November 30, 2023

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7 Things to Know Before You Buy STEPN (GMT)

A person holding a tablet and eating an apple while walking through a park with fall trees.

Image source: Getty Images

It’s an app that literally pays you for your steps, and its cryptocurrency has been a big winner the last two months.

Key points

  • STEPN encourages physical activity by paying users in crypto for walking, jogging, or running.
  • You need to buy NFT sneakers to play, but there’s also a sneaker rental system in the works.
  • After a successful March and April, STEPN is now available on Coinbase and Kraken.

The crypto market is full of unique ideas, but STEPN still manages to stand out. It’s both a cryptocurrency and a “move-to-earn” app that pays you for going outside and being active. If you’re interested in investing in STEPN or trying the app, here’s what you should know first.

1. It’s a fitness app that pays users in crypto for walking, jogging, or running

The idea behind STEPN is simple enough. After you download the app and get NFT sneakers from its marketplace, you get paid in crypto for walking, jogging, or running outdoors. You need to be connected to the app with a good GPS signal for your movement to count.

There is a cap to how much you can earn. STEPN uses an energy system, and two energy units in the app equal 10 minutes of earning time. Once you’re out of energy, you need to wait for it to replenish.

2. You need NFT sneakers to play

There is a startup cost to earning on STEPN, and it isn’t cheap. You need its sneakers, which are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) available on the STEPN marketplace. The marketplace is built on Solana (SOL), so you purchase them using that cryptocurrency.

The most affordable NFT sneakers cost 13 SOL, over $800, at the time of this writing. STEPN is working on a sneaker rental option, which will allow owners to lease out their sneakers to other users and share in the profits. Renters will be giving up a big portion of the profits, though — the split is 30% to renters and 70% to owners.

3. There are two crypto tokens used with STEPN

The STEPN app has two different crypto tokens:

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  • STEPN (GMT) is a governance token with a maximum supply of 6 billion. Holders can stake it and vote on how STEPN uses its treasury. It’s also used as payment for STEPN users who have sneakers of level 30 or higher.
  • Green Satoshi Token (GST) is a utility token. It’s minted daily and paid to STEPN users, and there’s an unlimited supply.

Those looking to invest typically buy GMT tokens, since these have a limited supply and give holders voting rights on the project.

4. The app has anti-cheating measures, so you can’t game the system

One of my first thoughts when I heard about STEPN was how the app stops people from just using it in their car or on a bike (not sure what that says about me). To prevent that, STEPN uses motion sensors, GPS, and machine learning to detect cheating. Cheaters who are caught are also banned from using STEPN.

5. There are still some issues to work out with the app

STEPN is less than a year old, and not everything is working 100% correctly yet. Many reviewers, especially those using the Google Play version of the app, have complained about not receiving an activation code or having trouble setting up an account.

There are also complaints about the app’s GPS. While STEPN has worked on making its GPS as accurate as possible, there are some technical issues that affect all running apps and GPS devices, such as a loss of signal due to environmental factors and the signal bouncing off of tall buildings.

6. The price went up by over 2,500%

STEPN caught on quickly. After launching in March with a price of $0.15, it hit a high of $4.11 on April 28 and broke into the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap. The price has cooled off since then, which often happens with cryptocurrencies. It’s currently down over 40% from its all-time high.

We always recommend taking a long-term investing approach, meaning buying and holding for several years. So, if you’re going to invest in STEPN, try not to let any short-term volatility affect when you buy or sell.

One good sign for STEPN is that at the end of April, two major crypto exchanges started offering it. U.S. investors can now buy STEPN on:

The right crypto investing mindset

Investing in crypto can be extremely risky. We think investors should approach these assets like any other technological investment — with a long-term mindset and the expectation of ups and downs. The Fool realizes there may be opportunities for investors. We do actively recommend select cryptocurrencies to our community. But we encourage everyone to be well versed prior to investing to understand the potential risks and rewards.


Before that, STEPN was only available on exchanges that aren’t allowed in the United States, like Binance, and on decentralized exchanges. Now that it’s listed on U.S. exchanges, it’s much easier to buy. That could also help it continue growing.

STEPN is an interesting concept and has been successful so far, but like other types of cryptocurrency, it’s also volatile and risky. If you invest, make STEPN a small part of your portfolio and only spend money you can afford to lose.

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