Instead of popping some more antacid this holiday season, why not pop out for a long walk? It could pay off - and not just in health benefits.
The London-based startup Bitwalking created an app where participants can earn digital currency for going the distance on their own two feet.
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For every 10,000 steps - roughly five miles - users earn a Bitwalking dollar. This digital currency can be used in an online store, or converted into cash. The app is free, but walkers need to request an invitation to join.
"A step is worth the same value for everyone - no matter who you are, or where you are," the Bitwalking site says. "What matters is how much you walk."
They anticipate that participants will earn 15 Bitwalking dollars per month on average. Although it's unclear what will be available for purchase in the online store initially, Bitwalking dollars will be valued the same as U.S. dollars to start.
The company doesn't seem fly-by-night to me. Its founders Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi previously created the USB computer Keepod in Kenya, and have already raised $10 million from investors for Bitwalking, according to the BBC News.
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They're setting up a secure system for money transfers, and say they won't sell users' personal information to advertisers.
Think you can fake Bitwalking to earn enough for a new smartphone? Think again. The startup has a powerful walking algorithm that works with your phone's sensors. Invitation-only also means they can bounce anyone who tries to cheat the system.
The startup has big plans. They're currently collaborating with electronics manufacturer Murata on a wearable device. In the future, employers could use Bitwalking to offer employees a way to earn extra income while staying fit, BBC News reported. This system could also create new opportunities in low-income areas.
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Playing around outside with the people I care about is a stronger motivator than money for me, but earning extra bucks might sweeten the deal. Plus, there are days when the crazy Colorado weather makes walking outdoors unpleasant.
Maybe hitting the treadmill would seem more enticing if I knew that a voucher for a local spa could be within reach.
via BBC News