Cryptocurrency and fitness are two concepts that may seem at odds with one another, however, with traditional means of exercise being challenged as a result of restrictions imposed by COVID-19 lockdowns within the last couple of years, Move-to-Earn (M2E) has gained rapid popularity by leveraging technology and gaming to ensure fitness and wellbeing is engaging a broader range of individuals.
What is Move-to-Earn?
Inspired by Play-to-Earn (P2E), a practise that rewards players with cryptocurrencies for their involvement in games, such as winning fights and advancing through levels, M2E follows a similar concept by tracking a users movements using mobile devices, and rewarding them for any physical activity
The most popular technologies used by M2E platforms include blockchain, NFT’s (non-fungible token), and Game-Fi, a Web3 hub that enables players to monetise their games by offering financial incentives.
Physical activity on M2E platforms can include a wide-range of activities, with the most common being walking, running, cycling and dancing, while rewards also vary between in-game currencies, real-word currencies, and trading NFT’s.
What are the benefits of Move-to-Earn?
The accessibility of M2E is one of its main advantages. Combining gaming with traditional fitness approaches enables a wide spectrum of individuals to become engaged by utilising trends, such as interactivity, competitiveness, and compelling rewards.
M2E also allows for greater convenience for users to participate and be motivated in maintaining their fitness and wellbeing as it’s cost effective and can be done from the comfort of your own home, which is also beneficial for users who have a busy schedule to participate at a time that best suits their lifestyle.
With data management a central issue in many industries, the technology that powers M2E, such as blockchain, provides a secure mechanism for users to stay on top of fitness goals and monitor progress. Blockchain can also make it easier for consumers to access their own data, and it grants greater transparency into how much personal data is being sold to 3rd party companies.
Start-ups in the M2E sector
One of the earliest disruptors in the M2E space has been StepN. Launching at the end of 2021, StepN already boasts 3 million active users by fusing the trend of NFT’s with fitness to encourage users to walk and run. Users need to first purchase an NFT, and will be compensated for the distance they walk or run with in-game goods and services.
Following StepN’s suit are Olive X, a virtual-reality space for fitness where users participate in interactive running games, receiving rewards in the form of cryptocurrency and NFT’s depending on the distances they run, while Sweatcoin converts steps into a new cryptocurrency titled, SWEAT. Sweatcoin also recently partnered with NHS South West London, running a decathlon programme designed to help pre-diabetic patients, avoid becoming diabetic
Sport Tech Hub alumni, Street Tag also leverages the concept of M2E to reward users for walking, running, and cycling. With community being a focal point of the Street Tag app, users can acquire points on a community, school or workplace leaderboard and win prizes, such as gift cards and sports equipment at the end of each season. Street Tag are working across many boroughs in London including Barking and Dagenham, Basildon, Greenwich, Hounslow, Kingston, and Newham among other.