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Sweatcoin: Get Crypto for Working Out

Want a way to workout and earn some coin? Sweatcoin has risen to the top of the App Store for helping folks get something more than just a glow for taking those daily steps.

Sarah Buhr | TechCrunch

The startup says it has accumulated more than five million users in the past year and increased revenue by 266 percent in the last quarter. There are more than two million weekly active users on the app — and growing, making it one of the fastest growing fitness apps in the App Store and second to the top in the free apps, next only to the Google Arts & Culture app that blew up over the weekend.

It works like this: users sign up and then hook up their smartphone’s health and fitness data and GPS location to the app. The app then tracks how many steps you take in a day and rewards you a monetary “sweat” value according to your movements. For every 1,000 steps recorded, the app will pay out .95 in “sweatcoins.” Users can later trade these coins in for fitness gear, workout classes, gift cards and a number of other offerings.

The app says you can only earn these coins by walking outside so it theoretically doesn’t count if you are walking on a treadmill at the gym, though the app on my phone seems to count steps inside my apartment as well. That’s at least something.

Note: I’m in my third trimester of pregnancy so I’m not exactly going the distance (just walking up the stairs feels like I’m trying to climb Mount Everest some days). That makes it a bit hard to earn my coins — I’ve only earned .33 in sweatcoins today, for instance, so don’t feel bad if you aren’t hitting that 10,000 step stride.

Another reason you may hit a wall of motivation in the app — the free version limits you in how many coins you can earn a day to just five. However, you can earn more if you are willing to fork over some of those sweatcoins per month to get you in the upper tiers and make some real sweaty moolah towards that coveted Fitbit or whatever fitness gear you’ve got your eye on.

The startup has now raised its own coin to the tune of $5.7 million in seed from investors such as Goodwater Capital, which led the round. Greylock also participated through its Discovery Fund, as did Rubylight, Seedcamp, SmartHub and a number of angels including Justin Kan and Rain Lohmus.

Sweatcoin founders say they plan to use the funding to now push beyond the U.S. and U.K. markets to other English-speaking countries, then on to continental Europe and Asia next.

Co-founder Anton Derlyatka also told TechCrunch he’d like to “even include the ability to pay taxes with sweatcoin” in the future. Other co-founder Oleg Fomenko also mentioned plans to develop an “open-source blockchain DLT technology that will allow Sweatcoin to be traded like any other major crypto- or fiat currency.”

READ the full story on TechCrunch

About Sarah Buhr

Sarah Buhr
Write about the wild new frontier of biotechnology (3D printed organs, one drop blood tests, or hamburgers grown in a lab? I’m your gal), Also a bit of politics, gender and diversity and sometimes they put me on camera at TechCrunch to tell you about cool new gadgets and gizmos.

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