What is Move-to-Earn?

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The blockchain fitness craze rewarding people for exercise

Move-to-earn dapps reward people for moving around, in the real world. But there’s more to this new industry trend than just picking up some tokens after going for a run. There are various ways that different platforms utilize the technology to benefit their users. And people can also engage in all the usual profit-turning activities: staking, yield farming, minting, trading and coin speculation. 

Summary

  • Move-to-earn isn’t a brand new concept. But it’s only this year that it caught the imagination of the wider web3 community. $15 million has flooded into Fitfi’s staking protocol, before the platform has even launched its Step App. 
  • Genopets and The Dustland are finding original ways to make exercise fun. You can progress in their games by doing exercise in the real world to boost your in-game avatars’ stats. 
  • Since the crypto bear market truly began with the fall of Luna, move-to-earn coins have dropped off from their previous highs. But the sector is more than just a speculative bubble. It offers rewards for exercise, and people can still earn these, no matter what the coin price.

Since its rapid ascent from relative obscurity to being one of the hottest new innovations in web3, move-to-earn has been rewarding people for getting fit. 

But what is move-to-earn and how do people make money with it? More importantly, is there a future in the movement or will it be here today, and gone tomorrow?

Contents

Move-to-earn as a concept

Move-to-earn is not a brand new idea. Lympo has been around for a few years already, paying out LYM tokens to people for leading healthy lifestyles. But it’s only in 2022 that the movement has really taken off. 

The concept behind move to earn is simple: users earn rewards for moving around and doing exercise in the physical world. Move-to-earn platforms combine GPS, NFTs, blockchain and GameFi technologies to track people’s movements and grant them benefits.

As it’s still a relatively new industry, it’s hard to put an exact number on how many users are involved and how much money it makes. But if we look at StepN, one of the more prominent platforms, there are already well over 550,000 lifetime users. And players have minted over 420,000 Sneakers, the in-game NFTs that people need to equip in order to earn money.

Move-to-earn takes existing technologies and fuses them in original ways in order to produce a brand new product. But the innovation in this sector doesn’t stop there. Different platforms use move-to-earn mechanics in a variety of ways in order to suit their goals.

How do different platforms use move-to-earn?

There are various use cases for move-to-earn technology. Some platforms choose to integrate it into their RPGs so that your exercise in the physical world helps you progress in your adventure in the virtual one. Similarly, in some games, you level up your battle avatar by moving around in real life.

There are games that even let you enter into personal competition with friends or fellow gamers from across the world. You and your opponent enter into a 1-1 challenge where you need to complete a preset task. Each of you puts your stake into the winner’s pot. An AI tracking tool decides on the winner and whoever comes out victorious takes the prize.

Of course, some move-to-earn platforms are purely for exercise. And the premise here is very straightforward: run or walk and generally move around in the real world, and you will be rewarded with in-game tokens. Of course, when you start playing properly, there is slightly more to it than that. But in a nutshell, it’s that simple.

As move-to-earn technology evolves, expect more virtual worlds to weave into their platforms. OliveX, the fitness company behind The Dustland, purchased some land in The Sandbox last year.

Source: Twitter

How do you earn crypto with move-to-earn?

There are multiple ways to earn crypto, and they don’t all necessarily involve moving from your couch and out into the real world. But obviously, as the title suggests, this is the main way to earn your rewards and build up your money.

  • Exercise – the centerpiece of move-to-earn, running around through parks, streets and forests can literally earn you money. The vast majority of move-to-earn platforms reward players with their specific in-game currency. For StepN, it’s GST and for Step App it’s FITFI. Genopets has GENE and The Dustland DOSE. With all of these games, you can earn the in-game currency and then use it within the platform or turn it into fiat and turn it into cold hard money. 
  • Minting – players can mint critical in-game NFTs on platform like StepN and Step App, and then use them or trade them on the market. As things stand, and this is liable to change quickly, the floor price for Sneakers on StepN is 11.6 SOL ($537).
  • Trading –  in-game items and NFTs are an essential feature of move-to-earn games, which means that there’s a roaring trade on secondary marketplaces for them. We’ve already seen that you need running shoe NFTs for StepN and Step App. The floor price for Genopets avatars currently sits at 49.9 SOL ($2,049) and their Habitat virtual worlds have a floor price of 59.9 SOL ($2,449). Users are also trading seeds, eggs and crystals that have utility in the Genopets ecosystem. The Dustland’s roadmap indicates that a player to player marketplace will soon come online. And a Dustland PFP NFT sale is reported to be just around the corner. 
  • Staking – because these platforms all use GameFi mechanics, most of them have a good staking facility. Step App has introduced what they call perpetual staking which means users can stake once, and earn continual rewards. The Dustland plans to introduce DOSE staking in Q2 2022 and StepN allows users to stake their Sneaker NFTs to earn rewards.

The Top 5 move-to-earn dapps you should try

Knowing how to use move-to-earn platforms is the first step towards making your exercise pay. Being aware of which dapps are currently leading the pack in terms of community size, rewards, useability and ecosystem maturity, is the key to getting some real money in your back pocket. Below are top five recommended dapps for you to use and earn with today:

  • StepN – this is one of the most popular at the moment and its built on the Solana blockchain. DappRadar has a more in-depth look at the StepN platform here and the native currency Green Satoshi Token here. To earn money with StepN, you need to equip a pair of Sneaker NFTs and start moving. Walking, jogging and running are all viable methods for making money on this platform.
  • The Dustland – this game comes from the fitness company OliveX. Players progress through the fictional Dustland narrative by going out for runs in the real world. They are rewarded for their exercise with native token DOSE, built on the Ethereum blockchain, which they can use for game upgrades or turn into real money.
  • Genopets – the Genopets team uses move-to-earn in perhaps the most interesting way of all platforms working in the space. By moving around irl, players level up their in-game battle avatar. The NFTs, called Genopets, fight against opponents and the strongest wins. Genopets is built on the Solana blockchain and has a staking system as part of its GENE-based economy. 
  • Sweatcoin – Sweatcoin is a London-based fitness company with the goal of making people healthier. Its partnership with health orgnaizations, most notably the UK’s NHS, is a sign that the company’s project truly is people-oriented, and not necessarily all about profits. SWEAT, the native token, was launched this April on the Near blockchain. Users currently need to download Sweatcoin’s app which will track their movement. In future though, the company plans to integrate more tracking tools so that people can use what they want to record their exercise and earn rewards.
  • Step App – Step App is the soon-to-launch application from the FitFi platform, which is built on the Avalanche blockchain. Once it’s fully available and people are using it, they will be able to earn money in a similar way to how StepN’s users do. Until then, perpetual staking is ongoing where holders of the in-game token FITFI can stake the currency and enter a raffle to win Sneaks. Sneaks are the NFTs that players will need to equip in order to earn money. So far, users have staked over $15 million with Step App and the platform has gained over 200,000 Twitter followers since the beginning of March.

More about move-to-earn from DappRadar

You can read DappRadar’s more detailed Top 5 Best Move-to-Earn Platforms which features a couple of names not in the list above.

DappRadar will update this article intermittently to ensure all data and information is up-to-date. Check our blog for other further news on all things move-to-earn and blockchain gaming. And follow us on Twitter where we update our community on everything we do. Our dapp rankings pages shows how move-to-earn dapps are currently performing.

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