Open Letter : STEPN and APE Realm
Looking back over the past few months, we have enjoyed the successes of both the SOL Realm and BNB Realm, and have encountered a few speed bumps that we plan to take head-on. In this letter we wish to introduce our new third realm, called APE realm as well as talk about STEPN as a whole.
We continue to actively explore a path that no one has travelled before and we are excited to introduce APE Realm.
With APE Realm, we incorporate elements of brands and new communities to explore the personalized possibilities of STEPN. This is in line with our mission to be the bridge between web2 and web3 and bring on the next 100 million users onto web3.
The biggest difference is not just changing or adding a new chain, but integrating part of the NFT that represents the aesthetics of personal identity, thus focusing on inclusiveness as we expand our userbase making STEPN the premier Web3 lifestyle app.
So what is the APE Realm?
We’ve chosen to build our Third Realm on Ethereum and call it APE Realm. This Realm reflects a great experiment to embrace fashion and other NFT communities. APE Realm will provide access to an innovative new Realm for all STEPN users, thus focusing on inclusiveness and bringing in new users to STEPNVERSE. We aspire for this initiative as a testing ground to become a launchpad for STEPN to explore additional external partnerships in the future. The Web3 we believe is not an isolated island, instead, it is a world that is both interconnected and cooperative
The birth of Ethereum is a highlight in the chronicles of blockchain. Ethereum popularized the smart contract and provided a decentralized Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to process peer-to-peer transactions. According to the crypto app tracker, State of the Dapps, there are roughly 3,000 decentralized apps currently running on the Ethereum blockchain. The developers of these applications can apply for grants for their projects, such as Uniswap, the world’s largest decentralized exchange.
From 2014 to the present day, Ethereum has brought innovation, and decentralization, and has withstood numerous stress tests. In order to unite a larger STEPN community and continuously enhance its depth, we decided to open STEPN to Ethereum users.
In terms of the Ethereum network, we are aware that the congestion and higher gas fees may affect the overall user experience. However, most of the functions of STEPN today can be completed off-chain without consuming gas fees, thus cutting the cost of using STEPN, regardless of the chain that you are on. We will continue to develop more abundant and innovative features as well as improve the existing capabilities of the platform so that everyone can get a truly unique experience and enjoy participating in the STEPN community.
Since our announcement about Realm 3, there has admittedly been some confusion amongst the community, specifically with regards to us teasing APE sneakers.
Hence, we’ve tried to address some of the questions gleaned from the community on Ape realm as well as about STEPN at large.
1）What are the objectives for Ape Realm?
We want to focus on inclusiveness. In case of the APE realm, it’s an initiative from the STEPN team towards aligning more Web3 users with our community. Currently, there is little overlap between the owners of the BAYCs and STEPN community members. The expansion of the user base is also net good for all existing users.
This initiative for BAYC holders is a fresh experiment for us. After all, STEPN is only 6-months old, and there is still much to explore and learn. We want our actions to not only bring value to existing users but also draw in new ones.
2) Why offer a free mint to BAYC holders?
Bored Ape Yacht Club has been instrumental in the rise of NFT popularity over the last 12–16 months. Celebrities from around the world, including Stephen Curry, Post Malone, and Jimmy Fallon have endorsed the BAYC brand. The trend even reached the music industry as Snoop Dogg and Eminem incorporated BAYC into a recent collaboration.
Through this initiative, we hope to incentivise BAYC holders to join our community. This will be taken as a case study for future initiatives exploring external cooperation and partnerships.
The Web3 we envision is not an isolated island, but an entire world that is interconnected and working side by side.
It is also worth noting that the mint is non-obligatory. Even then, BAYC holders will be required to tweet about it before they can claim their free shoebox. This will aid in spreading awareness of STEPN to the broader crypto community.
3) Will the new realm have any positive impact on older realms?
Having new users joining the community is always going to be positive for the whole game rather than just a specific realm, especially since GMT is used across all realms. Beyond that, we intend to implement the usage of GMT in DOOAR and other potential products we plan to ship in the next 6 months.
In the latest update, we have added the Sneaker Enhancement mechanic, which along with our recent initiatives, has seen quite a tremendous uptake, all in hopes of giving our existing community members a foothold in the new realm. This has also helped to stabilise the sneaker supply in older realms.
4) Are you forgetting the Older Realms?
Absolutely not, we have not forgotten older realms. Sol and BNB realms are the foundations upon which STEPN is built. Older realms will receive priority for upcoming partnerships, some of which have already been finalised while others are in their final stages of discussion. These names include renowned sports clubs, film IPs, and social media conglomerates. More importantly, there will be some portion of revenue from Realm 3 that will go into Realm 1 and Realm 2 to support the ecosystem.
Additionally, some of these partnerships will offer real-world perks to holders of the specific NFT assets created for these partners.
It is also going to be more economical to participate in game-wide new gameplays in the older realms. Participation in such gameplays can potentially lead to special future participation perks.
5) How does STEPN plan on surviving a bear market?
As we continue to scale and generate profit from our operations, we will continue to deliver our promise of dedicating no less than 5% of the operating profit to burning GMT.
