With my first post on this blog I attempted to provide some background on how I entered into the cryptocurrency universe and my efforts so far. I tried to give a realistic perspective on my experience so far and I will try to do the same here. Full disclosure: I actively use COIN app and hodl XYO, I actively mine PI, and GEO, however I am in no way affiliated or associated with them beyond a user.
After my initial wave of research and early entries into crypto with purchases of both ETH and BTC I began researching apps that rewarded users for their data after a friend invited me to Pi. I ended up wading through a pile of FUD and conflicting information about these types of apps before I finally came to a conclusion and decided to stick with Pi and add a select few more. The issue with these kinds of apps is that they offer up a lot of hope "press this button once a day and eventually you'll get some kind of a return for it" the part they don't tell you is how dependent on the size of their community they are, and how much they rely on advertising to keep the project afloat while they build the user base. Pi falls in this category, so do others like Bee network, Timestope, and a few others that feel even more raw and underdeveloped than these. I don't particularly enjoy using any of them, and after an initial investigation into these types of apps have abandoned most of them as unlikely to succeed. Timestope is clunky and inconvenient and punishes you for forgetting to stamp daily attendance, Bee looks and feels nice to use but it is incredibly similar to Pi but further behind in development. For these reasons I dropped the other apps and stuck to Pi. Wallets are rolling out now but as of yet there is no way to take Pi out of the Pi ecosystem. I hope that in the future Pi will be exchangeable for other currencies but for now the development team seems focused on bringing use cases into the ecosystem and hopes to use Pi as a medium of exchange for goods and services. A good example of this is paying someone else in Pi for them to order and ship items to you from Amazon or other online vendors. This involves a lot of trust and requires someone else to pay actual fiat currency to ship something to you in exchange for your Pi. There are videos on youtube of people exchanging Pi in these sorts of ways if you'd like to check it out more. I myself would not like to take this leap of faith just yet but it does show that the Pi community values Pi and is willing to go to great lengths to acquire more. I would call that a positive sign for Pi's future value. I am hopeful that I will see some kind of value out of Pi in the long term but for now it doesn't take much for me to open the app, push a button, and close it again before it forces me to watch an advertisement.
Further research into crypto currency generating apps led me to another class of app.... apps that exchange your location and other data for cryptocurrency rewards. Here I've found a couple that really stand out- at least to me. Coinapp and Geocash. I admit- I use both of these near constantly.
With Coinapp actively running in the foreground of my phone I mine COIN using my location data. Once I acquire a certain amount of COIN I can redeem it for cryptocurrencies- XYO, ETH, BTC- or physical goods like electronic gadgets. The premise here is that your location data can be used to verify other location data. If someone else's device claims to be near mine via spoofing the underlying location network can query my location data and if my device did not detect the other then its claim can be proven to be false. There are ancillary devices called sentinels that can be used to add an additional level of trust to your device and enhance the mining rewards. My mining increased substantially (Coin claims 12x but I have not done the math and tracking to verify this) by using a sentinel. It feels like I'm playing pokemon go but instead of catching pokemon I'm earning coin rewards that I can use for real goods or cryptocurrencies. You can view leaderboards, stake a claim on an area to earn a cut from other people mining that area, set up a home base, and various other gamified ways to earn. They also have subscription plans available to further increase your mining amount. You can also watch advertisements, fill out surveys, or visit stores and scan items with your phone for additional coin rewards. Though fair warning, some of these features do not function as well as they should and can be frustrating... Surveys in particular... One of my favorite features is the fact that the value of your Coin is static. 10000 coin can always be redeemed for $5 worth of XYO. This means that regardless of what the price of XYO is when you redeem you get about $5 for every 10000. I have been lucky and redeemed when XYO was low and it has increased in price substantially since then... it is worth far more than $5 now. XYO can be traded on Kucoin or swapped in Uniswap, Sushiswap, or 0xprotocol and can even be staked in Uniswap Liquidity pools with ETH to earn additional hold rewards within Coinapp. I should mention here that Coinapp is part of an ecosystem of apps that run using the XYO protocol and the XYO token. There is a lot to talk about with XYO and its ecosystem but for now Coinapp seems to be the cornerstone of their ecosystem.
In the background behind Coinapp I run Geocash. This app also uses location data to reward users but does not need to be running in the foreground of your phone to reward you. This means you can use both Coinapp and Geocash simultaneously to generate more returns. Geocash rewards you with GEO, and is moving towards mainnet currently. There isn't too much to say here since it is fairly simple. Install the app, ensure it has access to your location data, and then use your phone as normal. It will mine GEO for you in the background and adds an icon to the notification bar when it is active. Open the app up periodically to check that it is still earning. My biggest complaint is that the rewards seem to take some time to accumulate and arrive. Perhaps this is because I don't move around that much at the moment- thanks COVID. Currently you cannot withdraw GEO directly or exchange for other tokens, but they periodically open up swap events to change the testnet tokens for tradeable mainnet tokens. They also have Hold rewards available through linked wallets that hold mainnet tokens.
For most of these apps I can't say for certain whether they will generate any real returns for me beyond discussing their potential. I hear complaints about all of these apps being a scam to acquire personal data while not giving much in return. If I'm truly honest about it I cant guarantee that isn't the case for most of them.... Pi so far just generates Pi and cant be used for anything else. Same story for Bee, Timestope, and all the others that follow what I am calling the attendance for mining model(push a button to mine). With Coin and Geocash however I have been able to get real crypto- and by trading that crypto- real fiat out of the deal but that doesn't mean they are without limitations or issues. Coin is certainly able to generate returns for free if you are diligent about leaving the app open and mining- especially while you are out running errands or driving- but the best returns will involve acquiring a sentinel device or paying for a subscription to increase the mining amount. I have made more back than I have put in for a subscription but I have truly been on top of mining and the price of XYO has increased since I started. With Geocash approaching mainnet as well I am confident that even though I am giving up data to these apps I am getting something valuable in return and helping all of these apps grow.
Let me know your thoughts on "free crypto apps" in the comments!
I'll add links for the three I actively use.
Geocash code: 414131311313_YOLGVK