These Non-DeFi Crypto Projects Are Driving The Adoption Of Digital Money With Real Change
One of the stark truths about cryptocurrency is that there is a certain number of users who get into it, not because they believe in the future of decentralized money, but because they see it as an opportunity to make profits in terms of fiat money.
The most obvious example of this is investors who simply buy crypto and wait for it to gain value before selling it and pocketing the difference. It began with Bitcoin of course. Stories abound of so-called Bitcoin millionaires who got in early, buying thousands of BTC for pennies and selling them several years later for thousands of dollars each. Nowadays, crypto investors try to identify the “next big thing”, upcoming cryptocurrencies that they hope will increase in value.
Another way of making money with crypto is to trade coins on the open market, and while doing so can certainly pay handsomely, it’s also an extremely risky endeavor as you can never be sure if the price of a token will go up and down.
More recently, crypto investors have begun participating in decentralized finance, the world of DeFi protocols that allow users to “stake” tokens in smart contracts to earn yield, or lend crypto to other users and get paid interest on the repayments.
Recently, however, new ways of making money in crypto have emerged that don’t rely on having a finance degree and don’t involve taking any risks with smart contracts. They represent a new generation of “utility coins” that provide users with ways to make a passive income simply from participating within their ecosystem.
One of the most novel ideas to emerge is Sweat Economy, which is using crypto to incentivize people to lead healthier lifestyles. Sweat Economy is the creator of the popular Sweatcoin app, which is a fitness application that tracks how many steps people walk, jog or run each day. With Sweatcoin, users can earn SWEAT tokens based on the distance they walk, generating more the greater the distance they cover. Then, they can use those tokens to opt-in to a range of prize draws in which they stand to win fitness-related products and electronics.
In this way, Sweatcoin is encouraging people to take up fitness by offering them rewards, and it is a tactic that’s paying off. According to Sweat Economy, studies show that it has a real incentive, with the average user increasing their daily step count by 20% over a six month period, since they started using the app.
Crypto holders can also make passive income by providing connectivity to the “Internet of Things”. Helium is a project that claims to be building “The People’s Network” and it works by rewarding users for participating in its network of wireless hotspots. Users simply download the app, join the network and start sharing their wireless hotspot so others can use it. In return, they are allowed to start mining HNT tokens, which are used to connect to the People’s Network. After mining these tokens, they can then be sold on the open market to those who need to access Helium’s low-cost WiFi. In other words, people get paid in crypto to share their hotspots.
Just as creative is the Brave browser’s Basic Attention Token, which is a cryptocurrency that’s aiming to disrupt the world of digital advertising by paying internet users for watching ads. The Brave browser has a built-in ad blocker that blocks any advertisers that are not part of its network. Instead, users are shown occasional targeted ads from one of Brave’s partners, and get paid each time they see those ads, and can earn even more if they actually click on it. The rewards are paid out in BAT, which can then either be sold on a crypto exchange or used to reward online creators by paying them tips.
The main benefit of BAT is that it eliminates the need for third-party advertising networks that feed off of internet user’s private data. Users will only be shown ads they’re interested in, and they’ll be rewarded for looking at them. Of course, they can still opt out of ads on Brave altogether.
These are just a few of the interesting cryptocurrency products that aim to bring about real change with real-world utility. When the internet first emerged in the mid-1990s, it was companies like Google and Amazon that brought genuine utility to the world and played the biggest role in growing adoption of this life-changing technology. While thousands of early web startups fell by the wayside during the dotcom bubble in 2001, Google and Amazon are now worth billions of dollars.
Similarly, those crypto projects that bring forth real-world utility are more likely to outlast the ones that don’t. By incentivizing people to participate in worthwhile endeavors, they provide people with real reasons to embrace the crypto economy and explore the additional benefits of decentralized money.