But when I first heard about Sweatcoin, an app that pays you in cryptocurrency to reach your fitness goals, I was intrigued.
Naturally, I had to give it a shot. Here's how it went.Advertisement
EXCLUSIVE FREE REPORT: The Bitcoin 101 Report by the BI Intelligence Research Team. Get the Report Now »
The first thing I learned about Sweatcoin after installing it on my iPhone is that it doesn't actually pay you to walk around — at least not in the conventional sense of the term.
The irony of the fact that my Sweatcoins could only be used to purchase fitness equipment and classes was not lost on me. Nevertheless, I kept the app running in the background of my phone, thinking perhaps it would spur me to move more.
I also learned that Sweatcoin doesn't track all of your steps — only those the app believes are completed outdoors.
Although I started out skeptical, after a few days with the app, I noticed myself subtly favoring outdoor walks with my dog over indoor workouts at the gym.
One day after a particularly long walk, I checked my daily Sweatcoin count and noticed I'd only gotten 5 credits, or coins — the exact same number as the day before, when I thought I'd barely budged. Something was up.
In the meantime, I did notice myself walking a little bit more, but I wasn't sure I'd keep it up — or that my slight adjustments were significant enough to make a dent in my overall health.
Since Sweatcoin is still new, there's not much research yet on whether giving people more concrete rewards for fitness — like Sweatcoins — will help motivate them to move around more.
Now that I was free to earn more Sweatcoins, I started exploring the social component of the app.
But when I looked at my daily leaderboard, I couldn't help but feel a little discouraged when I saw my place near the bottom of the list.
This got me wondering if other users had tried finding another purpose for their Sweatcoins — like making actual money.
Then I started wondering if you could trick the app to make you think you were walking and earning more than you really were.