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This app pays you to work out

Sweatcoin users get paid by the step

ORLANDO, Fla. – Getting paid to stick to a fitness plan may sound like a dream, but a popular new app is making it a reality.

Sweatcoin users are getting paid – not in U.S. dollars, but in cryptocurrency – for every step they take.

The app, which aims to compete with bitcoin as a cryptocurrency, is meant to show users that there is value in staying healthy, according to Ranbir Arora, who works for the startup company.

“The whole idea behind Sweatcoin is that physical movement has a value to our economy,” Arora said.

Sweatcoin, which has continued to grow since it was launched three years ago, is consistently on the list of the top 10 free apps in the App Store, company officials said.

Its investors recently shelled out $5.7 million in funding to continue rewarding its 7 million users.

How does it work? Sweatcoin user Ed Suh breaks down how he’s rewarded by the step.

“See how it’s starting? It keeps counting,” Suh said.

Every 1,000 steps is converted into one Sweatcoin, with users having the opportunity to earn up to five Sweatcoins per day.

As of now, Sweatcoins can only be redeemed for participating products on the app.

“You can get an iPhone 10 for something like 10,000-20,000 coins,” Suh said.

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Company officials plan to begin using blockchain technology, similar to other cryptocurrencies this year.

The team said it hopes Sweatcoin will soon be exchanged for much more than tech products and workout gear.

“Our target is, going forward in the next 10 years is to be able to pay part of your taxes in Sweatcoins,” Arora said.

“We believe for cryptocurrency long term to have a value, it has to be built on actual utility.”

Arora said Sweatcoin is sustainable because of its public health benefits.

“When people walk more, it makes us not only healthy and more productive, it also saves society costs in health care,” Arora said.

There are a few other things users should note about the app.

One of the main knocks against Sweatcoin is that the pedometer doesn’t count indoor steps because GPS tracking isn’t as strong indoors, meaning that steps taken on a treadmill or other piece of indoor equipment won’t count. Arora said the design is meant to keep users honest.

“If we tried to count indoors and remove GPS, the user would be able to earn this currency by shaking their phone about.”

Sweatcoin hopes to roll out improvements to the pedometer this year.

The team also hopes anyone who may be curious about cryptocurrency but wary of investing any real money will put in a little sweat equity instead.

The app is available for download on both iPhone and Android.