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The ultimate guide to start earning money on STEPN

Intro to STEPN

If you’re reading this you likely have an idea of what STEPN is. For those who don’t, that’s ok – I’m going to help you easily get informed and get involved.

STEPN is a move-to-earn gamefi app on the Solana blockchain which operates on a phone or tablet by detection of movement through google fit or apple health through gps functionality. And it may just be the killer app that brings the world to web 3.0.

All the rave comes down to this: people are getting paid upwards of $150 per 25 minutes per day to walk, jog, or run. 

The caveat is that it takes a certain amount of capital to earn yields. And that’s exactly how it should be thought of, yield earning aka yield farming through exercise.

The lowest possible capital allocation is the cost of a single STEPN sneaker nft at about 13 SOL ($1150) to earn a net 6.2 GST per day ($40) per calculations using stepn.guide. That suggests a yield of 100% in 30 days, assuming one exercises every day. Incredible!

When considering yields in crypto, they are all over the place. Anything above 10% is decent to simply maintain capital value given inflation. Also, this % is achievable with several different stablecoin yields (stablecoins are cryptocurrencies pegged to fiat, usually usd).

STEPN yields are at least 100% apr based on some conservative calculations from these two calculators: https://stepn.guide/ and https://www.workitwallet.com/post/stepn-roi-calculator. But as we saw with the calculations above, it is possible to attain 100% in 30 days, corresponding to 1200% apr!

There are multiple variables that can affect these figures, both internally (supply/demand factors) and externally (reinvestment decisions/gameplay immersion), so these should not be taken as law in determining ROI. But this provides a good range of potential yields that could be realized with STEPN.

As with any yield farm, the best yields are typically in the beginning. Generally, the earlier one gets involved, the sooner the yields can be unlocked and capital allocation can be regained. 

How to unlock yields? Simple. Get moving. Walk, jog, or run, and do it often. Daily even. What better incentive is there, really? Exercise often takes a back seat to everything else going on in life, especially in the post-covid era that seems to have put rust in everyone’s bones…at least that’s what seems to have happened to me. Until now. Thanks to the gamefi community in Subverto Trading Club I finally took the plunge. I’ve been exercising twice per day since jumping on the STEPN train*. Gotta move to unlock those yields!

Table of Contents

Part 1 – How to get US dollar or other fiat money converted to cryptocurrency

1.1 Set up an exchange account to convert fiat money to cryptocurrency

    • Coinbase is the exchange I’m most familiar with and I’ll reference it as the depositing exchange in the rest of this post, but there many exchanges where Solana can be purchased – https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/solana#markets
      • Solana is available on FTX and binance for anyone using those
    • This step may require KYC or “know your customer” compliance, where you will need to provide personal details to prove your identity to the exchange
    • Coinbase and others utilize an encrypted account verification conduit called Plaid in order to link a bank account by directly logging into this bank account from within coinbase when prompted on the “verify bank account” step
      • This step can be disconcerting for many if unfamiliar with the process
      • I have completed this step on multiple exchanges and non-cryptocurrency related accounts over the years utilizing Plaid and I have never had any issues
    • The other option would be the old fashioned verification method of creating deposits (from coinbase) on the bank account you’ll use to fund, then reporting those exact amounts back to coinbase in the “verify bank account” step
    • While waiting for verification, skip to Part 2 and get the STEPN app and account set up

    1.2 Purchase Solana aka SOL

    • STEPN operates on the Solana blockchain, so this is the cryptoasset used to fund your account
    • BNB Smart Chain (aka BNB BEP20 version) can be used to fund your STEPN account, but this guide will focus on Solana only
    • Find the Solana market on coinbase and purchase SOL to fund your STEPN wallet
      • Technically, you only need 1 pair of shoes to get started as mentioned previously, but optimally you will need at least 3 to take advantage of some of the built-in game mechanics and economics
      • The optimal setup many are touting requires roughly $5800 of Solana (1 uncommon runner + 2 floor priced sneakers)
      • At current price of $87.1, this is roughly 67 SOL
      • In the last section, I will present some scenarios with varying value propositions based on the approach

