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From Copper Tokens to Crypto Tokens: The Evolution of Loyalty Rewards Programs

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

Copper & Stamps

Loyalty rewards programs have been around for centuries, with the earliest record dating back to the late 18th century, when a New Hampshire merchant issued copper tokens to reward his customers. Since then, loyalty rewards programs have undergone significant changes and advancements, with almost every major retailer, hotel chain, and airline now offering some form of loyalty program.

In recent years, a new trend has emerged in the loyalty rewards space – data monetization platforms that incentivize users for generating valuable data. These platforms enable app users to monetize their browsing data, device and social media API data, and survey responses, among others. Companies such as Tartle, Datacoup (now part of OdeInfinity), Reklaim, Swash, and Tiki Data are leading the way in this new model of data monetization.

Honey & BATs

The emergence of blockchain technology has also revolutionized loyalty rewards programs. Hivemapper, for instance, is a decentralized mapping network that rewards users for driving with the world's first crypto-enabled dash cam and contributing to the map. Users earn HONEY tokens for their contributions. Brave, on the other hand, is a web browser that rewards users for viewing privacy-respecting ads through its Brave Rewards program. Users earn Brave Tokens (BAT) that can be traded on central and decentralized exchanges.

Nodle is another blockchain-based platform that connects the physical world to Web3. It uses smartphones as edge nodes to read devices and sensors in the physical world using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and connect that information to the blockchain. By installing Nodle on their phones, end-users become data producers (miners) of device and sensor data. This creates an economic model that is secure, private, and scalable, allowing for real-time asset tracking and many unique applications built for our hyper-connected, mobile-oriented world.

The COIN App is yet another example of a loyalty rewards program that utilizes blockchain technology. It uses a smartphone's GPS to track the user's movements in the physical world and rewards them with COIN tokens, which can be redeemed for merchandise or $XYO tokens.


These emerging loyalty rewards programs are a far cry from the copper tokens of the late 18th century. They incentivize users for generating valuable data while empowering them to take control of their privacy and earn from the data they generate. The future of loyalty rewards programs is decentralized, with internet users increasingly choosing where and when to sell their time and information while supporting services that work for everyone's benefit.

Keep an eye out for more emerging data monetization projects that reward the Data Producing end-user.

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