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New app to pay you for walking

Monday, Nov 23, 2015,14:04 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

London | Don’t feel motivated enough to exercise. A new smartphone app that pays you for walking could encourage you to hit the street! A new digital crypto-currency, called Bitwalking dollars, has been launched that is generated by human movement.

The Go! app will initially be offered in countries such as the UK, Japan, Malawi and Kenya to test the scheme. The application counts and verifies users’ steps, with walkers earning approximately one BW dollars for about 10,000 steps (about 8km).

Users can spend what they earn in an online store, or trade their BW dollars for cash, the ‘BBC News’ reported. Bitwalking uses the phone’s Global Positioning System (GPS) and wi-fi connections to calculate the distance travelled. The founders of the project, Nissan Bahar from Israel and Franky Imbesi from Italy have attracted more than USD 10 million of initial funding to help launch the currency and create the bank that verifies steps and any transfers.

Last year they had launched Keepod in Kenya, a USD 7 USB stick that acts like a computer. The global scheme plans to partner with sportswear brands, health services, health insurance firms, environmental groups, and advertisers who could be offered unique insights into the audiences they are targeting.

In developed nations the average person would earn around 15 BW dollars a month, but it is hoped that in developing countries where people have to walk further for work, school, or simply to collect water, the Bitwalking scheme could help transform lives, the report said. Several start-ups have tried to connect keeping fit to earning rewards but most have failed to measure movement accurately enough to avoid scammers.

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