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STEPN CEO on how to build a successful NFT marketplace. An interview with Yawn Rong

At NFT Paris 2023, which took place in the French capital on February 24-25th, we interviewed Yawn Rong, co-founder at Find Satoshi Labs, creator of the most famous STEPN NFT project to talk about how a successful marketplace should work.

What are the plans for the future expansion of the game and the NFT marketplace?

We started STEPN during the Covid-19. I was so bored, in a lock down, there were a lot of lockdowns in Australia. Jerry was my neighbor back then and we kept seeing each other at home, as we couldn’t go more than 500 km radius.

We said to each other “let’s create a crypto project” because Jerry has a background of building games and I am more involved in investing crypto, mining and everything to turn profit into crypto.

So we merged our two companies and we wanted to develop a game. Originally the game did not involve walking, but it had to be something like Monopoly or SuperMario.

Then the lockdown continued but we could walk for a couple of hours and the police were checking. Never seen so many people walking around with kids or with their dogs, so I thought that it would male sense to make something related to walking outside.

When you create a game, people demandes updates, they get bored quickly so we decided to remove a lot of gaming parts, the narrative and we kept the core. That’s the story and people like it, we have 20k to 50k people using it every day.

What do you think about the NFT market right now? How can it grow in the future? What’s your forecast on adoption?

The barriers are still too high for a person to enter in the NFT space for the first time. We are working to lower the entry barriers, this is our goal. That’s what we want to solve.

What are your next goals and objectives for STEPN?

Last year we established the objectives of expanding the Find Satoshi Labs ecosystem, which means a single app will always need to evolve. We need to keep building and this is the most important objective also to support the GMT token.

That’s why we decided to build our marketplace, our DEX and we have another field ecosystem for infrastructure which is going to be released later this year.

Once we complete the ecosystem we need to start to fill it with retails and products. STEPN will always be one of them, but we want to release another few apps.

In that way we are developing this “walking with two legs” sort of strategy: with one leg we are focusing on NFT and the other leg is working on tokenomics with the GMT token in the center.

The NFT and the token will be supporting each other. For example token burn to mint NFTs, NFT to have tokens, etc…

How is it going with NFT marketplace Mooar and the DEX called Dooar?

Dooar is the DEX we are building. We were trying to combine all the necessary components into one app which is STEPN. In the beginning we were using external providers but we decided to replace them with our own products.

Now we also have Dooar available on Mooar to facilitate exchange tokens. We have future plans on Dooar but it’s not our top priority now.

It’s working, it has basic functionality but we are more focused on Mooar now, the NFT marketplace built on Solana and Ethereum and more blockchain.

We are also optimizing the UX. If we want to summarize Mooar, for now it’s a membership only zero fee launchpad with trading functions and we are focusing on the launchpad now, building the next circle of blue chip NFTs.

This is why we are carefully selecting a handful of projects on a quarterly basis to identify the most likely to be successful. You can see that the projects we are launching are NFTs with a utility.

All the NFTs must have a utility and then you are able to grow.

We are also taking the trading fees away, and we are replacing them with a more sustainable model which is the subscription model.

Although the subscription seems a little bit difficult because you are not trading NFTs too often, there are other products we want to release to make the membership actually worth it.

With the subscription model we are able to explore a wide range of product features for example now the users will have an ecosystem to get experience and you are leveling up, not only trading.

If you are a high level user you will have more chance to win, to mint when it comes to the launchpad, for example.

Amelia Tomasicchio
Amelia Tomasicchiohttps://cryptonomist.ch
As expert in digital marketing, Amelia began working in the fintech sector in 2014 after writing her thesis on Bitcoin technology. Previously author for several international crypto-related magazines and CMO at Eidoo. She is now the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Cryptonomist, and also PR manager for the Italian market at Bitget. She is also a marketing teacher at Digital Coach in Milan and she published a book about NFTs for the Italian publishing house Mondadori, while she is also helping artists and company to entering in the sector. As advisor, Amelia is also involved in metaverse-related project such as The Nemesis and OVER.