New app turns steps into virtual money - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New app turns steps into virtual money

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Tracking your fitness is all the rage right now and there are a number of apps that will count your steps for you, but a new one developed in London is promising to pay you for it.

Gus Ide, 23, likes to stay active and now he's getting rewarded for it with a new app called "Sweatcoin." He earns digital money with every step he takes.

"For me, it's just seeing, having visibility on how far you've gone. I'm always thinking, 'OK, so I did this last week. How much am I doing this week,'" said Gus.

The Sweatcoin app banks one coin for every 1,000 steps. The currency can be used to pay for deeply-discounted products and services. For instance, 5,000 steps could get you a free yoga class and 15,000 can be used for workout clothes. Russian entrepreneur Oleg Fomekno helped develop the app that helps make movement valuable.

"Sweatcoin really does function like money. Vendors are accepting it as payment and I can send Sweatcoins to you. You can send Sweatcoins to me," said Fomenko.

The app is free with no ads extra incentive, creators say, to get people interested and moving.

Sweatcoin joins a growing number of digital fitness apps that offer rewards for steps. "Bitwalking" and "Gympact" also pay out virtual money. "Charity Miles" turns steps into donations. Free coupons are given out on "Nexercise", and "Bodbot" provides free training sessions.

Sweatcoin hopes to eventually make money through deals with insurance companies, health care providers and employers who want to motivate their workers to exercise.

Gus is trying to decide what to buy with his hard-earned money.

"I'm waiting, saving up for some good stuff," said Gus.

He's banking on every step.

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