What Is Move-to-Earn (M2E) and Why Is it the Next Hype in Crypto?

What is move=to-earn?

From derivatives, property, and precious metals to digital identity and music, nearly everything can be tokenized and moved onto the blockchain to realize their full potential.

Last year, we saw quite some success in this field, with NFTs taking over the arts industry and the Play-to-Earn (P2E) gaming sector gaining significant traction among players.

Now, a new trend seeks to take the crypto market by storm. It is called Move-to-Earn (M2E), and let’s explore this gaming model with a case study of popular Stepn app.

What Is Move-to-Earn (M2E)?

The concept of Move-to-Earn (M2E) is fairly simple.

M2E projects tokenize physical activity or exercise with the help of NFTs, native tokens, a blockchain ecosystem, and a device that can track movement (e.g., a smartphone or a wearable like a smartwatch or fitness tracker).

By doing so, users can earn cryptocurrency or NFTs (or a combination of both) based on how much they exercise or how many fitness-related goals and challenges they complete.

In many cases, Move-to-Earn users have to buy or rent an NFT (e.g., a tokenized sneaker for running), which will enable them to generate revenue. Many of these assets have limited earning capability, and owning more or upgrading them allows their owners to maximize their income.

Simply put, while it is a similar model to Play-to-Earn, Move-to-Earn seeks to incentivize users to exercise more and live a healthier lifestyle by offering them rewards for running, walking, and participating in different sports.

Stepn: A Case Study of How Move-to-Earn Works in Practice

To understand Move-to-Earn and see how the model works in practice, let’s see a brief case study of Stepn.

As one of the most popular M2E platforms, Stepn is a Web3 lifestyle ecosystem that rewards players with the combination of Green Satoshi Token (GST) in-game currency and the native GMT governance token for running and walking outdoors.

To get started, players have to download a smartphone app on iOS or Android, create a wallet, and buy an NFT sneaker to get started. The current floor price is 5.7 SOL, which is equivalent to around $228 as of June 2.

After buying the sneaker, the app will track users’ movements via GPS. It’s important to note that Stepn is only available for running or walking outdoors. For that reason, if there is no GPS or the application detects cheating, it will label it as “moonwalking,” which won’t earn any tokens for the user and may reduce “Energy.”

Energy is one of the most important parts of Stepn’s ecosystem, as it is what allows users to earn GST and GMT. Each NFT sneaker features a certain number of Energy caps, with one Energy cap equaling five minutes of profitable outdoor exercise activity. After he runs out of Energy, the user won’t be able to earn tokens until his caps replenish. The caps will recharge 25% of their full capacity every six hours.

The earning period can be increased by purchasing more sneakers or holding rarer ones. At the same time, users can upgrade their NFT trainers to maximize their rewards.

As the initial price of around $200 can be high for many users, Stepn will introduce renting programs – similar to Axie Infinity scholarships- where owners can rent out their NFTs to other users in exchange for a portion of the profits, which allows scholars to enter the ecosystem without paying a dime for sneakers.

Just like with many P2E games, Stepn users can “breed” two sneakers to mint a third one for which they have to spend either GST or a combination of GST and GMT.

It’s worth noting that Stepn’s tokenomics are very similar to Axie Infinity’s, which has been struggling with significant issues this year, including massive in-game currency inflation and the creators’ increased focus on the P2E solution’s earning mechanism instead of actual gameplay.

As a result, Axie Infinity has lost the majority of its player base since the start of the year as players are moving to competitor solutions where they can earn better revenue.

To avoid the above scenario, Stepn has incorporated a price stability mechanism for its dual-token system. By using GMT to either increase or decrease the GST supply, the project maintains that it can keep the latter token’s price at a level that is not too expensive for new users to join but also not that low to discourage players from minting new sneakers.

In addition to Stepn, other examples of Move-to-Earn projects include:

  • Dotmoovs: Dotmoovs is an M2E metaverse in which players can compete with each other in different sports and physical exercises. Powered by Augmented Reality (AR) and AI, users can earn MOOV tokens in the app based on their performance, which is assessed by an arbitration engine.
  • Genopets: Genopets combines the functionalities of a P2E game and an M2E app. As part of an RPG, players have to grow and evolve their digital critters by challenging both the mind and the body. Measured via biometrics data and smart devices, users can earn the KI in-game currency as a reward for their performance and progress.

Move-to-Earn: Earning Combined With a Healthy Lifestyle

While it is similar to Play-to-Earn in many ways, Move-to-Earn is a fast-growing trend within the crypto space that aims to incentivize users to exercise and stay fit via token rewards and NFTs.

Of course, the concept is very promising and holds many benefits for users.

On the other hand, while M2E projects like Stepn have put the key focus on the moving aspect and introduced measures to enhance their tokenomics, how sustainable the earliest forms of Move-to-Earn apps will be in the future has yet to be determined.

That said, no matter its future success, M2E is a useful model that has the potential to create tremendous value by incentivizing the global population to live a healthier lifestyle.

To learn more about other to-earn models, see the following posts:

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