WiFi Map, a connectivity app with 160 million downloads, has launched a utility token $WIFI on the Polygon network, serving as a reward for user participation in growing the ecosystem. It can also be redeemed for premium services in the app such as eSIM mobile data packages.
The WiFi Map app started life as a crowdsourced WiFi finder, allowing anybody to add new WiFi hotspots to a shared global map. The idea took off organically, with millions of hotspots in more than 200 countries now hosted on the app, thanks to the efforts of over 13 million contributors.
New features have since been added to improve the reliability of the data points, including a health feature launched last year that displays the “health” of hotspots based on how recently they have been used to access the internet and had their credentials confirmed. Today, contributors are encouraged to check hotspot info and run internet speed tests in addition to adding new hotspots.
In summer 2022, the company announced that it was pivoting to Web3 with the imminent release of $WIFI, a native utility token for the platform. On 30 March 2023, the token had its initial launch on the TrustSwap Launchpad, which was oversubscribed by a factor of over 10. This was followed by the token generation event on 7 April, with listings on OKX and the OKX DEX coming later the same day. A number of other major exchanges launched the WIFI/USDT trading pair over the next couple of weeks, including Huobi, Gate.io, Poloniex, MEXC and BingX.
So why launch the token? WiFi Map is building a token economy based on connectivity, with $WIFI now being used as a reward for contributions made by users to grow and maintain the WiFi network. The token can then be used to access premium features in the app. Right now, $WIFI can be redeemed for eSIM mobile data packages, with 15% of the value of the package in $WIFI issued as cashback and sent to users’ in-app wallets. Additionally, fiat purchases of eSIM data now generate 3% in token cashback.
There are a number of exciting new uses for $WIFI in the pipeline, including redeeming the token for other premium features like unlimited VPN protection and offline maps, which allows you to find the nearest WiFi hotspot on the map even when you aren’t connected to the internet. The team is also working on a megabyte farming feature that will reward people who hold $WIFI in the app with eSIM mobile data.
There are also a number of exciting opportunities for $WIFI holders outside the app. OKX launched trading and staking competitions in the aftermath of the listing, while WiFi Map itself announced its latest trading competition on May 10. They are offering three tiers of $WIFI bonuses for people who lock up the token: 30% for one month, 40% for two months and 50% for three months. The giveaway will run until 5 million $WIFI tokens have been staked on the OKX DEX.
While many recent Web3 startups offer “utility tokens” that simply allow users to carry out actions within apps – this could include in-game item purchases or access to premium content – WiFi Map is offering immediate utility that goes beyond the strict confines of its own ecosystem. The founders pursued a word-of-mouth strategy in the early years of the company, and it was successful because the app serves a real-world need: getting connected to the internet. Now, the $WIFI token will facilitate that need, by allowing people to unlock eSIMs and thereby convert their activity in WiFi Map into mobile data they can use in a list of 70 countries, with the number expected to rise in the coming months.
A real-world use case that serves the needs of Web 2.0 users is a description that could be used for a number of Web3 companies operating in the connectivity space. There have been several different names for this group of startups, each one defining slightly different use cases. They include DeWi (decentralized wireless), DePIN (decentralized physical infrastructure networks) and TIPIN (token incentive physical infrastructure networks). In the case of the latter, WiFi Map recently appeared at TIPINCON 2023, a conference dedicated to the growing segment, alongside other figures working in decentralized connectivity such as Helium.
The industry is growing rapidly when compared with the crypto sphere as a whole, with the market capitalization of DePIN protocols increasing by 42% in Q1 2023 according to data from CoinGecko. WiFi Map has a number of competitive advantages that bode well for its rising status in the space, including its existing base of 4 million monthly active users and long-term vision. The tokenomics speak for themselves, and the 60-month vesting schedules for a number of key allocations underline the founders’ commitment to stable, long-term growth.
Beyond this, the future looks good for the product itself. Co-founder Igor Goldenberg has spoken of the company’s plans to become a world-leading superapp that will do the work of several apps in one. The first major component of this will be the streamlining of the two core connectivity offerings – WiFi and eSIM – with a seamless connectivity approach that allows users to toggle smoothly between WiFi and cellular connections. The WiFi Map partner services programme, which currently comprises power bank sharing companies, is also expected to be extended to encompass a wide range of public amenities, eventually offering users a full suite of products and services to maximize their connectivity and support active, on-the-move lifestyles.
Disclaimer: Koinalert’s content is only for information purpose in nature and should not be considered as investment advice. Do your own market research before investing in any cryptocurrencies. The author or publication does not hold any responsibility for your personal financial loss.