COIN Lets You Mine Cryptocurrencies by Driving Around

Thomas Smith
Photo by Samuele Errico Piccarini on Unsplash

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been testing the COIN app, which allows you to “geomine” cryptocurrency just by driving around. Essentially, the app tracks your location and then lets you monetize that location data by allowing COIN to sell it on your behalf. In exchange, you get tiny bits of the app’s proprietary COIN cryptocurrency, which you can then exchange for XYO down the line.

“You’re already providing your location data free of charge to all kinds of companies, from Google to Facebook,” the thinking goes. “Why not share it in a way that allows you to collect a bit of revenue when companies put it to use?”

The good news is that COIN has a slick app that’s easy to use. There are all kinds of special features and add-ons that gamify the whole experience, making it feel a bit like a less cute version of Pokemon Go. As you drive around (or walk, that’s allowed too), you can geomine location-based squares tied to an open street map. The squares refresh, but the fastest way to mine more squares is to physically travel to other ones.

The app thus creates an incentive to move around the real world. Geodrops, bonuses, and an ability to stake certain squares and generate revenue from other COIN users who geomine them all add to the complexity of the experience, but also the potential for power users to rack up the app’s crypto. You also occasionally have the option to see an ad from a local store to earn some extra crypto (I saw one from Whole Foods for example).

There’s also plenty of ways to pay for greater access. A monthly subscription fee of around $35 allows you to earn more from each square you geomine, and unlocks a variety of other features, like faster geomining and the ability to mine in the background, even if you don’t have the app open, for longer time period. You can also buy an NFC chip that verifies your identity temporarily, leading to higher geomining rewards.

The good news is that COIN app is fun to use, and I like that it gives you a reason to move around and explore. The bad news is that you have to do a lot of moving around in order to earn significant amounts of crypto. A recent drive from Sausalito, California to Lafayette, California which took about an hour netted me around 200 of the COIN app’s tokens. At the moment, Reddit users report that 10,000 COINs will get you about $3.76 in XYO.

COIN earnings may scale up as you use the app more, and the exchange rate for XYO can always fluctuate. Still, at the moment it looks like the COIN app would work best for someone who does a ton of driving anyway (like an Uber driver or delivery driver), or who lives in a place where small amounts of cash go a long way. It’s also a fit if you just enjoy the game-like aspects of using the app. Otherwise, it’s probably not going to get you rich any time soon.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. Always consult a professional advisor for advice specific to your situation before making any major financial decisions, and never invest more than you can afford to lose. Thomas Smith holds a diversified investment portfolio that includes a variety of securities and cryptocurrencies

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Award-winning entrepreneur, and the co-founder and CEO of Gado Images. Thomas writes, speaks and consults about artificial intelligence, privacy, food, photography, tech, and the San Francisco Bay Area. As a professional photographer, Thomas' photographic work regularly appears in publications worldwide. Pitches/news tips:

Lafayette, CA

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