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“X-to-earn” in crypto: what does it entail?

In just over a year, the concept of “X-to-Earn” has taken hold in cryptocurrency and the Web3 space, and has already evolved into numerous different incarnations.

Play-to-Earn (P2E), Move-to-Earn (M2E), and Watch-to-Earn (W2E) are just a few of the ideas that blockchain developers have come up with to incentivize the use of their products at the same time as rewarding the end user for their participation.

However, of the three ways to earn cryptocurrency mentioned above, some have shown a greater likelihood of sticking around than others, and each has their own unique quirks, features, and potential shortcomings.

Play to earn money

Due to the built-in financial apparatus inherent in NFT technology, blockchain games have emerged as a way to engage new users in the Web3 realm while rewarding them for their time and attention.

In these games, players usually receive cryptocurrency rewards when they play and win against either the AI ​​or other players. In-game items such as weapons, armor, and personal avatars can often be owned entirely by the player and then traded on the open market.

The popularity of P2E is evident in the thousands of games currently live in the blockchain gaming space, but very few have managed to create immersive gameplay. The vast majority of P2E games involve relatively little gameplay and instead see players engaging in simple one-click routines that have more to do with yield farming than actual gaming.

Move to Earn

On the surface, Move-to-Earn appears to be a noble attempt to drive engagement in the Web3 space by encouraging users to engage in physical activity to earn cryptocurrency rewards.

M2E projects like STEPN (GMT) see users getting rewards for activities like walking, jogging, and running. While the idea initially burst onto the scene with a lot of fanfare, the concept of M2E also suffers from a few shortcomings. These apps often have an entry-level price point that requires special NFTs to start earning, thereby outbidding potential users from the start.

Furthermore, just like a new gym membership in the first week of January, the initial enthusiasm for M2E apps often doesn’t last. Expecting netizens to put on their running shoes for a meaningful amount of time might just be asking too much in the long run.

To earn

Contrary to the move-to-earn concept, the watch-to-earn sector does not place excessive physical demands on the users, but tries to reward them for something that most internet users do every day.

In recent years, video content has emerged as the most important communication medium on the internet, but so far the only people involved in the revenue model are content creators and platform owners.

W2E expands the revenue model to include the people who make video content so popular: the audience. Examples of W2E include projects like XCAD Network, which integrates with existing video sites like YouTube and Twitch to generate rewards for users who watch and share videos and access special perks around the creator, bridging the gap between the creator and the fan is bypassed.

W2E also benefits the content creators themselves, who can generate additional revenue on top of their YouTube advertising revenue by encouraging greater interaction with fans. In the case of XCAD, content creators can also create unique NFTs based on memorable moments from their videos and live streams and auction them off to their fan base.

Watch-to-earn marks a true integration of Web3 ideals with arguably the most popular activity on the Internet today: watching videos.

The x-to-earn space in the cryptosphere continues to grow, and we will no doubt see more iterations of the concept in the years to come. At the moment, watch-to-earn shows the most promise as a real application of Web3 technology in the existing Web2 arena.

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