in Moovs costs 3.45 ETH (~$3,720), and the cheapest token is valued at 0.5 ETH (~$540). How much users can earn in the game is not clear. There is also no information about investors on the site.With M2E industry growth, cybercrime has also intensified, for example, in early June, the STEPN project was subjected to a DDoS attack, which caused its servers to go offline for some time. The bear market and hacker attacks have affected the price of M2E project tokens, however, despite this, they have become one of the main trends of the crypto market in 2022 — as evidenced by the surge in their number and user interest. One of the upcoming M2E projects is Amazy, the developers of which promise a more successful existence than STEPN. We’ll be talking more about this in the next article.