Money is a great incentive, there’s no denying about that, and in some cases, it’s the only thing that could motivate to lose weight or simply stay in shape. Bitwalking turns steps into digital currency, which can then be spent in real stores.
Obesity is affecting more and more people, and has become very difficult to fight in the recent years. The more weight people gain, the lower their self-esteem gets, and the lesser motivated they are to keep moving. Of course, you don’t need to be obese in order to workout, as physical exercises are essential for the healthy lifestyle of any person.
“We believe that everyone should have the freedom, and ability, to make money,” Bitwalking explained on their website. “A step is worth the same value for everyone — no matter who you are, or where you are. What matters is how much you walk.”
As for the Bitwalking dollar, the digital currency that can be earned for walking, it could have various applications. Each such dollar (BW$) is the equivalent of 10,000 steps (roughly 5 miles or 8km), and can either be converted into actual American dollars, or can be spent online. Needless to say, some people have already started comparing Bitwalking dollars with Nintendo’s 3DS “play coins.”
“It’s a currency that can be earned by anyone regardless of who they are and where they live,” explained co-founder Franky Imbesi in an interview with the BBC. “For some it will be a free cup of coffee a week perhaps offered by local businesses to encourage people to explore their local shops. For others it could be a game changer, transforming their lives by enabling them to earn and trade in the same way with the rest of the world. And all while encouraging us to protect the planet and stay healthy.”
In developing countries, where such an app could provide a source of revenue for people who are out of other options, Bitwalking could actually make the difference between surviving and not. Of course, we need to assume that the users of the app have money for a smartphone, in the first place, and for a data plan, be it prepay or not. The company included Kenya and Malawi in its initial launch, along with Kenya and Japan.
BBC explained that the Bitwalking dollar will be accepted by many partners: “Shoe manufacturers are poised to accept the currency, and a UK high street bank is in talks to partner with the project at one of the UK’s biggest music festivals next year.”
The Bitwalking app will be available on both Android and iOS, and Japanese electronics manufacturer Murata even plans to launch a smart wristband that replaces smartphones for the task of keep tracking of steps and Bitwalking dollars. Assuming that you leave in any of the countries included in the trial, head over to Bitwalking and get an invite so that you can install the app on your smartphone.
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[via Digital Trends]