A quick glimpse at the Move2Earn (Fitness-Fi)’s market potential

Primer

If there is a genesis year of Game-Fi, it is the year 2021. We have witnessed the booming of this new industry but as the fear of the boom-and-bust cycle rolls on, we are facing the inevitable question:

What will happen to Game-Fi market if we are heading to a God-forbid bear market?

The answer may reside in the concept of Fitness-Fi, where we move away from Play2Earn to Move2Earn. This new version of the Game-Fi industry can potentially break through the curse of the crypto winter — by lowering the entry barrier for non-crypto runners to partake in the Fitness-Fi game. The game’s economy might be more resilient in a bear market as non-crypto runners are not sensitive to token prices, if there is enough of them, the constant inflow of non-crypto runners will help the Fitness-Fi game to smoothly transit to the next bull market.

2015 study shows out of all populations in the U.S., 15% of the population are using an app to track their fitness activity, which equals 51 million people.

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0181167

2017 survey for the U.S. alone shows, 55.9 million people are participating in running and 111 million participating in walking for fitness.

Definition

It will be hard to define Fitness-Fi as it is still in its infancy stage, but we can certainly draw some parameters. In Fitness-Fi, the player’s actual fitness data should be the input, this data can have different attributes, such as steps (movement vs. time) or heart rate (workout intensity vs. time). In Fitness-Fi, the token reward as a result of the fitness input should have a viable ecosystem for circulation, which means the user case of these tokens should revolve around the concept of fitness.

An early attempt of Fitness-Fi without the blockchain

Before we go any deeper into the rabbit hole of Fitness-Fi, it would be helpful to review the early attempt of Fitness-Fi without the blockchain.

QuBu is a China-based App acquired 80 million users from 2017–2020 before it was cracked down by the Chinese government. It was the most successful non-blockchain-based Fitness-Fi app but it went in the wrong direction.

QuBu rewards player “Candy” for the step they move, because there is no real user case of the “Candy”, QuBu went to the multi-level marketing path, if a player ever wants to make money from the app, they need to spend Candy to activate the multi-level marketing feature. All the “down-line” will pay certain royalty to the “up-line”, the more “down-line” a player developed, the higher the activity level and they made more Candys. The whole operation is based on the “up-line” selling their Candys to their “down-line” at a premium price. The result? Over 20 million people lost over $200 million in investing QuBu and Candys.

An early attempt of Fitness-Fi with the blockchain

The success of QuBu was amidst the 2017 bull market, several blockchain projects attempting to use running as a means to mine tokens on the blockchain, some of these projects even released physical sneakers as a mean of an “anti-cheating mechanism,” or as a “mining booster”. These kinds of projects share one common characteristic, they all incorporate the idea of eCommerce, where the token will be used as a discount voucher to buy items in the eCommerce store.

This business model is almost working, as there will be two income streams for the app developer:

  1. Fund raised from ICO

2. Affiliate program dividends from eCommerce store seller

This kind of project eventually failed because the token inflates the market very soon and the speed of consumption (through eCommerce) is too slow. In 2019, an improved version of this idea without blockchain emerged called Sweatcoin, which has achieved around 40 million users in a mere two years.

Thought?

All the predecessors have demonstrated one thing for sure, that even in the “primitive” era, the concept of Move2Earn works, but it won’t last. What we need is a way to balance the minting and burning of the token… With the emergence of Game-Fi, we have finally found a way.

The perfect timing for Fitness-Fi

As we have witnessed from cases above the Move2earn concepts working, and so does the Game-Fi concept (proven by Axie Infinity), it is reasonable to deduce that if we merge the Move2Earn mechanics with Game-Fi’s earning potential, it should also work.

Since the COVID pandemic and lockdown around the globe, exercising in the public gym becomes more taboo, and social distance become the new norm. This forces many fitness enthusiasts to exercise through jogging or running which is safer, which in turn helps people to maintain balance in their mental and physical wellbeing. COVID also raises the awareness of many that don’t exercise in the past to start considering getting fit. For this reason, the biggest running app Strava experiences exponential growth of new subscribers on their platform (2 million people per month), and data shows in 2020, people have logged 82% more outdoor exercises than the previous year.

We are in the perfect time to venture the possibility of Fitness-Fi Games, there will be more non-crypto walkers and runners due to COVID and there will be more crypto players due to the popularity of Game-Fi.

But…wait

There is one unexpected outcome from the merge between non-crypto and crypto players, that is, as the earning is denominated by token, these non-crypto players at some point of their participation in the Fitness-Fi Game need to consider the question of “How do I spend these tokens? And how do I cash out?” We might unknowingly stand at the crossroad of the mass adaption of the blockchain industry. If we can convert just a small percentage of these non-crypto runners (Strava estimates there are 400 million people are currently using a running app), then we will fast forward the blockchain adaption.

Is there more?

Of course, there is more, no great blockchain project is complete without adding a flavor of social experiment or social justice. StepN by Find Satoshi Lab aims to be the first move2earn NFT Game-Fi projects on mobile devices that offsets carbon. Through governance, players can decide how to distribute the game’s profit — at what % are donated to carbon offsetting and what % is taken as a dividend.

By StepN

Challenge Fitness-Fi and Fitness-Fi game faces

Cheating

There are many forms of cheating from the swinging pendulum to the Android simulator, for the former can be solved through GPS tracking and motion sensor.

http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/sensors/sensors_motion

But the latter cheat can only be prevented through machine learning to pick out the simulated GPS, health, and motion sensor data.

Duo-mining, tri-mining, tetra-mining, and vampire attack

Unlike Game-Fi, where players’ time is exclusive to one game, in Fitness-Fi or Fitness-Fi game, a player can open 2–5 similar games and 500% increase the mining efficiency of one run. There is currently no solution to this, especially when a later comer can orchestra a “vampire attack” on the first comer. If the first comer of Fitness-Fi has built a large community, the latecomer can always spam “dual mining opportunity” in the first-comer community. Unless there is a new “metaverse alliance” formed, the Fitness-Fi project can team up with running apps and running clubs/game guilds to form a closely held community and exclude the possibility of “duo-mining” from the app level. But it would be too early to deduce how this industry could develop.

Over-exercise

There must be a certain way to prevent players from over-exercise including but not limited to user acknowledgment to only exercise accordingly, hard cap daily earning, design an alternative way to success not only by exercising, etc…

StepN is working on machine learning to screen out cheating and various preventive measures to tackle over-exercise. We will discuss this matter in a separate article.

Conclusion

We are very excited that we are part of this new initiative, is it part of Game-Fi or is it a completely new genre? It doesn’t matter, what matters is the potential of this Fitness-Fi idea could bring big blockchain adaption, enhance people’s physical and mental welling and possibly do good to the environment.

STEPN is the first move2earn NFT Game-Fi that converts million of non-crypto runner to crypto player and offsets carbon.