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Bitwalking Dollars – get paid for walking!
In japan a digital currency ( like bitcoin) has been launched that pays you to walk. Literally. A phone app counts and checks users’ steps and then rewards them with around 1BW$ (Bitwalking dollar) for each 10,000 steps – this is the recommended daily average to maintain basic health and fitness levels. Users of the app can then spend or trade what they earn, or even redeem their bit walking dollars for cash.
Murata, a Japanese technology firm is to release a wristband, like the jawbone or fitbit that will count steps instead of a smartphone. Several manufacturers and banks in the UK are poised to partner with the scheme, initially at one of the UK’s biggest music festivals next year.
How will it work?
Bit walking hopes to take advantage of the current trend for fitness trackers by offering an extra incentive to get those steps in. The global scheme will partner with sports brands, health insurance companies, environmental groups and of course advertisers – this last group would be offered insights into the lifestyles of the participants to help target their advertising, thus raising revenue for the scheme. Employees would be invited to take part in a “step scheme” that encourages them to get fitter and take less sick leave, while employers would convert their bit walking revenue to be paid in addition to their wage. An average weekly earning in the western world would be around 15BW$ a month.
It is hoped that the real benefits may be to poorer nations, where people walk much further in their daily lives. In Malawi, where the average wage is just $1.50 a day, a teacher who has to walk 6 miles to work and back (this is a real example) could earn 26 Bitwalking dollars a month, roughly doubling his or her wage. This could then be invested into more education, investment in a business idea or helping an elderly relative. Thus advertising revenues gathered in the western world can be earned by people walking in poorer countries.
“It’s a currency that can be earned by anyone regardless of who they are and where they live,” says Franky Imbesi, one of the co-founders.
“For some it will be a free cup of coffee a week perhaps offered by local businesses to encourage people to explore their local shops. For others it could be a game changer, transforming their lives by enabling them to earn and trade in the same way with the rest of the world”.
“And all while encouraging us to protect the planet and stay healthy.”