GameFi Decrypted: The Wellness-to-Earn (W2E) Model Explained

Wellness-to-earn model explained

If you have been active in the crypto industry, then you have likely heard about the Play-to-Earn (P2E) model that powers blockchain games and metaverses like Axie Infinity, the Sandbox, and Decentraland.

In addition to P2E, there are many new models investors can use to earn crypto, such as Stake-to-Earn, Learn-to-Earn, and Create-to-Earn (you can learn more about them here).

Today, we will explore Wellness-to-Earn (W2E) model, a framework industry players have been utilizing to reward users with coins and NFTs to live a healthier lifestyle.

Let’s get started!

What Is Wellness-to-Earn (W2E) and How Does It Work?

As its name suggests, the Wellness-to-Earn (W2E) model rewards users for improving their well-being through different activities. These can include:

  • Physical exercise
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • High-quality sleeping
  • Consistent habit-forming
  • Living a more active social life
  • Receiving or providing mental health support
  • Basically any activity that improves one’s physical and psychological health

As a business model that incentivizes a healthier lifestyle, Wellness-to-Earn is a broader term that combines a wide variety of sub-models, such as Move-to-Earn and Sleep-to-Earn. Later on, we will take a look at all these models to explain how they allow users to improve their wellness via different activities and mechanisms.

What’s common in each Wellness-to-Earn model is that they enable people to earn native coins, in-app currencies, or non-fungible token rewards through active participation in fitness activities. Most W2E applications track progress through an internet-connected device, such as a smartphone, a fitness tracker, or a smartwatch. In the end, the user’s performance determines (in combination with some other factors) how much he can earn with a specific wellness activity.

Of course, as money can’t be printed out of thin air without any negative consequences, Wellness-to-Earn solutions have to generate regular revenue to allocate the coins that are distributed to players as incentives. These can include:

  • An NFT that new users have to purchase in order to use the app and gain the ability to earn coin rewards. Similar to, for example, ordering sports equipment (e.g., a basketball or an exercise bike) or subscribing to a meditation app, this initial fee allows you to get started with the activity. At many W2E projects, this NFT determines how much you can earn, meaning that you have to spend native tokens on upgrading it and maximizing your revenue.
  • An alternative solution to the NFT-based entry price is to require new participants to buy and stake a Wellness-to-Earn project’s native tokens for a specific period (e.g., three months). Another method is to integrate a mining mechanism, which can be used to fund rewards for users with their devices’ computational power.
  • Marketplace and transaction fees (e.g., NFT sales, action-related costs)
  • Advertising revenue
  • Partnerships and promotions
  • Branded NFT collections

Just like with P2E solutions, solid tokenomics are crucial to ensure the sustainability of Wellness-to-Earn ecosystems.

No matter the popularity of a platform, its features, or its revenue, the project won’t be able to distribute rewards to its users in the long run if its native tokens and in-app currencies have been designed inefficiently (Axie Infinity serves with an excellent example here).

What Are the Different Variants of the Wellness-to-Earn Model?

Among crypto business models, Wellness-to-Earn is a broader concept that has many variants and subvariants. While their goal is the same – to incentivize users to live a healthier lifestyle –, each of them focuses on different aspects, activities, and components related to W2E.

Below, we have collected some of the W2E-based models crypto projects utilize to reward users for improving their well-being:

  1. Move-to-Earn: Probably the most popular among all models falling into the broader W2E category, Move-to-Earn empowers users with the ability to generate revenue through regular physical exercises, such as running, swimming, walking, and sports competitions. For outdoor workouts, M2E apps utilize GPS to track the progress and rewards of each participant.
  2. Socialize-to-Earn: According to a study by the University of North Carolina, healthy social life is similarly important for longevity as physical exercise, diet, or avoiding smoking. To incentivize people in this field, a growing number of crypto projects have adopted the Socialize-to-Earn model that offers a way for users to earn coins by simply chatting, speaking, and interacting with others.
  3. Meditate-to-Earn: Regular meditation can relieve stress, benefiting both mental and physical health. Unlike conventional apps that are available for free or through subscriptions, crypto players use the Meditate-to-Earn model to incorporate an earning mechanism into this healthy activity.
  4. Sleep-to-Earn: In the crypto world, it’s not uncommon to see projects advertising their solutions with the “earn while you sleep” phrase. Interestingly, the Sleep-to-Earn model offers users literally that by allowing them to receive token rewards in exchange for a good night’s sleep and forming healthy habits in this field.
  5. Talk-to-Earn: The Talk-to-Earn model is focused mainly on improving one’s mental health by consulting with professionals, supporting others in their efforts, and participating in courses aimed at enhancing individuals’ well-being. In addition to engagement in these activities, some projects offer users crypto rewards for submitting valuable data that could help their research in the field of psychology.

Improving Health With Crypto Rewards

Wellness-to-Earn is centered around the concept of improving individuals’ health via rewards in native tokens, in-app currency, and NFTs that serve as incentives for active participation.

Ranging from the physical exercise-based Move-to-Earn to Sleep-to-Earn and the mental health-focused Talk-to-Earn, W2E has many variants that leverage the benefits of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to reward their users for achieving wellness-related goals.

While Wellness-to-Earn has great potential, it has to be combined with a sound concept and solid tokenomics to allow users to realize the benefits of the model in the long run.


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