Stepn, a mobile “move-to-earn” game that rewards players with crypto tokens for walking and running with special NFTs, has added an in-app for NFT sales within its iOS app for Apple’s iPhone. Launched App Marketplace. In addition, developer Find Satoshi Lab has integrated Apple Pay for purchases using credit and debit cards.
Mobile apps generally do not allow NFT purchases on the secondary market due to complications introduced by Apple and Google, which charge a 30% fee on most in-app purchases. This includes NFTs, which means app developers will need to charge users extra for transacting on mobile, or otherwise consume the fee as part of the cost of doing business.
Stepn has upped the ante here, but in a way that strips away the crypto elements and bundles in additional fees in the process. In this case, Stepn has made it possible for users to purchase NFT sneakers – which enables users to earn token rewards through the app via a new in-app currency called Sparks, which is not a cryptocurrency.
Users can buy bundles of Sparks through the Steps app (via Apple Pay) and then use them to buy NFT sneakers, with zero interaction with cryptocurrency. But Sparks’ prices are significantly higher in converted US dollars than when they buy the exact same item through a web marketplace using Stepan’s own GMT crypto token.
For example, one particular pair of sneakers was listed for 110 GMT this morning, or about $31.40 based on the GMT price at the time, per Coingeco. Buying the same NFT through the iOS app would cost $44.60 worth of Stephan Sparks at a fixed price of $0.10 per Spark (446 Sparks). This is an increase of 42%. Another direct comparison for a different NFT purchased through both scenarios showed a difference of about 43%.
Shiti Manghani, Stepan’s chief operating officer, confirmed decrypt That the price shown in the iOS app includes fees that Find Satoshi Lab handles as part of the process for users purchasing NFTs through the app. Stepan has mined NFTs on the Solana, Ethereum, and BNB chains.
Stepan’s official FAQ states, “In compliance with Apple’s policies, each in-app purchase is subject to taxation.” “Therefore, when using Spark credits to purchase a sneaker, you may see a difference in price. This adjustment ensures compliance with necessary regulations and reflects additional taxation.”
If someone sells a pair of NFT shoes through the Stepan marketplace and it is purchased by an iOS user, Find Satoshi Lab will pay the seller the listed price in GMT tokens, with the balance in Sparks (which can be purchased from Stepan). were then used to cover the fees.
Apple’s 30% cut in in-app purchases — and potentially other fees in the mix for offering in-app currencies and handling credit card payments — has been a sticking point for decentralized app (dApp) developers. Typically, NFT marketplaces charge very small platform fees for handling transactions – for example, OpenSea charges 2.5% of the sale price for trades.
Some apps have simply decided not to enable in-app NFT trades, such as NFT marketplace Magic Eden and NFT monster-fighting game Axi Infinity, which last week launched its “lite” iOS apps without NFT trading capabilities. Was. Meanwhile, NBA top shot maker Dapper Labs said this year that it hopes to find a solution to enable in-app NFT trades in the future.
Apple’s policy hasn’t changed here, it appears. Instead, Stepn found a way to work within the regulations, using a new in-app currency and packaging in fees for buyers as a way to enable trades at a higher cost to users. decrypt TechRepublic reached out to Apple for clarification on its policies, but did not immediately hear back.
It remains to be seen whether the convenience outweighs the hassle of users having to visit a web marketplace and handle cryptocurrency. Web2 apps have had to navigate this dilemma in the past, including Twitter and its Blue subscription service — which prompted owner and CEO Elon Musk to complain about Apple’s cuts and eventually raise the price of subscriptions on iOS .
Apple currently prohibits users from sending users to an external web portal to pay for a service or accept external payments, although legal challenges may force the tech giant to open up.
In any case, Manghani said Apple’s broad reach makes this effort — and higher prices for users — worthwhile as NFT app builders try to figure out how to play nice with the Web2 platform. He specifically described the Apple Pay integration as “a giant step forward” as Stepan aims to onboard more than 100 million users to Web3.
Apple’s sheer scale means “a huge responsibility to its users,” Manghani said, “especially in a space that is now infamous for scams the size of FTX. So the caution they take here is understandable.” Is.”
“So, as a business, we’re more than happy to comply with their [regulations] and build tirelessly [based on] Their response enabled real user adoption from Web2,” he added. “It has been a cornerstone of our growth and fruitful collaboration.”