Part 2 – Setup STEPN wallet

2.1 Download STEPN app on phone or tablet

https://www.stepn.com/ 

  • Enter email address
  • Click on “send code” (this code is for verifying email address, not for activating your account)
  • Register an email address
 
 

We are Subverto Trading Club, a group of professional traders from around the globe who were drawn together under a common objective: To seek out students who are determined to empower themselves with the skills needed to be successful in trading. Whether you want to supplement your primary career or make your way as a professional trader, we have the tools and expertise to show you the way.

Come check out our discord with a free 3-day trial: ask questions, peruse chat history, and observe us at work. We look forward to seeing you there! 🚀

2.2 Get activation code

  • There are two ways to get an activation code:
    • 1) from a friend who’s already joined or
    • 2) from the community at 1300 UTC (9am NYC/EST) daily ie “activation code” channel in the STEPN discord app Codes are now provided throughout the day for immediate use (much easier format)
  • This step is giving many people trouble, mainly because the STEPN team is limiting community activation codes to 1,000 per day
  • Please note that once you start using STEPN, you will earn activation codes that can be shared with others
  • If you don’t have a code from a friend, then click on “Get activation code”
    • This step can be a bit glitchy (the team is working on improving UI), so if an activation code doesn’t work, simply close the app and restart the process where you receive the verification code (different than activation code) in your email and enter the activation code again – it may take a few attempts

2.3 Join via discord

  • Discord is a group messenger app utilized extensively in the crypto and gaming realm, among others.
    • When you join a group on discord, it is referred to as the server. In this case, you will be on the discord STEPN server.
Join via Discord
    • I do not recommend joining via telegram because the user interface of discord is FAR easier in my experience
    • If it’s your first time on discord, you will need to set up and verify a discord alias – it’s a straightforward process and the tutorial within discord is user friendly 
    • Once having successfully joined the STEPN discord server, select it from the left hand side of the discord app, then go to #-activation-code just prior to 1300 UTC 
Find #-activation-code channel on the left-hand side from within the STEPN Discord server
Scroll to the top of this discord channel and click on the link in the message from “Jason | Admin”
  • Only 1,000 community codes per day – Be ready to jump in precisely at 1300 UTC (0900 EST Spring-Fall) and click the link as fast as possible (even 3-4 seconds prior to 1300)*
  • This step has changed as of May 5th, 2022 – codes are now provided throughout the day in batches in the same location in discord as described above – much easier to get a code now
We (used to) see this screen often, but keep trying and ask around for a code...the community is very friendly.
  • Once you successfully input an activation code, you will be taken through a series of prompts on the STEPN app to get your wallet set up. 
  • The most important step to all of this is copying down the 12-word seed phrase
    • The seed phrase is the key to your wallet. If another gets these words, they can take your assets from anywhere in the world. Game over.
    • Do NOT save these words in any form on your computer or anywhere on the interweb – not on a password manager, not on a .doc or other file document, NOTHING that touches the internet – *Heed to this with any seed phrase or private key in cryptocurrency or learn the lesson the hard way as so many have*
    • Physically writing them down clearly and in ink is perhaps the most fool proof method – 2 copies recommended, stored at separate sites each in a fire proof safe

Part 3 – Funding STEPN Wallet

Once your wallet is all set up, you can now deposit SOL!

 

  • With Solana chain selected in green, find the address bar in the top-middle part of the app from the Wallet section – this is your STEPN wallet address, aka your deposit address
  • Click on it to copy or click Receive button to copy
  • From coinbase (or FTXor binance), click on withdraw, select SOL, and enter the STEPN deposit address copied from step 2 above
  • Double check that the withdraw address on coinbase matches the deposit address in your STEPN app
  • It is always a good idea to send a small test amount first to verify everything is square, especially if unaccustomed to navigating cryptocurrency and blockchain-based apps
  • Once test amount has been received in STEPN wallet, send the rest on over

Part 4 – Strategy and Game Mechanics Overview

4.1 Overview

In order to start earning in STEPN, you have to buy NFT shoes with SOL. There are four shoe types and each comes with varying base stats, different sockets, and rarity status. The basic premise is that each nft shoe allows you to earn a varying amount of GST while you walk, jog, or run.

