STEPN to Block Users from Mainland China to Comply with Crypto Regulation 

UTC by John K. Kumi · 3 min read
STEPN to Block Users from Mainland China to Comply with Crypto Regulation 
Photo: STEPN Official / Medium

According to Dune Analytics, the game has over 580,000 users with 39,000 active users in the last 24 hours.

STEPN, a popular “move to earn” game co-founded by Jerry Huang and Yawn Rong, Chinese entrepreneurs based in Australia, and launched in December has announced plans to block users from mainland China. This is in response to the crypto-related regulations introduced by the country’s authorities. Last year, 10 government authorities, including the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), warned that cryptos are not legal tender.

According to the notice, any crypto-related transactions in China are considered illegal, and this is also valid when an offshore exchange provides services to a Chinese national. It was further stated that employees of any exchange based in China or outside the country providing services to its citizens would be investigated.

In a statement posted on Twitter, STEPN announced that the game will stop its provision of GPS and IP geolocation services to users in the country on July 15. A day after the announcement, its in-game crypto, GMT, fell by 38%. The fall in GMT was linked to the criticisms leveled by the STEPN community who found the announcement too sudden and how volatile its policies had been. A user proved with a screenshot on its Discord channel that users who choose Chinese as their official language are far more than those from other countries.

The actual number of users based in China is unknown. In percentage-wise, China only accounts for 5% of the game’s total user base according to Jerry H. This indicates that the decision will have a minimal impact on its business. Its major markets are Japan and the US.

Interestingly, it was observed on Friday morning that STEPN was the top trending search on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform.

According to Dune Analytics, the game has over 580,000 users with 39,000 active users in the last 24 hours. It also raked in $20 million in profit in its first quarter. Though the company does not operate any other business or offer a channel for download in China, part of its technical members is based in the country making them an easy target by the regulation.

“It’s a very, very urgent tweet and yes, my feeling is we have to follow the regulations, otherwise the ecosystem will not sustain. Feeling really sorry for all the users who had been implicated by this tweet in mainland China,” said a STEPN representative identified as Jason.

STEPN works by users purchasing NFTs, which only last for some time. In this case, users will have to exercise within the time to earn rewards in the platform’s native token GMT.

According to Rong, STEP seeks to prove sustainable as it charges fees to blockchain companies that also attempt to market their products to STEPN users.

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John K. Kumi
Author John K. Kumi

Excellent John K. Kumi is a cryptocurrency and fintech enthusiast, operations manager of a fintech platform, writer, researcher, and a huge fan of creative writing. With an Economics background, he finds much interest in the invisible factors that causes price change in anything measured with valuation. He has been in the crypto/blockchain space in the last five (5) years. He mostly watches football highlights and movies in his free time.

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