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.
- Move-to-earn as a concept
- How do platforms use move-to-earn?
- How to make money with move-to-earn
- Top 8 move-to-earn dapps to try today
- Read more about move-to-earn
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 really took off. As 2023 goes by, we’re seeing these dapps enter maturity and slowly strengthen their tokenomics and branding strategies.
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, in over six months since launch, it already had 550,000 lifetime users. And players 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.
Some games even let you enter into personal competition with friends or fellow gamers worldwide. 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 emerges 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.
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. 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 platforms like StepN and Step App, and then use or trade them on the market.
- Trading – in-game items and NFTs are an essential feature of move-to-earn games, which means there’s a roaring trade on secondary marketplaces. We’ve already seen that you need running shoe NFTs for StepN and Step App. 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.
Top 8 move-to-earn dapps you should try
Knowing how to use move-to-earn platforms is the first step toward 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 the top recommended dapps for you to use and earn with today:
StepN is one of the most popular move-to-earn dapps, working on Solana also BNB Chain. 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.
2. 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 the native token DOSE, built on the Ethereum blockchain, which they can use for game upgrades or turn into real money.
The Genopets team uses move-to-earn in perhaps the most interesting way of all platforms working in the space. By moving around in real life, 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.
4. Sweat Economy
Sweat Economy 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 April 2022 on the Near blockchain.
5. Step App
Step App is the application from the FitFi platform, which is built on the Avalanche blockchain. People are able to earn money in a similar way to how StepN’s users do. Sneaks are the NFTs that players need to equip in order to earn money by playing – better yet, exercising and tracking it with the mobile app.
DEFY offers a location-based augmented reality experience, set against a dystopian backdrop. As participants engage in move-to-earn activities, they join the narrative of the hacker group DEFY and interact with Future Systems, all anchored on the Polygon blockchain. The game merges elements of hacking, battling, and exploration in real-world settings. Players initiate their adventure with a basic Virtual Private Mask, which can be upgraded digitally over time. Central to the experience, the in-game economy adopts a triple currency model, facilitating the trade of distinct digital collectibles and NFTs.
Since its listing in May 2023, SuperWalk has frequently been featured among the top gaming dapps on DappRadar. SuperWalk presents a decentralized platform combining exercise with digital NFT shoes on Klaytn and BNB Chain. Drawing insights from their prior ‘Proground’ app, SuperWalk has formulated an approach where users can acquire NFT shoes to activate Pro Mode, thereby having the opportunity to accrue GRND and WALK tokens based on their movement.
GoQii’s “healthverse” blends digital rewards with real-world health achievements. Based in California with Indian origins, its venture into the Web3-based Health Metaverse emphasizes healthier choices now with blockchain technology. With the Universal Health Token (UHT), GoQii aims to globally champion preventive healthcare by rewarding users’ health-conscious actions.
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.
- You can also read our guide for using StepN, which details how to set it up and how you can start earning tokens.
- Our guide to FitFi and its soon-to-launch Step App has information on the new fitness ecosystem, their tokenomics, and how to earn.
- We also have a starter guide on StepN’s Green Satoshi Token, which is the native coin the people earn as rewards when they run.
DappRadar will update this article intermittently to ensure all data and information are 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 show how move-to-earn dapps are currently performing.