There are a million and one fitness apps on the market today, and each of them does pretty much the same thing – monitor distances, record heart rates, recommend workouts, etc. Few, however, bribe users to get fit with real rewards from the retailers they love.
Count Sweatcoin among the few.
Reuters reported that Sweatcoin, a free app launched in the U.K.’s App Store, seeks to change the way people attempt to live healthy lifestyles by dangling in front of them carrots comprised of rewards they can redeem toward purchases at real stores. Oleg Fomenko, one of Sweatcoin’s founders, explained that the app uses movement and location trackers to make sure that users aren’t trying to game the system to earn more rewards then they’re due and pegs its perks – also called sweatcoins – to bitcoins to ensure stability.
“This whole business is pegged to making movement valuable,” Fomenko told Reuters. “Eventually, sweatcoin is going to have a rate of exchange tied to the British pound.”
Owing to the app’s aspirations to become a go-to fitness tracking platform for users and retailers alike, Sweatcoin has signed partnerships with four London-area startups to have their service offered as part of the companies’ health plans. Employees will be able to accrue sweatcoins – about 1 for every 1,000 steps – for which they can redeem for anything from paid days off to discounted healthy meals and even decreased premiums.
Fomenko has even bigger plans for employers’ roles in Sweatcoin’s future. As the rewards offered will be tied to a functioning economy of bitcoin, Fomenko imagined a world where businesses are paying him to reserve a chunk of sweatcoins from market fluctuations so their employees have access to a finite amount of rewards.
“Right now, movement is valued at zero,” Fomenko said. “How much value a sweatcoin will have will be a market decision but we know it’s not zero.”