STEPN Deep-Dive: Getting Paid to Run?!


  • STEPN is one of the most hyped crypto projects at the moment
  • The adoption and engagement growth has been very high over the last couple of weeks
  • The sentiment around the project is very bullish. On the other hand, most critiques are calling it a pyramid scheme or Ponzi
  • Comparing STEPN with Axie Infinity and Star Atlas it comes out on top concerning the engagement of the community
  • Engagement growth of the community can be used as a proxy for the token price

This article analyzes STEPN and is divided into a project fundamentals section that includes the Roadmap, Team, Investors, and Tokenomics. The second section analyzes the community including the Twitter sentiment as well as the Telegram engagement and growth.

For the qualitative description, we prototyped a specialized search engine that surfaced relevant news articles - we highlighted excerpts from these articles. To dive deeper into the various sources please use the provided links.


”STEPN, is a "move-to-earn" application on the Solana blockchain that allows users to get cryptocurrency rewards from walking or jogging” Source: CoinDesk


“The app is now in the public beta phase and by the end of 2022 is expected to release more features, such as a multi-chain wallet upgrade, and a rental and achievement system. The SocialFi element is set to be announced by the end of the year.” Source: BeInCrypto

Highly-anticipated are “…the ability to stake GMT and new game modes […], also highly-anticipated is […] sneaker rental. Currently, the only way to earn is to buy a NFT sneaker. Even with the depressed market sending the price of SOL to lows not seen since August 2021, it still costs a few hundred dollars for a sneaker, more than what most people would pay for an actual pair. ” Source: CoinBureau


“The app is developed by Find Satoshi Lab, based in Adelaide, Australia.

Co-founder, Jerry Huang, graduated […] with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in 2008. No blockchain experience in sight but there is mention of experience in Human Resources, Board of Directors and Game Design.

The other co-founder, Yawn Rong […] is more involved in the […] blockchain scene than his partner. The involvement is usually more of a business and operational capacity. He is also the Business Ambassador for Algorand.

Jessica Duan is the Chief Strategy Officer for the project. Her resume is also a bit thin too. A graduate of the University of Adelaide with a Master’s in Architecture back in 2010, STEPN is almost her first proper corporate job, according to her LinkedIn profile.” Source: CoinBureau


“STEPN received its first investment from some of the largest VC firms. The $5M seed funding round was backed by Sequoia Capital, Alameda Research, 6th Man Research, Morningstar Ventures, DeFi Alliance, M13, Folius Ventures, Solana Capital, Corner Ventures, Sfermion, Lemniscap, Openspace Ventures, WelinderShi Capital, Spark Digital Capital, Solar Eco Fund and Zee Prime Capital.” Source: BitDegree


It has two tokens

1. GST (Green Satoshi Token) – the utility token

  • “This token has no supply limit
  • GST is the primary game token that is used almost in all possible operations in the game
  • A player can earn GST simply by moving outside, and this is the only way new GST can be issued
  • The demand directly depends on the new players”

2. GMT (Green Metaverse Token) – the governance token

  • “The total supply is limited by 6 billion tokens
  • Stake to participate in governance, the longer the locking period, the higher the voting power
  • Coin for special events”

Source: Medium article

The pie chart below shows the distribution of GMT:

GMT token distribution
GMT token distribution

GMT is supposed to be issued and unlocked according to the chart below:

GMT release schedule
GMT release schedule

The in-game use cases for GMT & GST are the following:

Silver represents GST and gold GMT
Silver represents GST and gold GMT

Source: STEPN Litepaper

The next section is analyzing STEPN’s community, the impact it has on price development, and compares it to other projects.

Twitter sentiment development

For this part, we analyzed around 48k Tweets. With the moonpass AI model, the Tweets were classified to understand their context and give a comprehensive overview of what the community is thinking of STEPN.

Looking at the Twitter sentiment from the past 7 days one can see how the commentary of people about STEPN has changed. This means for example that on the 13th of Mai 2% of all Tweets concerning STEPN were negative, 29% neutral and 70% positive. To add a baseline, we compare this with the sentiment development of Solana on Twitter.

