By Paul Omondi
- German blockchain start-up targets fitness enthusiasts with cryptocurrency to motivate consistency in exercising
- Millennials are the force driving digitalization in fitness in Europe
- Three in four people would sign up for gym membership with cryptocurrency
- Fitness and health industry is being taken over by Web3 applications that gamify exercising with the ability to mint unique NFTs
Fitness is moving from physical, loud and sweaty gyms to the bespoke metaverse of customized and on-demand gaming. Or you could as well just walk, schedule a workout routine at home and watch as your wallet bulks up with cryptocurrency payments, as you keep fit. This is but one of the many ways blockchain technology is revolutionizing industries across the world, and the fitness industry is creatively catching on.
In Germany, Dopamininig, a new blockchain start-up, aims at radically transforming the fitness industry in Europe by creating a health-conscious community bound together by a fitness app. The members sign up to the app first by buying a non-fungible token (NFT) known as ‘Dragon’ and thereafter, their training consistency is rewarded in cryptocurrencies. Essentially the app is a habit-building tool that rewards users who are consistent with their fitness goals.
Dopamining joins a long list of start-ups with blockchain-based fitness aps, such as DEFIT, inSHAPE, STEPN, Lympo and Step App. These apps are marking a radical shift from the nascent days of Fitrova and GymCoin, whose benefits did not go beyond the transactional payment for access to gyms and fitness instructors. GymCoin has however since progressed its offers and innovation to allow users earn GymCoins (GYM) as they train so that they can pay for their sessions. Other tokenized apps that have offered the same benefits include Lifecoin, Sweatcoin, ActiFit and Vlique.
It has however not been a walk in the park for many of these start-ups offering unfamiliar services to a largely conservative audience. In Europe, where Dopamining hopes to replicate the successful story of blockchain fitness apps like STEPN that is raking in the bucks with a peer-to-peer decentralized digital currency, business breakthrough is likely to be spurred by millennials, who are the force driving digitalization in fitness, according to the latest European Health & Fitness Market report 2022.
Although the industry in Europe has suffered a significant drop in revenues and membership since 2017, which was exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions, blockchain is bound to give innovators a lion’s share of the €17.1 billion (US$ 18 billion) European fitness market revenues should the cryptocurrency market stabilize. This is a significant proportion of the global US$100 billion fitness and health industry that is now being taken over by new age Web3 applications like STEPN, that gamifies the experience of running by providing its more than 17 million users with the ability to mint unique NFT shoes.
Dopamining is keen on having a piece of that pie. According to Leon Witt, the start-up’s Crypto and Strategic Lead, the enterprise has built a community of members and a limited number of 10,000 Dragon tokens over a five-year period. “Dopamining’s unique selling point is payment to our members for working out at home. We reward this consistency and commitment by crediting your wallet with our cryptocurrency in order to motivate you to continue working out to good health and fitness,” said Witt.
He explains that anyone can join the community by first buying an NFT Dragon in the Dopamining marketplace. “Because we have a limited number of tokens, the price is subject to market forces. The Dragon token is your companion and levels up each time you earn coins,” added Witt. Subscribers can own and trade many dragons for each type of workout.
Ultimately, the future of these blockchain-linked apps is dependent on reimagining their target audience’s fitness needs and life goals. The generation that is likely to adopt innovations like Dopamining’s is very perceptive and demanding. They are likely to be attracted by how these technological inventions engage them, earn them extra income, fulfills their quest for fun and pits them in a competitive, but friendly brush with other members of the community.
Not surprisingly, a survey by fitness website FitRated, found that 81% of Americans would be motivated to stay fit by earning cryptocurrency, while three in four people would sign up for gym membership with cryptocurrency.
Looks like the solution to breaking the chains of unfitness is not cryptic anymore. It’s in blockchain!
About the author – Paul Omondi (@omondipaul)
Paul Omondi is a creative and innovative media and communications expert. He is experienced in the development and execution of communication strategies, editorial direction, creative and technical writing. He is a career journalist, business manager, and leader who is passionate about positive social impact and sustainable development, especially through the use of digital tools and innovation. Paul has a master’s degree in digital journalism.