The app Sweatcoin has been growing in popularity in recent months, and now boasts tens of millions of app downloads.
Essentially, the founders are attempting to turn movement into economic value. This means that when a person moves – whether running or walking – that they are paid.
When you see something like this, it is easy to think that it is too good to be true, or that there must be a catch somewhere. Surely this isn’t free?
Well, Sweatcoin is very legitimate, but there are some factors you may want to consider when deciding whether or not you should join this app. We also show how Sweatcoin makes money.
Sweatcoin launched in 2016, with founders Oleg Fomenko and Anton Derlyatka having the bold aim of making Sweatcoin become a global digital currency.
Sweatcoin isn’t an actual cryptocurrency – such as Bitcoin or Ether – as it isn’t on a blockchain. The founders hope that they will eventually reach this point.
The Sweatcoin app is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store. In fact, a redesigned app has recently been released, as shown in the below Tweet.
Does Sweatcoin have a positive effect?
Research published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that a person’s average step count increases on average 20% in a six month period before and after downloading the app.
Users are paid based on how many steps they take – which does incentivise exercise. Users are paid 0.95sweatcoin for every 1,000 steps. The app recently added support for indoor walking, rather than just outside-based activity.
Sweatcoin mention on their website that they are teaming up with insurance companies and local governments, hoping to create further programmes to help users exercise more.
How do you redeem Sweatcoin?
Aside from earning Sweatcoin through exercise, you also have the chance to earn by watching three advertisements each day. You also get Sweatcoin for referring friends.
You are then able to redeem your Sweatcoins on the app’s marketplace tab, which features many different offers from companies. They range from spa getaways to jewellry offers to fitness programmes, and a lot more.
The most appealing offers are “marathon offers”, where 20,000 Sweatcoin results in a $1,000 (approximately £750) payout. However, this takes a long, long time to achieve.
By using the above figures, it would suggest that 1 Sweatcoin equates to approximately 5cents, or 3p. Of course, these are tiny amounts, but over time, they will add up.
How Does Sweatcoin Make Money?
It is understandable to wonder at this point how Sweatcoin as a company makes money. There are actually several revenue streams for them.
The marketplace is where Sweatcoin hope that users will spend their time on. Brands and companies will pay Sweatcoin to be featured on the marketplace.
Think about all of the millions of users who use Sweatcoin – being able to put a product in front of all of these visitors is highly appealing to brands, so they happily pay for this privilege.
Sweatcoin also takes a 5% commission or “tax” from its users. So for every 1 Sweatcoin earned, Sweatcoin take 0.05 Sweatcoin. Again this seems small, but it adds up quickly over time.
Sweatcoin is also able to limit how much Sweatcoin is given out on the app. They use “plans” that limit users in how much they can earn in one day. On the free plan, users can earn Sweatcoin for 5,000 steps.
Other plans – which cost Sweatcoins to access – let you earn more money, but there is always a limit of the amount of Sweatcoins given out.
Sweatcoin also gets access to a lot of data, which in 2021, is a very big deal, and can be worth a lot to marketing companies.
These various areas all allow Sweatcoin to have control over their income and outgoings, and helps them build up a lucrative business.
Criticism of Sweatcoin
The app has been criticised though for a few different reasons. The main criticism is the length of time it takes to access “marathon offers”.
Earning 20,000 Sweatcoin will normally take between 2 and 3 years – which is a lot of time. Many users will lose interest in that time.
The app has also been criticised for draining the battery of phones. Having GPS access at all times does indeed use battery, although a battery saver mode was added by the app in 2020.
There are also privacy concerns – with many users reluctant to give an app information on their daily habits – such as where they stop off for lunch, which supermarket they use etc. It has been questioned what Sweatcoin will do with the masses of user data they have access to.
Finally, Sweatcoin can be rather misleading. At times, you could be forgiven for thinking that when redeeming Sweatcoin, that you are buying a product. But many times, you are actually buying access to having a percentage off of a product, which then takes real money to purchase.
So overall, Sweatcoin is legitimate, you can make money, but there are certainly caveats involved. But for the casual walker, there is very little to lose by downloading the app.
There are concerns over the app, and it remains to be seen whether or not it will succeed in the long-term, but at the very least, you may find you exercise more.
So it is worth downloading, but be prepared for a long slog if you only want to access the marathon offers. Happy walking!