Layoffs Hit Struggling Crypto Fitness App STEPN


STEPN is taking a step back.

The “move-to-earn” fitness app has laid off over 100 contract workers. including community moderators, ambassadors, and others, according to reports from the South China Morning Post and crypto news writer Colin Wu of Wu Blockchain.

Launched in 2021, STEPN is an app where users buy virtual running shoes as NFTs which allow them to earn STEPN’s native token, GMT, by logging steps IRL. The virtual shoes, which deteriorate over time, were once among the hottest items in crypto.

In May and June this year, STEPN saw a massive spike in monthly active users, logging over 700,000 in May and nearly 500,000 in June according to data from Dune Analytics.

Monthly active STEPN users. Source: Dune Analytics

But when July rolled around, STEPN saw a massive dropoff. It saw 50% less monthly active users in July. It had 140,000 in August, and just 99,000 in September. The number of daily active users has also sharply declined, down from a peak of 58,000 on June 21 to just 5,800 on September 15. 

And per CoinGecko data, GMT isn’t doing well, either. The token is down 84% from its all-time high and down 15% in just the past month.

This exponential decline can’t be good for STEPN. It begs the question: what is the company doing to keep itself afloat? 

STEPN Co-Founder Yawn Rong wrote on Twitter Tuesday that STEPN is going through a transitional period.

We will be devoting all of our resources to progressing to the next stage of FSL, Rong said, referring to Find Satoshi Lab, STEPN’s parent company. Over the next few weeks, we will be shifting gears as we evolve our vision,” he wrote. “Through this transitional period, we will not leave you in the dark.

According to Wu, that means STEPN is winding down. Citing community sources, he wrote that the company is reducing its investment in STEPN, delaying development progress.

“It began to focus on promoting its parent company Find Satoshi Lab, and mainly focused on new projects to be released such as the NFT exchange market,” Wu wrote late Tuesday evening.

While STEPN may be laying off staff, its “Careers” tab on its main website, where candidates can fill out a form expressing interest in working for the company, is still live.

STEPN, which is based in Australia, has not yet responded to Decrypt’s request for comment.

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