Sweatcoin: Utopia or Reality?

Photo - Sweatcoin: Utopia or Reality?
The gamification of new technologies is an effective strategy to engage mainstream users. Projects like STEPN and Sweatcoin are a testament to this approach.
Sweatcoin is an app that incentivizes physical activity by offering rewards. Built on the innovative Move-To-Earn model, it transforms physical steps into digital assets or rewards.

The "Move-To-Earn" concept gained traction during the COVID-19 pandemic, motivating people to exercise. M2E games became increasingly popular, and two years later, they hit their peak. Half of your friends have likely either used or at least heard about STEPN and Sweatcoin.
Monthly Active Users of STEPN. Source: cryptorank.io

Monthly Active Users of STEPN. Source: cryptorank.io

While STEPN was founded in August 2021, Sweatcoin has been in existence since 2015. Initially, the platform rewarded users with sweatcoins for discounts on sports merchandise. It was only in 2022 that Sweatcoin integrated blockchain technology and transitioned from Sweatcoin to SWEAT as its digital asset.

What is SWEAT?

SWEAT is the token of the Sweatcoin ecosystem, used to reward users for their physical activities like walking or running. The Token Generation Event (TGE) for SWEAT took place on September 13, 2022, allowing users to exchange previously mined Sweatcoins for SWEAT tokens on a one-to-one basis.

The app uses GPS and motion sensors to track and quantify user activity, primarily in the form of steps. The more steps a user takes, the more SWEAT tokens they can earn. 

The number of steps required to earn one SWEAT token has been steadily increasing. In September 2022, it took 1,000 steps to earn one SWEAT, but as of now, it requires 4,500 steps. 
The devaluation of 1,000 steps relative to one SWEAT token. Source: twitter.com

The devaluation of 1,000 steps relative to one SWEAT token. Source: twitter.com

To maintain a balanced ecosystem, developers have implemented various measures, including daily step limits for earning SWEAT. For standard users, the maximum is 5,000 steps per day, which can be increased to 6,000 with a paid subscription.

SWEAT operates on both the Near and Ethereum blockchains, supporting ERC-20 and NEP-141 standards, making it accessible on both centralized and decentralized exchanges.

To prevent fraudulent activity, Sweatcoin has introduced motion validators, responsible for verifying the authenticity of users' physical activity and updating it on the blockchain. As of December 2023, SweatCo Ltd is the sole motion validator for Sweatcoin.

Sweat Wallet

The Sweatcoin ecosystem comprises two applications: Sweatcoin for tracking user activity and Sweat Wallet for converting steps into SWEAT tokens. 

Sweat Wallet is a Web3 application that facilitates decentralized activities within the Sweatcoin ecosystem. Its features include:

  • Staking of tokens
  • SWEAT token exchange among users
  • Learn-to-Earn services
  • The web3 game “Sweat Hero NFT”
  • A voting platform for community decisions

In June 2023, the Sweat Economy community set a Web3 record for the most governance votes, gathering 355,506 votes in just 7 days. This led to the decision to allocate 2 million SWEAT tokens for the launch of Sweatcoin in the United States.

How Does Sweatcoin Generate Profit?

Sweatcoin, a free-to-use platform, should not be mistaken for a pyramid scheme. A closer look at its business model reveals several revenue sources:

  • NFT Trading: External suppliers of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) must pay in SWEAT to list and sell their assets on the platform.
  • DeFi Transaction Fees: There are fees associated with various DeFi activities, such as buying and selling SWEAT, exchanging it for other cryptocurrencies, liquidity provision, staking, and other similar transactions.
  • Audience Access Fees: Projects looking to promote their products or NFTs to the Sweat Wallet community are required to pay a fee in SWEAT.
  • Advertising Revenue: While the exact cost of advertising on the platform isn't publicly disclosed, it's evident that payment is necessary for this privilege.
  • Premium Subscription Services: Sweatcoin offers enhanced features for premium users, like higher limits for converting steps and additional bonuses and privileges.

The viability of Sweatcoin's business model largely hinges on its user base, explaining why developers continually update and improve the app with new features to retain and attract users.

Sweatcoin Roadmap

Four phases of Sweatcoin

Four phases of Sweatcoin's roadmap. Source: sweateconomy.com

Sweatcoin has completed its first two phases. In 2022, they launched the SWEAT token and Sweat Wallet and introduced staking options. 

A significant update in phase two was enabling the purchase of SWEAT through traditional payment methods. In partnership with MoonPay, this feature was rolled out in September 2022.

In July 2023, Sweatcoin introduced the Web3 game "Sweat Hero NFT," a competitive game where success depends on the player's NFT Legs and their ability to tap on the appearing 'legs' on time (similar to Piano Games).

The app also added a "Learn and Learn" system that rewards users for engaging in educational activities, not just physical activity. 

The fourth phase, set to start in 2024, will allow any user to become a motion validator. Furthermore, the developers aim to evolve the system to recognize a variety of physical activities like swimming and cycling, not just running or walking.

Earning Potential with Sweatcoin

As of December 2023, the value of SWEAT is $0.0112. Assuming daily completion of 4,500 steps converted into 1 SWEAT token, it would take about 90 days to earn a dollar (1/0.0112). The maximum annual profit from such activity could be around $4.

Although modest by current standards, it's worth noting that SWEAT's ATH was $0.09, and 1,000 steps were used to yield 1 SWEAT token, not just 0.19 as is currently the case. 

Vlad Vovk
Writes about DeFi and cryptocurrencies from a technological perspective.