Cryptocurrencies enable microtransactions at a level that hadn’t been seen before, so much so that new possibilities were created through this space. One of these possibilities is related to the move-to-earn (M2E) ecosystem, which pays users to be physically active.
Move-to-earn is an offshoot of the play-to-earn (P2E) genre that garnered mainstream attention through Axie Infinity, which at its height allowed players to make a living by simply playing the game. Move-to-earn has come to add another layer to the use cases enabled by Web3 and smart contracts.
For years, applications have tried to reward users for staying physically active. Some types of health insurance, for example, set specific exercise quotas users need to reach to get a discount. These quotas are measured through fitness apps like Google Fit.
Move-to-earn is a growing component of the Web3 space that tokenizes this type of activity and rewards users for staying physically active while sharing their personal data with the move-to-earn project.
The gamification of exercise isn’t new, as games like Pokemon Go and Wii Sports have players moving around as part of their key concept. Move-to-earn creates what’s being called the “FitnessFi” concept, mixing finance with fitness through the use of blockchain technology.
The move-to-earn wave relies on the use of motion-sensor technology, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and crypto assets to reward users through the gamification of physical activity. Through move-to-earn platforms, players can earn NFTs and tokens for moving around.
It’s important to note that just like play-to-earn games, move-to-earn projects often have an entry barrier, often in the form of an NFT. The value of these NFTs is usually associated with the popularity of the project, as it varies according to supply and demand on the market.
Leading move-to-earn projects
While the FitnessFi space is still a new one, several move-to-earn projects are moving toward mass adoption as users try to get their hands on ways to get rewards for physical activity.
At the time of writing, STEPN has made headlines throughout the world and has seen its price jump nearly 1,000% since its launch before being affected by the cryptocurrency bear market. Other projects have nevertheless seen outstanding performance and adoption.
As mentioned, STEPN is a leading move-to-earn project. It’s based on the Solana blockchain and was created after its developers participated in the Solana Ignition Hackathon in August 2021. In November, private beta testing started ahead of its main launch in December.
In January 2022, STEPN saw Alameda research, Solana Capital, Sequoia Capital, and other investors participate in a seed funding round, significantly bolstering its position in the market. The app uses NFT sneakers that track players’ movements outside based on the GPS signal emitted from their mobile devices.
On STEPN there are two cryptocurrencies: the Green Satoshi Token, which is a utility token to be used within the app, and the Green Metaverse Token (GMT), which acts as a governance token for the project.
It’s worth noting that daily earning potential is limited with STEPN and other move-to-earn projects.
WIRTUAL isn’t as popular as STEPN, but it has been under development since 2019. The project was launched in April 2020 as a trial platform to host fitness events, and has since grown among event organizers in Thailand.
The app added cryptocurrency and NFTs in the first quarter of 2022, and is centered around a “pay-as-you-go” model. This model allows users to earn tokens competing against each other. Most competitions are free, while some require users to pay to participate.
WIRTUAL’s model helps non-crypto natives join the movement, but rewards users who have WIR tokens more than it rewards non-token holders. The app caters to companies more than it caters to individual users through holder levels.
NFTs are used within WIRTUAL for avatars that users can customize through wearables. These wearables have different tiers based on their rarity and provide potential earning rate boosts. The app has already partnered with numerous well-known brands, including Garmin, Under Armour, and more.
Genopets is a different type of move-to-earn platform. It’s a Solana-based game with NFT pets called “genopets” that can be nurtured through physical activity and then be used in battle. The game uses data from players’ wearable or mobile devices to determine progression in the game’s metaverse.
Players are rewarded through KI tokens for their real-world activity. These tokens can then be used to boost their genopets or purchase items for them. They can also be traded for other crypto assets, as can any other crypto earned in move-to-earn games.
The Genopets metaverse, the Genoverse, also includes a number of other features, including land. Players can simply become landlords that lease their land or predict the outcomes of battles to earn rewards to play the game.
Finally, RealityMaps is a 360-degree imagery dataset platform based on the Solana blockchain. It allows individuals to submit high-quality photos of specific urban areas to earn RealityCoin for their work.
Organizations can then access RealityMap’s data by paying for it, meaning users are in a way being paid to take pictures of the real world. Currently, only advanced iPhone devices are supported by the project.
Do you play any M2E games? What do you think about FitnessFi movement?