The recent bull market highlighted a number of emerging sectors within the space that all share similar catchy titles of “something2Earn.” Crypto market participants last year could just not get enough of the growth of Play&Earn games such as Axie Infinity and mobile eSports MegaFans or Move2Earn dApps like STEPN and Genopets.
These tokenized incentive structures (social tokens, NFTs, in-game currencies) have become popular as they provide an opportunity for the average Web3 user to Play to Earn, Move to Earn and now, Learn to Earn.
What is Learn2Earn?
Learn2Earn, as the slick name suggests, is the process of learning about something in exchange for rewards. From a traditional business perspective, the simplest comparison would be to that of the cost of acquiring a new customer to your product, whether you have built an alt Layer 1, AMM Dex, DeFi protocol, or NFT marketplace.
In Web3, as in Web2, consumer attention is the real currency. In the old Web 2 model, companies paid user attention via advertising, giveaways, partnerships, referrals, etc., and then hoped that their product was enticing enough that some people would complete the marketing funnel and stick around to learn about their product to become a regular user.
However, in Web3, instead of trading your attention for “free” to any number of attention brokers (who then sell to the highest bidder), you can get paid directly to learn about a particular product. The rewards for learning are typically given in a native currency, token, or NFT of the ecosystem you are learning about. This provides a direct, monetary incentive for users to be invested in a project and helps teams cut through the noise of the plethora of other crypto projects also competing for your attention.
Tapping into the Learn2Earn Opportunity
The first major players to integrate Learn2Earn in their incentivized UX model were some of the largest centralized exchanges in the space.
Namely, Coinbase Earn allows users to learn about specific coins by watching videos and completing quizzes for token rewards. Those with a Coinbase account can currently learn about $GRT and $AMP for a small reward in each of the respective tokens.
Similarly, Binance Academy enables those with a Binance account to learn about a variety of topics by completing courses and answering quizzes in exchange for vouchers that can be redeemed for crypto. Currently, Binance is offering rewards for learning about $KNC, $FRONT, $RUNE, $XTZ, and $WOO.
However, Learn2Earn is not exclusive to centralized exchanges hoping to attract more retail participants to trade on their platforms, as a number of ETH-alternative Layer 1’s have begun offering tokens in return for learning about the specifics of their chain.
For example, the NEAR Academy offers courses for the more seasoned crypto enthusiast to learn how to develop Web3 dApps on the NEAR protocol, with the rewards for completion including NFT certificates and $NEAR tokens.
Furthermore, above the protocol level, builders of various dApps are pioneering Learn2Earn models that subvert traditional pay-to-learn models, such as LetMeSpeak.org – an app designed to help you learn English whilst earning NFT and USDC rewards.
Another example of this is the NFT marketplace and Rarible competitor NOWwhere, which is building an intelligent marketplace on the FLOW blockchain. The platform is positioned to be the gateway for traditional artists to enter the NFT space and supported by an ecosystem that will incorporate smart algorithmic newsfeeds, advertising, metaverse galleries, and more.
NOWwhere’s Learn2Earn application is quite novel in the sense that it empowers artists to incentivize the platform’s community of art enthusiasts to learn about the story behind their drops. Users are rewarded for rating art on the platform, with ratings and rewards being weighted based on the extent of previous learnings. Rewards can then be cashed out in an exclusive in-app currency, which gives access to NFT purchases, metaverse products, and 2ndary markets for digital asset resales. Currently, NOWwhere is part of the Launchpool Labs incubator, with a stable web version already launched.
Incentivised UX models and web3 activities are quite diverse, and companies are looking to innovate or amplify their community building and user onboarding capabilities – a core component of any app or dapp alike.