One’s mental health is just as important as one’s physical well-being.
However, despite affecting all parts of our lives and the fact that approximately one in four people is impacted by neurological disorders at some point, researchers consider the prior as one of the most neglected areas of public health.
At the same time, COVID-19, related government measures, and financial consequences had a negative impact on mental health. According to a March 2022 report by the World Health Organization (WHO), in just the first year of the pandemic, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25%.
Researchers in other studies found even more alarming statistics. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), the average share of adults reporting anxiety and depression surged from the 11% pre-pandemic level to 41.1% in January 2021. At the same time, Boston College researchers revealed that reports of depression and anxiety increased to around six times higher than in 2019, to 44% and 50% among American adults by November 2020.
Fortunately, the GameFi sector has been working on a solution that could incentivize the world’s population to improve their mental health. Meet Talk-to-Earn (T2E), a relatively new model in the crypto industry which we will discuss in this article.
Let’s dive in!
What Is Talk-to-Earn (T2E)?
Talk-to-Earn (T2E) is an earning-based GameFi model that incentivizes users with tokens, NFTs, or in-game currency rewards for putting more focus on their mental health.
Talk-to-Earn is a part of Wellness-to-Earn (W2E). This framework is centered around improving users’ overall well-being through activities like running, exercising, meditating, forming consistent and healthy habits, as well as sleeping.
T2E is a niche in this broader group that aims to improve the mental aspects of one’s lifestyle by participating in social events, meeting new people, forming new friendships, and talking to professionals like a therapist.
How Does the Talk-to-Earn Model Work?
Like most “X-to-Earn” models in the GameFi sector such as Play-to-Earn, which is widely utilized by blockchain gaming projects, Talk-to-Earn dApps are based on the blockchain, leveraging various reward schemes to encourage users to participate in social activities that aim to improve their mental health.
While multiple projects are working to create their Talk-to-Earn dApps, most haven’t launched yet or are still in early phases of development. For that reason, we don’t have access to exact information about their design and how they seek to leverage T2E to operate their ecosystems.
This means that T2E solutions are expected to have an entry mechanism requiring users to perform a specific action to gain access to the ecosystem.
In Talkn’s case, this is something as simple as buying and staking the native tokens of the project for a specific time. On the other hand, Tagoverse requires users to purchase an NFT avatar, which will enable them to earn rewards through talking-based activities.
Rewards are generally distributed in any combination of native tokens, NFTs, and in-app currencies. While Talkn incentivizes users to socialize via the platform’s TALKN coin, those who participate in Tagoverse’s GameFi ecosystem can earn the TAGO token, the SOUL in-app currency, and non-fungibles via Mystery Boxes.
Talk-to-Earn dApps utilize smartphones, wearables, and other electronic devices to track the progress and performance of users. As the activities in this niche are based on talking and socializing, T2E solutions will also require one or multiple of the following to enable earning:
- Mobile data
- Microphone access (e.g., for in-person meetings)
- Camera access (for video chats)
- Location information via GPS
- App tracking (e.g., to analyze users’ chat activity)
In addition to the above, T2E solutions also leverage an anti-cheat mechanism like most Move-to-Earn dApps to prevent malicious actors from exploiting the platform, which would otherwise enable them to earn rewards without actually participating in talking-based activities.
As money can’t be printed out of thin air without negative consequences, Talk-to-Earn projects will utilize various methods to allocate and distribute rewards for their users. To achieve that, they can generate revenue in the following ways:
- The entry action (native coin staking, NFT sales)
- Recurring actions (NFT minting, avatar upgrades)
- Marketplace fees
- Platform charges (e.g., a percentage of therapist appointment fees, AI subscriptions)
- Own lines of products and assets, such as NFT collections, metaverse real estate, and equipment
With sound tokenomics and efficient platform design, developers can build sustainable Talk-to-Earn platforms that provide continuous rewards for users while generating enough revenue to grow their audience as well as expand their ecosystems with new products and services.
Earning Crypto and Improve Mental Health
Despite how crucial it is, people often neglect their mental health.
And as the global population has been staying at home amid lockdowns, the pandemic made things worse with a surge in the number of self-reported cases of anxiety and depression. At the same time, as we got increasingly used to isolation, social interactions have become more challenging to achieve than before, which is another factor that could negatively impact one’s mental health.
Considering all these issues, GameFi projects seek to improve users’ mental well-being by leveraging the Talk-to-Earn model that incentivizes people via crypto rewards to participate in social activities, have mindful conversations with each other, and get professional help when needed.
For these reasons, while most solutions are still early in development, Talk-to-Earn has the potential to become a successful GameFi model that provides real value to users.