Look, I know you’re probably sick to death of hearing about Bitcoin by now, but what if I told you that there’s a digital currency that can be earned just by putting one foot in front of the other? And no, this isn’t a pitch for Black Mirror.
Sweatcoin’s been kicking around the idea of the “movement economy” since 2015, but it’s been stirring up more attention as of late in the wake of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin gaining traction. Sweatcoin has more than 2 million weekly active users, and what’s more the company just got a $5.7 million injection in seed money.
Sweatcoin has also bragged about its meteoric rise in the app store, overtaking major fitness rivals like Fitbit and Garmin, and as of writing it’s sat at number 2 in the iOS free app chart.
To help you burn (but not earn): Best fitness trackers 2018
Here’s the basics of how it works: the app tracks steps taken outdoors on the Apple Watch (or just the phone if you’d prefer) and converts that into its unique currency of Sweatcoins. It does this through a combination of GPS (so you’ll need the Series 2 at least if you’re just using the watch) and a pedometer. That’s because only steps taken outdoors will count. On the down side, this means your treadmills have no monetary value. Plus side: it works for cycling.
1,000 steps will earn you 0.95 Sweatcoins (technically it’s a whole coin, but Sweatcoin takes a 5% commission), which is an average conversion rate of about 1km to 1 Sweatcoin, give or take a little. So I put it to the test: I installed the app on my Apple Watch, threw on my running shoes and headed out the door, hoping to return a very rich man. A tap on the screen told the app I was starting a workout and it began racking up those steps and miles, which are handily displayed in real time during exercise, so I didn’t need to boot up a second app to track my run.
At the end of my 5K run I stopped the app, which told me I’d earned myself 5 Sweatcoins. Oh, and a bonus coin for just logging in. The currency gods were smiling down on me. I’d probably have to tell my bosses I won’t be coming in tomorrow. I’d phone them later – from my bath of money.
Earn while you burn: I went running for digital currency [Wareable]