A journalist spent a month tracking his movements through a popular money-making app to answer the question, “Can you make money walking with NFTs?”. Ashton Miller, journalist for MyTop Sportsbooks, a website providing reviews of the best sports betting sites on the web, spent a months walking in non-fungible sneakers. The virtual shoes, pictured in the Move to Earn (M2E) app STEPN, reward their “wearer” with cryptocurrency for every step they take.
Miller’s investigative journalism consisted of using the STEPN app every day for a month and recording its progress and profitability. Along the way, he learned about M2E app mechanics and tricks to keep gamers hooked.
In order to start earning cryptocurrency with STEPN, users need to make an initial investment which they then aim to earn back by walking or running. The STEPN app allows users to earn its native tokens, GST and GMT, by exercising after purchasing an NFT digital sneaker. Recouping this investment is made difficult by the mechanics of the game, which includes fluctuations in the price of the token used to buy the sneaker.
Another mechanism that can make ROI difficult, Miller found, is how the game encourages players to spend the cryptocurrencies they earn. Users have to repair their sneakers every time they “wear” them. They can also upgrade their sneakers in hopes of earning more cryptocurrencies in the future.
One of the main findings of the MyTopSportsbooks reporter’s investigation is that STEPN sets and adjusts the rules seemingly on a whim, without any accountability. Application updates are frequent and often make it even more difficult to recover the initial investment. Bugs often cost users crypto, Miller found, with no way to hold STEPN accountable.