Everyone can use a motivator to shed some pounds, and cash is always a great incentive. Sweatcoin seeks to offer just that reward, in coin form, to users who stay active. Rather than rewarding yourself for good behavior, sweatcoin will award you 0.95 coins per 1,000 steps taken. The tokens add up quickly, and at higher amounts can be traded in for some pretty sweet gear. Twenty thousand coins will even get you an iPhone X.
Oleg Fomenko and Anton Derlyatka, two Russian fitness figures, founded sweatcoin in 2016 to overcome what they saw as a psychological imbalance between the long term benefits of physical fitness and the human desire for immediate gratification. Fomenko told CNNMoney, “We started talking about how we can use modern technology to give you instant gratification.” The idea has taken off, with 10 million iOS and Android downloads in the U.S., the U.K., and Ireland, the three countries where it is currently available.
The official site describes sweatcoin as tradable for “Goods, services & experiences ranging from anti-gravity yoga classes to high-tech shoes, to iPhones and Apple Watches.” It can even be donated to partner charities. If that sounds too good to be true, perhaps it is. Some users have complained that the daily cap on coin accrual prevents you from being able to cash in on any of the first week specials offered to new users. Subsequent offers are far inferior, according to users, concentrating on free trials and subpar vouchers.
While some are calling the currency a scam, others recognize the need for marketing in this type of business strategy. At the end of the day, users are being rewarded for doing something that benefits themselves with both a free app that gives a psychological reward for working out as well as some freebies and discounts.