STEPN, an early pioneer of the move-to-earn trend, has introduced NFT trading on Apple devices, making it the first blockchain gaming app to secure an integration with Apple Pay. However, this development comes with a catch as users will face higher fees to accommodate the ecosystem’s 30% ‘Apple Tax.’ In order to make this possible, STEPN has introduced a new in-app currency called ‘Sparks,’ which users can purchase via Apple Pay for a flat $0.01 per token. This non-crypto token can then be used to purchase STEPN NFTs via the newly integrated IOS marketplace.
Despite the excessive fee, the integration should considerably ease the convenience of onboarding members to STEPN by incorporating traditional payment methods such as credit and debit cards through the Apple Pay infrastructure. However, users will face a tough choice between convenience and lower prices as the extra fees have been incorporated into STEPN’s NFT prices, leading to an approximately 42% increase in prices compared to crypto-native marketplaces. This figure includes Apple’s 30% fee, plus additional administrative costs on the part of STEPN’s parent company, Find Satoshi Lab.
Interestingly, this marks the second Web3 giant to tap into Apple’s user base in recent days, following Axie Infinity’s debut on the Appstore. Going forward, the performance of these two heavyweights will determine whether further NFT companies will follow suit and integrate with Apple’s ecosystem.
In conclusion, the move marks a significant milestone for STEPN and the wider NFT industry. However, the high fees associated with Apple’s ecosystem represent a significant obstacle to onboarding users. While traditional payment methods like Apple Pay could help onboard new users unfamiliar with crypto, these fees pose a problem for those aware of crypto-native marketplaces’ lower prices.