Monday, November 23, 2015

Bitwalking Dollars: Digital Currency Pays People to Walk


Digital Crypto-Currency Generated by Human Movement

A digital crypto-currency which is generated by human movement has been recently launched. Bitwalking dollars could be earned on walking unlike the other digital currencies like Bitcoins which have been mined by the computers.

To begin with, users would be given the opportunity to spend what they have earned in an online store or trade them for cash. A phone application tends to count and verify user’s step with walkers with the opportunity of earning around 1 BW$ for around 10,000 steps – about five miles.

At first users would be provided with the opportunity of spending what they have earned in an online store or trade the same for cash. Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi, the founders of the project have got over $10m of preliminary funding from largely Japanese investors in order to aid the launching of the currency and develop the bank which verifies steps together with any transfers.

Murata, the Japanese electronics giant has been working on wearable wristband which would be providing an alternative option of carrying a smartphone to show how many BW$ the wearer has earned.

Bitwalking - Additional Incentive to Keep Fit

Shoe manufacturers are ready to accept the currency while a UK high street bank is in talks in partnering with the project at one of the UK’s largest music festivals to be held next year.It is said that the founders have a track record in disruptive technology which tends to help developing nations as well as the richer ones.

 Keepod had been launched last year, a $7 USB stick which performs like a computer in Nairobi, Kenya. The purpose of Bitwalking is to take the benefit of the trend for fitness followers by providing additional incentives in order to keep fit.

The global scheme intends to partner with sportswear brands health insurance firms, health services, environmental groups as well as advertisers who may be offering unique insights in the audience they may be focusing on. Employers in the future may be offered a scheme to provide to their employees in encouraging them to stay fit, with the currency they tend to earn converted and thereafter paid along with their salaries.

The average person in developed countries tends to earn around 15 BW$ a month, it is expected that in poorer countries where people need to walk further to school, work or to collect water, the Bitwalking scheme would be beneficial in transforming lives.

Currency to be Earned by Anybody

The influence Bitwalking would be making in developing countries does not seem to be lost on the founders and is the main reason in creating the currency. One of the African nations to join at the launch of the project, in Malawi, the average rural wage is about US$1.5 per day.

Carl Meyer, Bitwalking manager for Malawi, has set up the first two Bitwalking hubs in Mthuntama and Lilongwe for local people to be trained on how to trade the BW$ online for US$ or Malawi Kwacha, the local currency.

Bitwalking has not released the procedure used in verifying steps, officially but states that it utilises the handsets’ GPS position and Wi-Fi connection for the calculation of the distance travelled. Transfers of the new currency would be monitored cautiously with transactions going through a central bank which would verify individual deal utilising the block chain system used in transferring other crypto-currencies like Bitcoin. It is a currency which can be earned by anybody irrespective of who they are, or where they come from, according to Franky Imbesi.


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