Fitness as a Currency



We’ve talked before about the potential for converting our health into a tangible reward mechanism, an early vision we had for the NUScore, when we were building the NUWE app for iOS.

I recently came across a guy in our building who is working on a much more serious undertaking of the concept…

To capture tangible value from movement we should create a virtual unit of movement ... that can be transferred and exchanged for goods and services.

The whole premise being that, in tackling the cognitive dissonance attached to leading an unhealthy lifestyle, and thus burdening the social systems on which we rely and frankly costing the tax payer way too much money, we can bring the value attained through behavioural and lifestyle improvements into the present.

This instant gratification loop positively reinforcing small and tangible decisions, likely aided by additional services focussed on behavioural change and improving health outcomes, would establish a new paradigm in conscious self-improvement.

  • So what would it take to build this new economy?

  • How would the very real and obvious challenge of movement tracking
    verification take place?

  • What kind of learnings can we take from the recent rise (and fall, and rise, and fall, and rise… ) of cryptocurrencies offer
    us by way of guidance as to the pitfalls and the promise?

  • What kind of security issues will we encounter?

  • And how ready is the commercial world for another parallel economic thread?

  • Should we be limiting ourselves to physical activity? What role does nutrition tracking and data play and how do we manage that?

I think my original reaction was to see this as a gimmick - promotional tactic to get retailers to promote and incentivise good healthy tracking behaviour and serve the vanity metrics of apps that are being distributed to track said data. But, on further reflection, I think there’s a deeper force at play here. There’s a good reason to explore this. I have a feeling that the answer, as ever wont be a simple one (on the backend anyway) but to the Person and Society that this mission is set to help, it’s clear that it’s at the very least, worth a good crack.

The Manifesto is worth a read. I have just been invited to BETA test their iOS app and I’ll hopefully be able to post some comments and thoughts on that as well as get some Q&A time with the team in the next couple of weeks to elaborate further.

In the meantime, I think this is a very interesting thread to open up, would love to hear other thoughts.


Steve, thanks a lot for sharing our work and for inviting me over here.
SweatCoin concept is built to address a behavioural phenomena called “present bias” (or “hyperbolic discounting”) that basically leads to a conclusion that rewards or punishment needs to be very close to the person in time and location in order to impact ones behaviour.
If we want to make a dent in long-term obesity costs we might start thinking about spending a fraction of them now in order to save more in the future. Measurable unit that can be transferred or can play a role of stored value or accounting unit (money) did the trick for our barter systems in the past - so we hypothesise that we could steal the trick from that book.
The role of CRYPTO in this is yet to be decided but we feel that distributed system would be beneficial to drive trust in the system (less vulnerable to central player attack) and will help more partners to start participating and providing value in exchange for SweatCoins.
Lastly, we are thinking through monetary policy for the currency going forward that will hopefully help us to strike the right balance between spending and saving.
Feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] if you have any thoughts, ideas or if you have an iPhone 5S, 6 and 6Plus you want to take our alpha version for a spin.
Oleg Fomenko
CEO SweatCoin


Great to hear your perspectives @oleg

Currently in your MVP / Beta you are using the pedometer in the iOS SDK to access step counts.

What’s your thoughts on the broader wearables and IoT sensor integration options as they apply to your product, and how they contribute to the potential challenges you face in

  • Ensuring consistency of tracking data
  • Integrity of the core platform
  • Security of the data

Also, do you mind if I share screenshots of your app and some thoughts on here?


@oleg would love to hear an update on how Sweatcoin is progressing?


Great stuff. Ramping up for go-live and winning some cool stuff.
Drop by WeWork South Bank - will tell you more in person.
How are things with you?


@oleg I have to say, having been using the Sweatcoin app a bit on the last couple of releases, I really like the work you’ve been doing. The app design is really nice, quite unique in many little ways, whilst being easy to navigate once you work out where things are and relate that to the navigation icons.

I’m quite addicted to the dynamic mesh visualisation, I don’t quite know why, but I really like it and it really lifts the typical dashboard style view.

Very happy to see new offers coming onboard, the work you’re doing on the commercial side is paying off.

More than anything, the actual currency seems not just legit, but quite strong. You seem to be really thinking about the mechanics in the right way and I feel quite confident in it, rather than seeing it as a gimmick or a game, like I can actually see the real and tangible value created. I like it a lot.

I’m going to save up for my sweatwish for you do a full length guest post on the subject for our Nuwe Blog or on here… standby.

Keep up the great work!