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“Move to earn” Crypto pays you for walking, running or swimming

The cryptocurrency space has proven to be a very dynamic space with endless possibilities and innovation making rounds. We see these innovations very regularly in the cryptocurrency space, especially since the Decentralized Finance craze of 2020.

Since the DeFi summer of 2020, new forms of innovations like NFTs, Play-to-Earn (P2E), Metaverse, Programmable Stablecoins and so on, have all made rounds in the cryptocurrency space and has been the focus of investors’ attention as more funds and investment are made in these industries/sectors.

Last week, we saw a new form of innovation take the airwaves despite the market decline experienced during the week, caused by a bullish dollar, as a result of a very hawkish United States federal reserve, whose mandate is to keep inflation below 2%. The Move-to-Earn tokens are leading the top gainers for the week despite the cryptocurrency market capitalization falling below the $2 trillion mark, as Bitcoin traded as low as $38,696.19.

Understanding Move-to-Earn (M2E)

  • Move-to-earn is a relatively new phenomenon that includes a variety of products and services that pay users for being active. They are platforms that provide users with rewards for keeping fit, unlocking an additional income stream for participating in their usual exercise activities, or taking part in specific fitness-related challenges. It comes off the trend of P2E, where users are rewarded, in cryptocurrency, for playing these games.
  • These platforms generally aim to incentivize fitness, helping to reduce obesity and sedentariness, and giving users an opportunity to earn an income for improving their health. Indeed, researchers recently found that improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness lead to a significant reduction in all-cause and disease-specific mortality, with an individual’s maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) being strongly correlated with their life expectancy.
  • The term ‘move-to-earn’ was coined and first popularized by the Web3 lifestyle app known as STEPN in September 2021 and has since been adopted by a variety of other apps that reward users for their activity. The way these applications generate rewards can vary considerably from platform to platform, but almost all pay users in the form of their native utility tokens for completing fitness-related tasks — such as walking, running, or swimming.
  • The platform tracks this task completions by a cell phone or fitness tracker before being uploaded to the move-to-earn app and assessed to see if it qualifies for rewards. Earned tokens can then either be directly traded for goods and services within the application or sold/traded on an internal marketplace or external exchange for other cryptocurrencies.

Where all the hype came from

The hype around M2E came from STEPN, a Solana-based game that lets users purchase NFT sneakers to start playing. When users play the game, the app tracks their movement through the GPS on their mobile phones and rewards them with in-app tokens called Green Satoshi Tokens (GSTs). These tokens can later be traded for USD Coin (USDC) or Solana (SOL), allowing users to realize their earnings.

The hype around STEPN is due to its governance token Green Metaverse Token (GMT) going parabolic, appreciating 24,500% since its token sale on Binance on March 9. Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and other Web3 investors have also invested in STEPN, purchasing $5 million worth of GMT in a seed funding round back in January.

The top gainers

STEPN isn’t the only M2E token listed. In fact, the entire space has a market capitalization of $2.03 billion as of the time of this writing, with a trading volume of $1.15 billion according to CoinMarketCap. There are currently 12 cryptocurrencies in the space with STEPN, accounting for a larger part of the capitalization with $1.93 billion, which represents a little over 95% of the entire space. This shows how relatively new this new sector is.

Below are the top 5 M2E gainers this week:

  • YETIC (203.69%)
  • STEP (134.01%)
  • MOOV (151.16%)
  • DEFIT (116.57%)
  • AIRX (48.86%)

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