This tech company trades sweat for cryptocurrencies and NFTs

OliveX wants you to earn while you burn. The Hong Kong-based digital fitness company rewards players with cryptocurrencies and NFTs as they flee pirates and marauding monsters in a dystopian wasteland.

ÇBudgeting can be good for your waistline and your bottom line at the same time. This is the proposal that OliveX is offering to players of its mobile blockchain games.

Players can earn DOSE tokens and NFTs by completing missions within OliveX’s adventure game that require them to travel varying distances in the real world with their smartphones in hand. The virtual rewards they accumulate can be used to level up in games or to be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges and NFT markets.

“Move-to-earn is a game-changer,” said Keith Rumjahn, 37-year-old founder and CEO of OliveX, in a video interview. “For the first time, gamers have true digital ownership of their games, and game developers also earn more because there are no middlemen. So it’s a win-win.”

OliveX said its strategy allows it to tap into three booming industries, combining fitness with mobile video games that incorporate blockchain technology. The company’s long-term goal is to build an ecosystem of fitness games integrated into Animoca Brands’ metaverse title. the sandboxa virtual world where players can build, buy and sell their in-game assets while interacting with other users and brands.

As NFTs continue to attract a growing mainstream audience, Rumjahn’s strategy appears to be timely. His Australian-listed company raised A$8 million ($5.7 million) through a November share placement that was used to develop Dustland corridor, its first move-to-win blockchain title that launched in late March. Players take on the role of “dust runners” who are hired on a freelance basis to retrieve and deliver mysterious contraband in a post-apocalyptic wasteland inhabited by bandits and monsters.

Dustland corridor is based on an earlier smartphone game called Zombies, run!which is said to have an average of 300,000 active users per month, of which around 50,000 are paid subscribers. Zombies, run! was the brainchild of London-based game developer Six to Start, which was acquired by OliveX for $9.5 million in March 2021.

Now, OliveX is exploring another newly acquired product design from the Sol Cycle fitness gaming platform for the launch of its next title, Dustland Knight. The blockchain game, which could arrive as early as June, replaces the race for cycling. After that, the company wants to incorporate more sports, such as boxing and rowing, and start using motion-sensing technology in games.

“Our mission is to integrate a billion people,” said Rumjahn. “By doing this, I want them to earn their first NFT and crypto token through the exercise.”

OliveX’s decision to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon caught the attention of investors. The company saw its market value double last year to its current level of A$190.5 million. OliveX posted revenue of A$1.3 million in the six months ending in December, a 10-fold jump compared to the same period last year. Its net loss decreased 55% year-over-year to A$2.3 million. OliveX said it is considering plans for a second listing in Canada.

OliveX is a spinoff from Animoca Brands, the Hong Kong gaming and blockchain powerhouse that was valued at $5.4 billion during its latest funding round in January. Animoca said its portfolio has grown to more than 170 investments in NFT-related companies and decentralized projects, including Dapper Labs, developer of the pioneering blockchain game. CryptoKittiesas well as Sky Mavis, which made the infinite axis online game.

OliveX said it is now building a virtual fitness world in the sandbox, which will allow players to bring their NFT rewards from the Dustland series to the wider metaverse platform. The virtual land will feature companies such as German fitness clothing retailer Gym Aesthetics, British playground maker Playinnovation, fitness studio operator Trib3 and others. These partnerships help traditional brands transform into what could be the future of the internet, while OliveX, in turn, reaches not only cryptocurrency users but also exercise enthusiasts who are still unaware of emerging technologies, Rumjahn said.

“In this fitness metaverse where everything is interconnected, I can play my first game and keep the weapons, and I can continue to use them in multiple games,” he said. “How cool would that be? This is the dream we want to build.”

Interest in the metaverse has increased after Facebook rebranded itself last October as Meta as part of its strategy to focus on the internet’s “next frontier”. The metaverse has become Wall Street’s newest buzzword, as investments from global tech giants like Microsoft and Google, as well as leading gaming companies like Epic Games and Roblox, take over. Even major consumer brands like Nike, Disney and Gucci are now racing to establish a presence in the metaverse.

Some analysts have already started releasing estimates of the size of the market. Grayscale said in a report in November that the metaverse will turn into a trillion-dollar sales opportunity in advertising, social commerce, digital events and other categories, but forgot to mention a time frame for that number. Goldman Sachs is even more bullish. The investment bank said in January that the digital realm could reach a whopping $8 trillion in revenue.

Fitness apps will represent a “very, very large market” in the metaverse because people are always investing in their health, especially as the pandemic has heightened their health awareness, said Allen Ng, co-founder and CEO of Everest Ventures Group, which has invested in the company. OliveX . Ring-shaped adventureNintendo-developed video game that combines exercise with role-playing saw its sales hit 7.4 million units between April 2020 and March 2021, as the coronavirus outbreak closed gyms and kept people stuck at home, according to the report from Japanese company results.

“When Rumjahn came to us and said that they can combine the crypto and blockchain elements together with the fitness market, we felt that it made perfect sense. It’s like combining two of the fastest growing markets together.” said Ng. “The potential is huge and the space is in its early stages, so OliveX has a good chance of becoming the leader of this space.”

Founded in 2017, OliveX was originally a subsidiary of Animoca Brands that developed fitness apps and interactive mirrors for working out. The company is led by Rumjahn, a Chinese-Canadian basketball coach and software developer who was successful when he created CoachBase, an app for diagramming and sharing plays. OliveX spun off from Animoca after raising A$2.2 million in an initial public offering on the Australian National Stock Exchange in August 2020.

OliveX’s first foray into the crypto space was an app that rewarded users with digital tokens for performing squats in 2018, but the business struggled because cryptocurrencies were not widely used at the time.

Rumjahn said it’s important to design “game sinks” that keep users engrossed in activity supported by a well-designed economy where they can spend money as part of a sustainable system.

“The next ten years will be blockchain and cryptocurrencies,” Rumjahn said. “Over the last year you’ve seen user adoption of NFTs and cryptocurrencies really increase…

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