Perspective

Sweatcoin: Does It Really Pay To Walk? Convert Steps into Cash, Legit or Scam?

Sweatcoin Scam or Legit Cover

This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified))

6 min read

There’s a new app in town which converts your outdoor steps into digital currency, Sweatcoins. Okay, it’s not that new, but Sweatcoin has gotten our attention after being critically acclaimed by numerous reputable sources like Forbes and Reuters. Is this truly an app that incentivises walking or just a gimmick for developers to earn some quick cash before vanishing? Is Sweatcoins as difficult to earn as Black Mirror’s Fifteen Million Merits? Let’s find out.

By the way, Sweatcoin is a digital currency and is not running off any blockchain at the time of writing. Please do not coin it a cryptocurrency.

Typing Console Animation & Cold Blue Robotic Appearance

Coupled with the unformatted programming fonts, the app interacts with its users as if it was a terminal console. Even the online landing page of Sweatcoin is designed in a similar way, where the terminal boasts about how many steps it has already converted into “currency”.

Sweatcoin User Interface

Strange enough, this design seems to work its purpose and give users a professional feel about it. Hence, it is tough to dismiss this app as fake and illegitimate.

How Hard Is It To Earn One Sweatcoin?

The conversion rate for steps to Sweatcoins is not appealing at all. 1,000 Outdoor steps will give the user 0.95 Sweatcoin after a deduction of 5% commission.

Why the commission you might ask.

As one Reddit user would describe, Sweatcoin can’t possibly generate coins automatically for authenticity reasons. Doing that will devalue the already low value of Sweatcoin. Hence, one possible explanation is that Sweatcoin will need the 5% commission to pay off the referrals.

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Sweatcoin don’t just “make” coins. All coins made, are generated from walking. This means that Sweatcoin has to walk for all of the coins in their “bank” which is used to pay out the 5 Sweatcoins for referrals, and the Daily Bonus you can claim too. So instead of having thousands of workers walking thousands of miles a day, they take a 5% commission to pay for what they inevitably give back.

To make matters worse, only outdoor steps are qualified as convertible steps. These convertible steps will then be sent to be checked by a very stringent yet ambiguous Sweatcoin algorithm. According to their FAQ, this algorithm in place to deter cheating verifies only 65% of the convertible steps sent to their servers. 

Imagine walking 10,000 steps under the hot sun, only to have 6,500 steps being verified and then a further reduction of 5% for commission.  Not to mention, the video below has also claimed that 1 Sweatcoin is only valued at about 5 cents each. Anyone with a clear and rational mind would start to wonder whether this app is doing what it is intended to do – to help users keep fit. 

Watch: Sweatcoin Review: Can You Really Get Paid to Walk with This App?

How To Earn Sweatcoins The Most Efficient Way?

Still on board? If the answer is yes, what can you do to maximise the conversion rate and bring your verified steps above the benchmark of 65%?

Sweatcoin conversion page

A good start would be to keep the phone in your pocket. The algorithm measures movement to prevent known tricks such as shaking the phone by hand up and down manually to cheat steps. Placing the phone in your pocket would be your safest bet of generating steps with accurate movement patterns.

Next, turn off battery saver mode. We find that the app actually consumes very little battery even without this setting turned on.

Moving on, make sure your GPS/Location Setting is always turned on to make sure all your outdoor steps has the GPS data associated with it.

Last, never force quit Sweatcoin when you have yet to send your steps to the server. Doing so will render most of the outdoor steps deleted and unverifiable. You do not want to have that happen to you.

Walking Will Be The Only Way To Marathon Offers.

The small prizes that are featured on the app’s homepage are usually discount codes and trial subscriptions.

Thus, it goes without saying that most users who have downloaded this gimmick are likely to be attracted to the long haul prizes that Sweatcoin has to offer – iPhones and Cash. Despite having a feature that allows users to transfer Sweatcoins to each other, this cannot be taken into consideration at all for these prizes.

Marathon offers can only be redeemed with coins that are earned solely by you through walking, daily ads and referrals. Taking referrals out of the equation and assuming that you have the breaker shaker purchased to accumulate 20,000 converted steps a day, the amount of time required to achieve 20,000 Sweatcoins, for an iPhone X, is at least 2 years 7 months.

This is indeed the real-life embodiment of Black Mirror’s Fifteen Million Merits.

How Is Sweatcoin Sustainable And Make Money?

Although most people might say ads, running a quick calculation shows that even with an active base of one million users, Sweatcoin can only earn a little over 1.8 million USD in a year. That is certainly not enough for the current rate of redemption and payroll of employees.

Apart from the total funding of 6.3 million USD raised in the past 3 rounds, affiliate marketing seems more likely to be the primary source of income. It is possible that Sweatcoin gets more revenue and save costs from featuring/advertising businesses on the spend coins page.

Users who purchase items on Sweatcoin are essentially free trial items from companies who pay them for each successful conversion. Keep in mind that users who redeem a subscription offer are usually required to key in their card details and will be automatically billed if the subscription is not cancelled before the end of the trial period.

There are also speculations on Subreddit r/sweatcoin where a Redditor claimed that the company is selling your location data to third parties to keep things running.

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 …they’re obviously tracking you location and more than likely selling it to 3rd parties so keep that in mind. 

This, however, is most likely untrue. Sweatcoin has stated in their blog that they do not and will never sell your data.

So, Should You Download Sweatcoin?

Sweatcoin on Main Homepage

Image Source: Sweatcoin

Yes, if you are not bothered by the level of difficulty to earn coins and are fine with earning coins passively and redeeming cheaper offers that are available in the store. If not, keep away and use easier “incentivised fitness” apps like AIA Vitality.

 

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This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified))

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