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Bitcoin Gets the 'Pokémon GO' Treatment in New Rewards App From Fold

The popular bitcoin rewards startup is using augmented reality (AR) in a bid to make crypto fun for the masses.

Aug 18, 2021 at 3:55 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:41 p.m. UTC

Crypto rewards app Fold is trying out a new way to get its users excited about bitcoin: an augmented-reality crypto scavenger hunt in the style of “Pokémon GO.”

Fold’s AR feature allows users to explore their surroundings while searching for bitcoin and other rewards, including merchant deals and cashback prizes. The app's wait list went live today with a full launch slated for later this month.

“One of the barriers to entry with bitcoin is that it's money, but it's not visible for everyday people,” Will Reeves, Fold’s CEO and co-founder, told CoinDesk. “This augmented reality experience allows people to see bitcoin, to pick it up, and essentially brings the world of bitcoin, which exists in zeros and ones, and makes it tangible.”

Fold is not the first to make a game out of bitcoin. In recent years, gamification in crypto – and finance in general – has been on the rise, from Robinhood adding game-like features to its investing platform to all-out crypto adventures like Satoshi’s Treasure, which used a bitcoin prize to promote tokens. 

Fold cardholders will be able to access the AR feature every hour, while users who only have the app will be able to access it once per day. Bitcoin prizes range from what Reeves describes as “a couple satoshis” to “a gold mine” of bitcoin. A satoshi is the smallest unit of bitcoin. 

During the current testing period, Fold will give away about $100,000 worth of bitcoin, but Reeves said the number would fluctuate in future months depending on sponsorship and user interaction levels.

The launch of Fold’s new AR feature coincides with the removal of all sign-up and activation fees associated with its Spin debit card, which offers rewards of up to 25% back in bitcoin on purchases.

Update (Aug. 18, 16:34 UTC): Corrects app launch date.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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