At the same time, we will preserve the war chest for all the areas that we need to invest more capital into:
- Security and server: to prevent the potential impact from the fierce DDOS attacks that we have experienced in the past
- AI for the anti-cheating mechanism
- Team expansion for delivering a full product suite of DEX, NFT marketplace, and social products
- Sponsorship of sports and entertainment offline events that are on-brand for STEPN.
- Investment to start our physical merchandise lines for the marketing and awareness purpose
We plan to launch GMT earnings at some point, but we will need to monitor the broader markets. While this can significantly alleviate people’s existing concerns about GST, releasing it under non-ideal conditions could also be counterproductive. In the meantime, we intend to continually roll out more GMT sinks to ensure it keeps being deflationary.
6) STEPN has partnered with Nori, the Carbon Removal Marketplace. Does STEPN have more plans to come with carbon offsetting initiatives?
Yes, we are indeed doing monthly carbon credit purchasing through Nori. We intend on pursuing more of such initiatives in the future. Examples include sponsorship of offline marathons and engagement with other organisations that specialise in environmental initiatives.
7) The word “ponzinomics” is thrown around a lot in crypto projects. What does STEPN have now or in the future that separates us from “ponzinomics”?
Since day one, we have seen STEPN as an effective onboarding mechanism that leverages a tokenised incentive network to:
1. Encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle
2. Overcome the hurdle of Web3 onboarding
STEPN has never relied on pyramid schemes or incentivized growth structures to sustain our expansion, and we constantly strive for new sources of revenue to support our long-term business as a Web3 consumer super-app.
Let us list a few foreseeable sources of revenue that will come in the near future:
First, all the brands / IP partnerships that will drive revenue to the product. People are going to pay for these co-branded NFTs not just for their value of being utility assets within our ecosystem, but also for their value of being collectables and to unlock more brand-related perks. People will buy these NFTs not only for use within our app but also for their intrinsic value as a collectable.
Second, DOOAR is our liquidity infrastructure that provides the trading capability for all parts of our product flow (in the social and entertainment experiences) that require trading, where we earn a fee from every trade.
Third, our future NFT marketplace that captures the value of all the entertainment and social experiences happening across our products, which we will also earn platform fees.
Fourth, we are exploring the creation of external token sinks. For example, we have strategically invested in an early-stage Web3 Stream and game editor. Our tokens can be used for payment on their platform. Similarly, in our future online merchandise store, we will enable payment with our native tokens.
8) What are the big plans for STEPN’s DEX — DOOAR?
We definitely have big plans for DOOAR.
Even just within the AMM space, we will be launching the BSC and Ethereum version of the AMM, which will eventually make DOOAR a multi-chain DEX.
Secondly, when you think about the demand for transactions, there are instances where we will need cross-chain capabilities. We don’t plan to build any sophisticated infrastructure ourselves but may consider incorporating some open-source protocols to cater to certain needs that users have.
As we continue to roll out more products and features for new social and entertainment experiences, the demand for various forms of trading will go up significantly. At that time, DOOAR will do its part to provide the right solutions for whatever is needed, regardless of that being cross-chain liquidity, instant settlement or any other demand.
9) Where’s STEPN headed?
We are focused on our existing phase — in which the delivered products include the STEPN main app and our DEX DOOAR.
In this phase, we want to prioritise vertical expansion. What that means is that we are targeting to work with more consumer-focused retail brands to expand our user base, and onboard them into Web3 through the formation of a mutually appreciated lifestyle.
In the next phase, we want to find ways to build on and develop relationships amongst our users. This entails our social-fi component + our generic NFT marketplace. There will be separate products delivered for these purposes. We want to offer our users entertainment and social experiences from our products, and allow them to crystallise some of these experiences into their NFT collection.
All in all, everything we do in the meantime and in the future, is to:
1) Drive the mindshare of STEPN among the broader public audience. There are many ways to achieve this: partnering with IPs and world-class consumer and technology brands, sponsoring sports and entertainment events, and selling our own merchandise and beverages.
2) Continue to grow STEPN as a Web3 consumer brand that focuses on delivering entertainment and social experience that is partially powered by blockchain technology. In a nutshell, we hope that STEPN will become a super-app where people are gathered in the app for common interests, and have them spend on entertainment and social experiences. We don’t want to restrict these experiences to any specific medium, and they should be achievable in both physical and digital forms. The key is that the consumption of these experiences will leverage the Web3 login we created for our users and the blockchain technology in some way.
3) Unlock more interesting and unique gameplay and social experiences for our users. Some of these will come from our brand / IP partnerships, and some will be native to the users within our suite of products.
4) Drive value to our ecosystem, especially GMT which will serve as a reflection of our unified efforts.
At STEPN we remain committed to nudging millions of people towards a healthier lifestyle while connecting them to web3 and combating climate change.
STEPN represents an excellent wedge in onboarding non-crypto users into the ecosystem. A good non-gaming wedge is high frequency, encapsulates positive externality, and does not compete directly with entertainment time. STEPN’s adoption relies on real user needs, building healthy habits and impact on physical and mental health that users care about and hence the ever growing organic demand.
People may not care about decentralization or blockchain, but they care about their health and constantly struggle with creating good habits.
It is these issues that STEPN has proven to tackle successfully with its growing loyal userbase and will continue to forge ahead, building relentlessly! Thank you for your love, now and always. STEPN is what it is, because of you, and your support propels us to achieve greater heights!