by Terence Zimwara
China’s anti-crypto regulations have reportedly forced the non-fungible token (NFT) game, Stepn, to exclude users from the mainland starting on July 15. Shortly after the announcement, Stepn’s in-game cryptocurrency is reported to have briefly dropped by 38%.
China mainland users of the NFT gaming app Stepn will not be able to access the app starting on July 15, the developers have said. The blockade on users from this region is set to become effective when Stepn stops providing GPS and IP location services.
Despite revealing the plans to stop serving users from the mainland, the dev team insisted in a tweet that they had not engaged in any business with players from the region. The team tweeted:
We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. STEPN has not engaged in any business in mainland China since its establishment and has not provided download channels. STEPN has always attached great importance to compliance obligations and always strictly abides by the relevant requirements of local regulatory agencies.
In addition to the May 26 announcement, the Stepn team said they will still inform users of any new details relating to the blockade via social media, email, and in-app alerts.
The In-Game Cryptocurrency’s Plunge
Meanwhile, a report in the South China Morning Post said Stepn’s in-game cryptocurrency had plunged by 38% following the announcement. The report also said that shortly after the announcement was made, Stepn had become the top trending search term on Weibo, China’s social media platform.
Described as the “move-to-earn” game, Stepn enables users to trade the so-called NFT trainers as well as the in-game cryptocurrency (GMT) by either walking or running in the real world. The in-game cryptocurrency earnings are either converted to cash or other crypto assets, the report added.
Nevertheless, China’s ongoing crackdown against crypto-related businesses appears to have forced the dev team to take steps that ensure Stepn complies with the country’s regulations.
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Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.
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