Step is a fitness app that rewards you with crypto

The developers are currently working on a 'Step Fitness Metaverse'

About two weeks ago, I received an email about a walk-to-earn smartphone app, and I quickly jumped on it.

Step is a free-to-use fitness-based app based on the Binance Smart Chain which its makers describe as an app to “Track fitness activity, earn crypto, and be the best version of yourself.”

The app’s model is simple. You walk a certain number of steps per day, and you are awarded BNB tokens once every week.

It’s worth noting that the concept of earning money/points (or anything else that can be redeemed for services or currency) while walking, running or doing other fitness activities is not a novel concept. Back in January, I talked about Montreal-based PlayFitt being a great app that helps you stay fit and earn gift cards in the process.

Step builds on the same concept but adds the blockchain, NFTs and a virtual reality metaverse to the mix. That is the broader vision of the app, though a lot of it is yet to materialize.

While the app is free to download and use, the ability to earn while walking only unlocks when you integrate the app with your Binance Smart Chain wallet, and add 20,000 Step tokens to it. When I started the process, 20,000 Step tokens were about $32 USD ($40 CAD).

Since then, the walk-to-earn narrative has gained some solid traction, and the same STEP tokens that I hold are now worth upwards of $250 USD ($312 CAD). That’s nice, though this isn’t an investment guide. Instead, I’m here to tell you that the app is a great tool to increase your exposure to crypto (if you’ve been wanting to) with minimal risk, talk about what the future holds for the app, and you can decide if you want to walk with it or not.

First off, the prerequisite of holding 20K STEP tokens is still the same, so while it was rather economical for someone to start using the app and earn through it up until last week (I bought in the red circle in the image above), the barrier to entry has been substantially raised now. As mentioned, 20K STEP tokens are about $250 now ($312 CAD), and I don’t think many would be interested to spend that much to join the app and earn rewards. The ROI (Return on Investment) would just be too low.

I would like to see the Step team lower this barrier to entry if they want to see more people using their app, otherwise, scalability will be a significant issue.

Interface-wise, the app doesn’t offer much, yet. It’s just one page that shows you your daily, weekly and monthly steps, along with the calories burnt and heart rate, which it most likely pulls from your phone’s health app — Apple Health in my case.

The daily minimum steps required to earn rewards are 4000 (28,000 weekly), and preferably outdoors. It seems like the app doesn’t register steps indoors or when you’re walking/running on a treadmill. This is another aspect of the app that I would like the Step team to improve upon, considering that Canadians wouldn’t be too enthusiastic to get their 4K steps in during peak winters.

A fast-growing userbase is also seemingly causing some problems for Step. Even though I completed all the minimum requirements to earn rewards, like holding 20K Step tokens and walking the daily minimum amount, I never received my reward. My issue is echoed on the app’s Twitter page with people having the same problem. A Step spokesperson told me that “The app had some issues with the database last week due to growing usage of the app.”

On the contrary, users also report receiving rewards, leaving me in limbo.

What I like is that the rewards for each week are distributed in BNB, an already established token with multiple use cases. If you’re bullish on BNB, this also might be a good way to accumulate more tokens by doing something you would regularly do for free — walking. On average, you can expect to earn about $5-$20 worth of BNB per week (depending on how much you walk), which isn’t all that bad, though from what I’ve read on the app’s Twitter is that these rewards used to be higher, and are continuously decreasing.

Developers behind the app are currently working on a “Step Fitness Metaverse,” where Step users would be able to walk together. From the information available so far, it looks like users would be able to own billboards in the virtual world, and rent them out to companies looking to advertise to Step users. The addition of the metaverse will also bring along with it different workout features and modes and different virtual terrains to walk or jog on. Said metaverse would likely use Step tokens as the in-game currency, so expect the price action on the charts to follow.

The Step app is free to download for free on Android and iOS.

Note: This story is not financial advice.

Image credit: Step