GST is short for Green Satoshi Token, the in-game spending token, which is used to repair shoes, cover certain transactions, etc. GST can be “traded” for SOL, usdc, or GMT after transferring from Spending tab to Wallet tab or traded on a few exchanges outside of the STEPN app, with a current price of $5.45.

GMT is the STEPN token, meaning it is the governance token, whereby holders of this token are given the right to vote on protocol proposals or other governance issues that arise. GMT is also traded on several exchanges outside of the STEPN wallet; it is trading at $3.23 at the time of this writing.

A basic understanding of STEPN game mechanics should be undertaken to help create a coherent strategy for optimal earning. The whitepaper is an essential starting point for this (don’t worry, it’s actually quite easy to follow): https://whitepaper.stepn.com/

I will not cover strategy in depth in this guide as there are plenty of resources on the subject, such as this excellent blog complete with various calculators by Ben at www.workitwallet.com.

But I will provide a brief overview of the strategy I have thus far undertaken.

4.2 Key Approaches to Shoes/Stats/Attributes:

  • Uncommon Trainer – Primary Shoe
    • I prefer trainers because they allow the user to walk, jog, or run
    • I believe the value of these will continue to outstretch any others, thus the beta is higher on this type
  • Common Trainer x2 – Support Shoe (can technically be any shoe type, walker, jogger or runner; basically, buy floor-priced shoes for these, level 0 is fine)
  • 0 mints – All my shoes have zero mints – the more mints that have occurred on a shoe, the less valuable the shoe since a mint is used to produce another pair, with each mint increasing in cost, to a max of 7 mints. 
    • This may not be as relevant if you plan to simply get 3 shoes and earn without engaging more deeply in the mechanics; however, better to get 0 mints and not need them vs getting 3-4+ mint-used shoes and want to get in the minting game later – the game has a fun way of drawing you in
  • High efficiency
  • Decent resilience
  • Efficiency Socket – at least one
  • Not too many Resilience sockets – I prefer a well-rounded socket balance of one for each attribute boost (ELRC if possible)
  • Leveled up to 5 for the primary if possible, but ensure the owner utilized the points effectively across stats during leveling. 
    • There are some sneakers for sale where the owner has not assigned attribute points after each level up.
    • This is verified by seeing that there is no horizontal green bar added to any of the grey bars for attributes points (see examples below; left – no points assigned; right – points have been assigned).
    • *However, the points are in reserve and if purchased, the new owner can assign them as they see fit. (4 points per level for commons, 6 for uncommons)*

 

4.3 Basic Strategy Explained

A basic strategy I’ve employed is to have a primary “high end” pair of shoes (uncommon “high end” lol) and two commoners. This allows for energy =  4 starting out, meaning 4 x 5 min sessions in which to earn GST.

My primary shoes are Uncommon Trainers with 0 mints that cost roughly 108 SOL and the rest are a mix of shoes at floor price of 17 SOL (for zero mints). 

The utility of all other shoes outside of your primary should only be thought of as “adding energy capacity”, though other stats of these commoners may eventually become more important so I paid some attention to their base attributes and sockets when purchasing.

Shoe Type

Speed km/h

Speed mi/h

Pace min/mile

Base Return at Optimal Speed

Walker

1-6

0.62 – 3.72

16 – 96

4 GST / 1 Energy spent

Jogger

4-10

2.48 – 6.2

9.67 – 24

5 GST / 1 Energy spent

Runner

8-20

4.97 – 12.42

4.83 – 12.07

6 GST / 1 Energy spent

Trainer

1-20

0.62 – 12.42

4.83 – 96

4 – 6.25 GST / 1 Energy spent

Shoe utility stats

Admittedly, I started out with runners because they were the lowest price relative to the other types, but I quickly realized their utility was limited for me.

