In just over a year, the concept of ‘X-to-Earn’ gained a strong foothold in the cryptocurrency and 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 some of the ideas that blockchain developers have proposed to encourage the use of their products and, at the same time, time, reward the end user for their participation.
However, of the three ways to earn cryptocurrencies listed above, some have been shown to be more likely to hold power than others, and each has its own quirks, features, and potential shortcomings.
play to win
Due to the built-in financial apparatus native to NFT technology, blockchain gaming has emerged as a way to bring new users into the Web3 space while also compensating them for their time and attention.
In these games, players often earn cryptocurrency rewards for playing and winning against the AI or other players. In-game items such as weapons, armor, and personal avatars can often be owned outright by the player and then traded on the open market.
The popularity of P2E can be seen in the thousands of games that are currently live in the blockchain gaming space right now, but very few have managed to create immersive gameplay. The vast majority of P2E games involve relatively little gameplay, instead engaging players in simple one-click routines that have more in common with yield farming than actual gaming.
move to win
On the surface, Move-to-Earn would appear to be a noble effort to encourage participation in the Web3 space by incentivizing users to participate in physical activities to earn cryptocurrency rewards.
M2E projects like STEPN (GMT) see users earn rewards for activities like walking, jogging, and running. While the idea initially burst onto the scene with much fanfare, the M2E concept also suffers from some shortcomings. These apps often have an initial purchase price, where special NFTs are needed to start earning, so they outbid potential users from the start.
Also, like a new gym membership in the first week of January, the initial excitement of M2E apps often doesn’t hold up. Expecting Internet users to put their running shoes on for a significant period of time may be asking too much in the long run.
watch to win
In contrast to the Move-to-Earn concept, the Watch-to-Earn sector does not place undue physical demands on users, but rather seeks to reward them for something that most Internet users do every day.
In recent years, video content has become the main communication medium on the Internet, but until now, the only people included in its revenue model are the content creators and platform owners.
W2E expands the revenue model to include the people who make video content so popular: the audience. W2E is exemplified by projects like the 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 benefits around the creator, bridging the gap between the creator and the fanatic
W2E also benefits the content creators themselves, who can earn additional revenue on top of their YouTube ad revenue by encouraging more engagement 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 followers.
Watch-to-Earn marks a genuine integration of Web3 ideals with arguably the most popular activity on the Internet today: watching video.
The ‘X-to-Earn’ space in the cryptosphere continues to grow, and we will no doubt see more iterations of the concept emerge in the years to come. At this time, Watch-to-Earn shows more promise as a genuine application of Web3 technology in the existing Web2 field.