The new collaboration sets a significant milestone for both the Web3 gaming project and the tech giant.
Web3-focused lifestyle project Stepn has announced today its integration of Apple Pay to enable in-app digital asset purchases. Users can now buy sneakers and other Stepn items directly on the Stepn application without connecting to a crypto wallet.
Stepn Integrates Apple Pay
The new feature allows users to add credit or debit cards to Apple Pay and acquire SPARK credits. Users can also explore and purchase items on the marketplace with $GMT. Customers will get $GMT when selling items, regardless of purchase options.
The feature is exclusively accessible on Apple devices.
As part of Apple’s policies, there’s an additional taxation fee on the price of Stepn’s digital items when users choose to buy with SPARK credits. Stepn alternatively guaranteed that the feature was secure and that Apple would protect users’ information.
Apple Pay is one of the world’s most popular mobile applications. Its widespread use will act as a catalyst to onboard more mainstream users to the evolving Web3 landscape via the Stepn application.
With this announcement, Stepn also makes its name as the first Move-to-Earn project to offer this type of feature. This landmark achievement not only simplifies the purchase process but also bridges the gap between mainstream users and the Web3 ecosystem.
“STEPN was the first move&earn application to be hosted on the App Store, and we have achieved remarkable growth in a short period. With the integration of Apple Pay, we are making the user journey even more seamless, removing barriers to entry for anyone interested in move&earn opportunities,” said Jerry Huang, Co-Founder of Find Satoshi Lab (FSL), the software team behind Stepn.
Apple Pay’s integration came just a few days after Sky Mavis, the team behind the major game title Axie Infinity, announced the Origins’ version would be available on App Store. While the game is only open to download in select countries, it demonstrates Apple’s gradual adoption of digital assets.
But obviously, the tech giant shows cautious approaches to the “wild west.” Both Axie Infinity and Stepn must follow Apple’s policies to grant approval. Shiti Rastogi Manghani, Stepn’s COO, said reaching an agreement with Apple was uneasy. However, the executive believes the integration presents an opportunity for broader adoption.
A Return of NFT Games?
While there is an increasing demand for Bitcoin Ordinals in NFTs, development in NFT games remains stagnant.
Axie Infinity remains the leading blockchain-based gaming project, despite the possibility of its prime time passing. The Play-to-Earn model initiated a warm reception in the NFT gaming landscape, followed by Move-to-Earn, introduced by Stepn. However, recent market setbacks have resulted in transient trends.
Stepn has achieved millions of downloads, but Manghani acknowledged a decline in monthly active users, currently around 500,000. To counter this, Manghani and her team anticipate that integrating with Apple will attract more users.
By the end 2022, Stepn had accumulated nearly five million registered users, who collectively covered approximately 70 million miles through walking or running.
Promising projects in the current landscape include The Sandbox Metaverse and Bored Ape’s NFT game, which are still in their alpha stages but have generated optimism among supporters.
However, skeptics have expressed concerns about the intricate ecosystem of Bored Ape Yacht Club, which may pose challenges to the project’s ambitious goals.
The declining user numbers indicate the imperative for innovation, expansion, and the provision of attractive gameplay in the NFT gaming space. As the landscape of NFT gaming continues to evolve, projects must proactively adapt to address the shifting needs of the market effectively.