The pace was difficult to maintain in our mountainous area for one. Additionally, it occurred to me that I could get extra family time while walking; running is not as inclusive for all of the family.

So I sold my runners and just went for the trainers, which allow me to earn at any pace. I couldn’t be happier with this decision!

4.4 Additional Strategy

  • If you don’t want to put in too much capital but want to maximize output, one method is to seek high level common shoes
    • For example, trainers pay the most, even if wanting to walk only
    • Try to find a pair of “walkers” with very high level (10-20)
    • Focus on efficiency as this will maximize the daily returns – this applies to points applied as well as efficiency sockets
  • The trainers shown below are level 17 commoners
    • The efficiency points are not quite optimized for efficiency in that too many were spent on luck if desiring to optimize for returns, but it’s still not a bad approach since the stepn.guide calculation below shows earnings potential of 24 gst per day as long as the user owns 2 additional floor sneakers (this results in energy of 4 or 20 minutes of earn time per day)
    • The cost for this setup would be 29.9 SOL plus roughly 13.3 x2 for 2 additional floor priced sneakers for total of 56.5 SOL with SOL at $86.5 = $4900
    • This equates to earning 24 gst per day, where current gst price is $6.35 = $152.4 net
    • So this roughly equates to 100% ROI in 32 days
    • Variations of this approach could result in better ROI if a “mispriced” high level sneaker can be grabbed off the marketplace
Potential daily earnings for the way in which attribute points have been distributed for this shoe for sale
Optimized for efficiency

Part 5 – Buy some STEPN NFT shoes and get outside!

5.1 Transfer SOL from Wallet to Spending

  • From within Spending tab is where you will buy nft shoes
  • Click on the SOL icon at the top right of the app to navigate to your “Wallet” tab
  • On Wallet tab, click on transfer button at bottomYou may have to enter passcode that you set up initially for the wallet to unlock 
    • Make sure “From:” is set to Wallet and “To:” is set to Spending
  • Select SOL as the asset
  • Enter your desired amount to transfer and select “confirm transfer”
  • Surprisingly (though possibly by design), transactions between wallet and spending are very slow despite Solana being a highly capable and efficient chain – just be patient and give it a few minutes for each transfer

5.2 Buy your nft shoes

 

Find shoes to buy by clicking on marketplace/shopping icon
  • From the main app page, select the shopping cart icon at the bottom for the marketplace
  • From this page, here you can browse Sneakers while using the filter to target parameters, such as level 5 trainers with 0 mints
  • Click on the shoe you wish to purchase, then click on “BUY NOW” at bottom right, review the final details, then select “confirm” if satisfied
  • Once the shoe nft is purchased, find the sneaker icon at the bottom of the main page (circled in green below) and click on it to review your shoe rack
Click on the sneaker icon to view your shoe rack/shoes you own

5.3 Go!

  • Once you’re ready to run, simply click on the runner icon at far left on bottom of main page, then click START
  • As long as you have at least 25% energy, you will be able to start earning those yields
  • Pay attention to the energy bar that says 0-5. Once at zero, you will only be degrading your shoes without earning, so it’s best to stop and allow 24 hrs to fully recharge*

Part 6 – Final Thoughts & Reference Material

6.1 Key Info

  • Make sure you level your shoes up regularly by clicking on the “level up” button at far left from within specific sneaker view page – set alarm to maximize shoe level-ups because time is money
  • Leveling up costs a small amt of GST and time
    • Unless you are in a big rush in the beginning, best not to waste GST on “boost” to finish level-up immediately
  • After each run, the primary shoe will require repairing, which costs a small amt of GST
    • A good practice is to “Repair before run” ie Just before your run, click repair
  • Each 5th level-up requires GST and GMT for leveling, plus GST is needed to “unlock” a socket at each 5thlevel but it is not necessary to unlock sockets to continue leveling up

6.2 References

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