As each day passes, the number of people in the world who can remember a time when they never used the internet decreases. But it wasn’t all that long ago that the vast majority of people lived their lives entirely offline.
Back in 1995, internet penetration had only just reached 10% of American households, almost five years after the launch of the first web browser. Adoption was initially very slow, but it began to accelerate rapidly from that point onwards, and by 2000, more than 50% of American homes were connected to the Web.
There’s barely a soul in the developed world who doesn’t use the internet daily, and we will likely one day be able to say the same about cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is one of the most disruptive technological advancements since the advent of the internet itself. Crypto is rapidly transforming how people interact and transact, bringing financial freedom and equality to the masses.
Internet adoption was initially slow due to its scalability, ease of use, and privacy concerns. These are the same concerns holding back crypto, but several emerging projects are looking to change this and help make crypto an everyday aspect of our lives.
Sweat Economy is the creator of a popular fitness application that has been downloaded over 100 million times on Android and iOS devices. People use the Sweatcoin app to motivate themselves to stay fit by regularly walking, jogging, or running.
So what does a fitness app have to do with crypto? The answer is integration. While Sweatcoin has been around since 2015, last year, it introduced a big change that could prove revolutionary for crypto adoption. It introduced its cryptocurrency – $SWEAT token and a digital wallet – Sweat Wallet app and a new mechanism that pays people to get out and about.
Linking the Sweatcoin app to your smartphone’s Google Fit app or Apple Health app compels you to keep fit through a financial incentive. Each time you go for a jog, take the dog for a walk, or enjoy a stroll to work or school, you’ll be paid SWEAT tokens for your efforts. Sweatcoin tracks its users’ movement and pays them a set rate for every step they take.
Users can then swap the SWEAT tokens they earn for another cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or USD Coin on an exchange after doing a simple transfer, or they can soon do so within the app’s built-in feature. With the earned SWEAT tokens, users can also opt in to prize draws in the Sweat Wallet app to win Macbooks, iPhones, fitness and lifestyle products. If you’re prepared to be incredibly active daily, this will cost you nothing.
By using crypto to incentivize an already popular activity – fitness – Sweat Economy is quietly building up a massive ecosystem around the idea of “move-to-earn” while introducing millions of its existing users to crypto for the first time.
Another popular service that’s integrating with crypto is Gari Network, which is one of the most downloaded social networks in India. Gari is often said to be a TikTok clone and involves creating short videos using a series of filters and applying background music, then sharing them with your fans. It has benefited immensely from India’s controversial decision to ban TikTok in 2020, as millions of former TikTok’ers migrated to the service.
Gari is aiming to grow a creator’s economy with the introduction of GARI tokens, its very own cryptocurrency that users can earn simply by creating, watching, sharing, and commenting on videos. Users can earn crypto daily, then use those tokens to tip other users for creating content they like or subscribe to watch exclusive content from their favorite creators. Selling merchandise through the platform is also possible, with GARI serving as the in-app currency.
With its 140 million-strong user base, Gari is at the forefront of making crypto more accessible. Within just five months of introducing GARI, it boasted that there were 800,000 GARI wallet users, and growing. Gari is spreading the word about crypto through one of India’s most popular social media platforms, and it’s no wonder India often appears near the top of most lists that rank countries in terms of crypto adoption.
Although it doesn’t promote the use of cryptocurrency per se, Centrifuge is nonetheless playing a key role in the growth of decentralized finance, or DeFi, by enabling small businesses to obtain loans they’re unable to obtain the traditional way.
Centrifuge enables SMBs to obtain money by leveraging real-world assets, such as real estate loans, trade receivables, and invoices, as collateral for loans. Normal banks won’t accept such collateral, so many SMBs struggle to obtain funds when needed, but another class of DeFi investors are willing to provide the capital they need.
So an SMB in urgent need of capital can navigate to Centrifuge’s Tinlake app, a smart contract-enabled marketplace of asset pools. From there, they can convert their real-world assets into an NFT that’s embedded with the relevant documentation. Once their NFT is listed, other users will create an asset pool using that NFT as collateral. This provides the finance SMBs require, with users earning interest on the repayments in the shape of crypto stablecoins.
The beauty of it for borrowers – that is, the small business owners – are they don’t even know they’re dealing in the crypto economy. Their loans are paid out in fiat, and they repay them in fiat. It’s the investors who work with crypto. Even so, the concept of asset tokenization is growing rapidly, attracting more investors into the space. The potential is massive because short-term loans are the bread and butter of the business, yet they can be very difficult to obtain.
So there’s enormous potential for growth in this market for apps like Centrifuge. Indeed, one report from Boston Consulting Group shows that tokenized assets could become a $16.1 trillion market by as soon as 2030 – a market that can only be enabled through crypto.
None of the above projects will crack crypto’s adoption code alone, but they can help onboard millions of new users into decentralized, alternative finance.
By making it simple for a generation of fitness freaks, social media users, and small business owners to tap into the benefits of crypto, cryptocurrency will quickly become second nature to a new generation of users.