Monday, February 22, 2016

Bitwalking Dollars - Digital Currency Pays People to Walk

Digital Crypto-Currency Generated by Human Movement

Digital crypto-currency generated by human movement has been launched and the bitwalking dollars would be earned by walking which would be different from other digital currencies like Bitcoins that are mined by computers. A phone application tends to count and verify the user’s steps with walkers earning around 1 BW$ for about 10,000 steps. Originally user would be given the opportunity of spending what they earn in an online store or trade them for cash.

Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi, the founders of the project have drawn over $10m of initial funding from mostly Japanese investors in helping to launch the currency as well as in creating the bank that tend to verify steps and the transfers.

Murata, the Japanese electronics giant is working on a wearable wristband which would be providing a substitute of carrying a smartphone and show how many BW$, the wearer seems to earn. Shoe manufacturers are also ready to accept the currency where a UK high street bank is in talks in partnering with the project at one of the biggest music festivals in UK, next year. The founders tend to have a track record of disruptive technology which could support developing nations as much richer ones.

Bitwalking Scheme Help in Transforming Lives

Last year, Keepod, a $7 USB stick which tends to act like a computer had been launched in Nairobi, Kenya. The purpose of Bitwalking is to take the benefit of the trend for fitness trackers by providing an extra incentive in keeping fit.

The global scheme intends to partner with sportswear brands, health services, environmental groups, health insurance firms as well as possibly advertisers who may be offered exclusive visions in the targeting audiences. In the near future, employers could be invited in taking part in a scheme which would be offered to their employees in encouraging them to stay fitter with the currency they tend to earn converted and then paid along with their salaries.

The average person in developed nations would be earning about 15 BW$ per month, though it is anticipated that in poorer countries, where the people would have to walk further for work or school or just to collect water, the Bitwalking scheme could help in transforming lives.

Education on How to Use Money in Additional Opportunities

The power Bitwalking could make in the developing countries is not lost on the founders and is one of the main reasons for creating the currency. In Malawi, one of the African nations, tojoin at the time of the launch, the average rural wage was just US$1.5 per day.

Karen Chinkwita, business advisor runs Jubilee Enterprises providing business guidance to young people in Lilongwe and has commented that there could be a temptation for some to walk rather than work. Most of them would prefer to earn more money and would do both. With some education one can teach them how to use that money in creating additional opportunities.

 Carl Meyer, Bitwalking manager for Malawi, has established the first two Bitwalking hubs in Ligonwe and Mthuntama wherein local people would be trained on how to trade the BW$ online for US$ or the local currency, Malawi Kwacha. Bitwalking has not formally released the procedure utilised in verifying steps but states that it uses the handsets’ GPS position and the Wi-Fi connection for the purpose of calculating distance travelled. The phone reports the type of movement and speed as measured by the accelerometer.


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