Comparing the STEPN data with Solana, it becomes apparent that the neutral sentiment on both projects has increased. For STEPN around 20% and for Solana around 14% at its max. This increase in neutral commentary comes mostly at the expense of the positive one. STEPN lost almost 21% at one point and Solana 13%. The negative commentary for both projects remained relatively stable.

Since Solana is the L1 that STEPN uses it does not come as a surprise that both sentiment developments are similar. We will continue monitoring this development since deviations between both developments are likely to be significant.

STEPN and Solana Twitter sentiment
STEPN and Solana Twitter sentiment

Twitter word clouds

The word clouds below depict the most frequently used terms in positive or negative Tweets about STEPN. This provides context around the sentiment development of the topics that are driving conversations within the community.

Negative word cloud

The negative sentiment is driven by people saying things like “STEPN is a Ponzi and pyramid scheme, that nothing is behind it, that is unsustainable, and that it is only driven by hype".

Negative word cloud
Negative word cloud

Positive word cloud

The positive sentiment is driven by people saying things like “being excited about running, celebrating their achievements, that they are taking care of their health and that they are earning through it”.

Positive word cloud
Positive word cloud

Telegram engagement

Comparing STEPN to other large x-to-earn projects with similar tokenomics can give an indication of how STEPN might develop in the future. In the analysis below STEPN is compared to Axie Infinity, one of the largest play-to-earn games in crypto, and to Star Atlas, one of the largest games on Solana judging by community size.

The charts below are showing the weekly engagement growth of the respective Telegram groups. For example, if the growth chart is at 100% this means that the engagement in terms of the number of messages sent within the group doubled compared to the week before. The charts are also showing the respective in-game currency price.

One can clearly see how engagement growth is correlated to the token price movements. For all three projects, there is a spike in engagement growth a couple of weeks before the token price rises significantly. It is also evident how the token price declines during times when the engagement growth is small or even decreasing.

To make the projects even more comparable certain stats are highlighted in the table below. What can be seen is that STEPN has the largest engagement in terms of total messages but also in terms of unique users that are engaging within the group.

Telegram engagement among similar GameFi projects
Telegram engagement among similar GameFi projects


For STEPN this correlation between engagement growth and token price peaking is the weakest. However, this might also be due to the Telegram group being closed for new people to join when the price peaked.

STEPN engagement as a proxy for the token price
STEPN engagement as a proxy for the token price

Axie Infinity

Before the two peaks of the token price happened the growth of the telegram engagement was significantly higher than at other times.

Axie Infinity engagement as a proxy for the token price
Axie Infinity engagement as a proxy for the token price

Star Atlas

Token price performance is also similar for Star Atlas especially looking at the decline of the engagement growth and decline of token price.

Star Atlas engagement as a proxy for the token price
Star Atlas engagement as a proxy for the token price


STEPN is arguably one of the projects with the most hype in the crypto ecosystem. However, the question a lot of people are asking themselves right now is will this keep going forever or will it crash like Axie Infinity and Star Atlas did, and if yes when will it happen. Right now STEPN’s success is mostly driven by new users buying into the system. Once this growth stops STEPN needs other revenue sources to keep the system going and avoid a downturn similar to Axie Infinity.

We believe combining off-chain and on-chain data from both STEPN and similar projects enables us to recognize patterns that happened before which can be used to give early indications of what might happen to the project.

The current sentiment and growth prospects are rather bullish. We will keep monitoring and analyzing the project to see how it develops. Stay tuned for the next article :)

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Thanks to our community contributors:

For the valuable OG insights: @TheBitsus, Rizvi Haider, @_philipleo, @felixbillert

For the valuable STEPN and GameFi feedback: Roberto Gonzalez, @Hectorg99, Viktor Redecker, Jeph Liu, @sometimecasey

For the valuable AI and technical insights: Przemked Dobrenko, @hotkartoffel1, Jose Parra, Chun-Kan Chow

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