I tried Sweatcoin, a viral app that 'pays you' to walk outside — here's how it went

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I'm no stranger to fitness apps, having tried everything from an app that promises the benefits of a trip to the gym in seven minutes to a tool that lets you track and share your runs with other users.


But when I first heard about Sweatcoin, an app that "pays you" in a type of currency that it aims to eventually turn into cryptocurrency to reach your fitness goals, I was intrigued.


Naturally, I had to give it a shot. Here's how it went.

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The first thing I learned about Sweatcoin after installing it on my iPhone is that it doesn't actually pay you to walk around — at least not in the conventional sense of the term.



The app lets you earn "Sweatcoins," or points based on the number of steps you take in a day, which you can then use to buy a limited number of specific goods that Sweatcoin has made available — like a Fitbit tracker, fitness classes, or subscriptions to apps designed to help you eat healthier. Eventually Sweatcoins founders aim for it to be listed on cryptocurrency exchanges, but it isn't yet.




The irony of the fact that my Sweatcoins could only be used to purchase fitness equipment and classes was not lost on me. Nevertheless, I kept the app running in the background of my phone, thinking perhaps it would spur me to move more.



Although I was feeling slightly less enthusiastic about my potential purchases with Sweatcoins after learning how they could be spent, I kept the app running in the background of my phone. If you hard quit the app (or swipe up when you're not using it), Sweatcoin will stop tracking your steps. 




I also learned that Sweatcoin doesn't track all of your steps — only those the app believes are completed outdoors.



Because the app is constantly running on your phone — something that many users have complained drains their battery — it is able to use GPS to roughly determine when you're inside and outside. The only steps that count towards your Sweatcoin earnings are those you take outdoors. Also, the app doesn't sync with Fitbits or other fitness trackers. Instead, it relies on your phone's step tracking software.




See the rest of the story at Business Insider