NEW YORK (CBSNeWYork) — Have you ever seen someone going for a run and thought, you couldn’t pay me to do that?
Well what if a startup actually offered to?
Sweatcoin is an app aiming to rival Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency. It pays users for every step they take not in U.S. dollars but in Sweatcoin.
“The whole idea behind Sweatcoin is that physical movement has a value to our economy,” said Ranbir Arora with Sweatcoin.
Sweatcoin got its start three years ago and has suddenly taken off. It’s consistently in the top 10 free apps on the app store, has 7 million users, and investors who recently shelled out $5.7 million in funding.
Every 1,000 steps gets converted to one Sweatcoin. Users can only earn five Sweatcoins a day, and for now Sweatcoin can only be redeemed for participating products on the app.
“You can get an iPhone 10 for example for something like 10,00-20,000 coins,” Sweatcoin user Ed Suh said.
Sweatcoin intends to begin using block-chain technology, similar to other cyptocurrencies this year. The team hopes Sweatcoin will soon be exchanged for much more than tech products and workout gear.
“Our target is going forward in the next 10 years is to be able to pay part of your taxes in Sweatcoins,” Arora said. “For cryptocurrency long term to have a value it has to be built on actual utility.”
Arora argues Sweatcoin is sustainable because of it’s public health benefits.
“When people walk more it makes us not only healthy and more productive it also saves society costs in healthcare,” Arora said.
The team hopes anyone curious about cryptocurrency but wary of investing any real money will pour in a little sweat equity instead.
Sweatcoin is available on Android and Apple devices.