Well-known move-to-earn game STEPN announced on Thursday that it will stop offering IP and GPS-related services to users from mainland China, as required by the authorities. The new ban will come into effect on July 15th.
Deadline Set on July 15th
The Solana-based social-fi application is a mobile platform that rewards users through walking, jogging, or running. Tracking users’ geographic position is an essential feature that enables the platform to figure out their level of participation. Thus, to take part in the game, players need to carry their phones while exercising and let their GPS be known by the platform.
In compliance with regulatory requirements – STEPN said via a thread of tweets on Thursday – users whose IP and GPS addresses come from mainland China will not be able to use its service since July 15th. The Web3 firm encouraged Chinese users to start managing the in-app assets accordingly.
To earn rewards through the game, users need first to purchase virtual sneakers in the form of NFTs. The prices are denominated to SOL and BNB, so users are required to connect the app to their crypto wallets. The thread did not specify what would happen to their in-app assets after the deadline.
The team clarified that it had never launched any business or provided any means for people to download the app within the jurisdiction. Jerry H, the founder of STEPN, noted that Chinese users only account for 5% of the game’s total user base, suggesting that the ban would not significantly impact its business.
GMT Plunged Amid Criticism from the Community
STEPN uses a dual token model like many P2E gaming platforms such as the popular Axie Infinity. GMT is the governance and unity token with a limited supply of 6 billion units. After the announcement was made, the token price plummeted nearly 40% at one point to $0.83. Since then, it had recovered to $0.95 at the time of writing. Also, the floor price of an NFT sneaker had dropped from 13 SOL to roughly 8 SOL.
The wild price action came amid criticism derived from the community. In the comment section of the tweets, a user tweeted a screenshot on the platform’s Discord channel, showing that members that chose Chinese as their language have greatly outnumbered users from other countries. Meanwhile, another user expressed frustration over how sudden the announcement was dropped and how volatile its policies had been.