Meet FitCoin: An App That Pays You in Bitcoin Based on Intensity of Your Workout

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by Zhanna Lyasota · 3 min read

The mobile app named Fitcoin is the creation of Chaotic Moon Studios, an Austin-based design company that’s known for pulling stunts during the city’s annual South by Southwest festival.

Chaotic Moon Studios, an American mobile software design and development studio, has recently launched a fitness application named FitCoin that allows users to earn Bitcoins while working out. The  application measures the length and intensity of a workout and converts it to CPU time on a Bitcoin mining rig and, consequently, the more users workout, the more digital currency they mine.

Ben Lamm, the company’s CEO, commented: “This concept combines two of our specialties: looking good and making money. We’re always trying to turn existing habits into new opportunities to make money – this one was an obvious fit.”

The iOS application synchronizes with a user’s fitness tracker to log vital variables from a workout like intensity, duration, and distance. Afterwards, the company’s proprietary algorithm determines the amount of Bitcoins earned during each session. FitCoin gives users real-time notifications and earnings updates as well as a dashboard to track how their body and bank account are progressing.

“At Chaotic Moon we are interested in crypto-tech computing and decentralized services, and wanted to explore them through a prototype that leverages the blockchain as application, service layer and platform,” added Mr. Lamm. “It was important for us to make this experience compelling, useful and obvious for users by bundling the blockchain with the quantified self: translating sweat into equity.”

On Saturday, March 14th, Grant Nicol, a designer at FitCoin, demonstrated the functionality of the application by running three minutes and forty seconds on a moving platform, his heart pounding at 115 beats per minute. He managed to pull out 5 cents worth Bitcoin. However, the demonstration was internal, since the Bitcoin reward directly came from the Chaotic Moon’s personal wallet.

“It’s a really interesting platform play application and service layer,” said Ali Madad, the company’s creative director, during a demonstration. “[It’s] accessible. It’s not about cypherpunks or overthrowing the government. It’s something that you would use every day.”

Chad Derbyshire, the company’s director of marketing, hopes that the application will be used to form its own type of digital currency — a type of online money that has allowed for such offshoots as Coinye West and Dogecoin. He considers that individual companies could award dedicated athletes with their own digital money, based on their fitness achievements.

“We’ve been providing sports and fitness coaching apps and monitoring devices since the emergence of wearable sensor technology,” said Jon Werner, Innovation Explorer at Adidas. “One of the biggest challenges in the space is finding ways to keep consumers engaged. We are excited to see how cryptocurrency can motivate people to make their exercise and fitness routines a long term habit.”

However, the iOS app is still tested by members of the team and is not available for broad audiences. Would you ever imagine mining Bitcoins with your body? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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