Well-known move-to-earn game STEPN announced on Thursday that it will stop offering IP and GPS-related services to users in mainland China as required by authorities. The new ban will be effective from July 15.
Deadline set for July 15
The Solana-based social-fi application is a mobile platform that rewards users through walking, jogging or running. Tracking the geographic location of users is an essential feature that enables the platform to ascertain their level of participation. Thus, in order to participate in the game, players need to carry their phones while exercising and have their GPS known by the platform.
In compliance with regulatory requirements – STEPN Told Users whose IP and GPS addresses come from mainland China will no longer be able to use its service since July 15th – via tweets on Thursday. The Web3 firm encouraged Chinese users to start managing in-app assets accordingly.
To earn rewards through the game, users must first purchase virtual sneakers in the form of NFTs. Prices are set for SOL and BNB, so users are required to connect the app to their crypto wallet. The thread did not specify what would happen to their in-app assets after the deadline.
The team clarified that it has never started any business or provided any means for people to download the app in the jurisdiction. STEPN founder Jerry H said Chinese users account for only 5% of the game’s total user base, suggesting the ban would not have a significant impact on its business.
GMT sinks amid criticism from community
STEPN uses a dual token model on several P2E gaming platforms such as the popular Axie Infinity. GMT is a governance and unity token with a limited supply of 6 billion units. Following the announcement, the coin’s price dropped by about 40% at one point to $0.83. Since then, it has reached $0.95 at the time of writing. Also, the minimum price for an NFT sneaker dropped from 13 SOL to about 8 SOL.
The wild price action came amid criticism received from the community. A user in the comments section of the tweet tweeted A screenshot on the platform’s Discord channel, showing that the number of members who chose Chinese as their language far outnumbers users in other countries. Meanwhile, another user expressed disappointment at how suddenly the announcement was canceled and how unstable its policies had become.
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