Gamification and Regenerative Finance (ReFi)

Boyd Cohen, Ph.D. CEO IoMob


As I was riding my mountain bike on Saturday the 24th, listening to one of my favorite podcasts (Empire), I was of course concerned by the ominous theme of the episode “Why 2023 Will be a Blood Bath for Crypto Startups.” However, I was at least partially uplifted by Santiago Santos suggesting that 2023 will see the most adoption of blockchain in the gaming/GameFi space.

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As a founder focused on ReFi and accelerating the adoption of green mobility, you may wonder why Santi’s forecast cheered me up.

Just last week I published my monthly column in CoinDesk, this time on why I believe 2023 will be the year ReFi (i.e. Regenerative Finance), takes off. What happens when you intersect ReFi and gaming? Well one such approach is WheelCoin, a Move2Earn app that rewards users for moving greener.

During this bear market we decided to develop WheelCoin as a way to further accelerate the adoption of green mobility by gamifying such decisions through the WheelCoin reward token (WHL). Since launching the first beta on October 1st, WheelCoin has already registered more than 400,000 user journeys in countries such as Japan, Indonesia, India, Spain, the US and the UK among many others and issued more than 30,000 WheelCoin reward tokens!

I am sure Santi was referring to more classical definitions of gaming, however I share his enthusiasm for the ways gaming can help blockchain go mainstream and accelerate user adoption.

How are we embracing gamification with WheelCoin?

  1. Users can see in near real time how many emissions they are creating or saving from their mobility choices
  2. The greener you move, the more WHL you earn, and in 2023 we will be including avatars with backgrounds that vary based on how green users’ movements have been in the previous period. Starting in January, utility will come for WHL including: discounts on green mobility services and burning WHL for digital collectibles.
  3. Prior to launching utility of WHL during the beta, a poll of our users found that nearly 20% of them indicated they had already changed their mobility choices because of WheelCoin.
  4. We are launching leaderboards in 2023, starting with our first monthly “Green Mobility Champion” challenge which comes with not just WHL but other “cash value rewards” including a free scooter for the winner and transit passes in the cities where the 2nd and 3rd place winner are based

We are also working a Move2Earn gaming guild (P.E.S.T.) to further develop our gaming and NFT mechanics to increase the gaming elements and gamification of green mobility. Our current white paper can be accessed here.

I know that we are not alone in exploring the pathways for gaming to accelerate a low carbon economy with crypto rails. I recently learned about Wuji Games from their founder, Stephen Cutter who stated:

We have our Regenerative NFT Rewards Engine that can make any transaction plant trees and mint NFTs and track the data using Natural Capital Accounting Principles. We also have two Regen games coming out Earth Defenders and Hemp Land

What “Regenerative Gaming” means for Wuji Games

Also a few earth-based metaverses such as Next Earth and Earth2 have strong commitments to sustainability and aim to bring aligned gaming to their metaverse platforms.

Perhaps there are other companies out there building at the intersection of ReFi and gaming, and someday we will form a ReFi Gaming Alliance to share expertise, networks and even protocols to collectively grow the impact we can have as we scale?


I am convinced 2023 will be the year that ReFi breaks out as an exciting and growing part of the crypto space that provides tangible evidence of the power of crypto to build an inclusive and sustainable economic model. I also share Santi’s enthusiasm that gaming will continue to grow more than other parts of crypto in 2023. Combining ReFi and gaming has the power to accelerate behavioral change towards the future we want by making it fun and rewarding to do so.

To learn more about WheelCoin, visit our website, join our discord or follow us on Twitter.

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Boyd Cohen, Ph.D. CEO IoMob

Boyd is a researcher and entrepreneur in smart, sustainable & entrepreneurial cities, He´s authored 3 books & is CEO of IoMob.