How Sweatcoin Can Change Your Life
It's the hot new fitness app that really pays off.
Have you ever wished that you could get paid to work out, instead of the other way around? Wouldn't you feel so much more motivated to take a long walk or go for a jog if you got rewarded with some a little more tangible and immediate than fresh air and good health?
Well, that's precisely the premise behind "Sweatcoin"—a new app that tracks your steps every day and converts them to a digital currency called "sweatcoin" (a play off of bitcoin, of course), which you can use to purchase items like a Delta or PayPal gift card, or even an iPhone X. For every 1,000 steps you take, you can earn approximately one "sweatcoin."
It's an exciting concept that's compatible with both Android and iOS devices, not to mention it's absolutely free.
As always, however, there are some downsides.
Firstly, the app only tracks the physical movement recorded by your phone, which means any time spent on the treadmill or spin class doesn't count. Secondly, you need to keep the app running in the background for it to work, which drains your battery.
According to a big New York Times piece, it also isn't completely accurate, especially if you choose to turn on the battery saving feature. Even with the battery saver off, the author of the piece was dismayed to find that, on one Sunday stroll, the app counted less than half of her steps, a complaint echoed by other users in the reviews. The London-based company also takes a 5% commission from all your earnings.
As an explanation for the defect, co-founder Oleg Fomenko said that the app has a built-in fraud detection technique to make sure you don't just strap your phone to a moving vehicle to collect points, and that software may be what's causing the disparity in its data. But the app is still fairly new, and Fomenko vowed that they are hiring a dedicated science team to help work out the kinks, as well as figure out how to measure indoor activity.
And despite the glitches, it's been enjoying increasingly popularity, and has ranked as the most downloaded health and fitness app in America almost every week since September. If you're already a big walker, then the app basically provides free money. And when the weather gets nice, it can motivate you to perhaps take a nice stroll from work instead of hitting the train. So it's a win-win for everyone!
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