Getting started with Nceno

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Before you start...

Nceno will only work once you have a wearable whose heart rate sensor is linked to Strava (here's a quick tutorial), and some Ethereum.

If you are a quick learner, we suggest watchign the quickstart video below that covers all of the following steps in this guide.

FAQ- "Why crypto/blockchain?"

Don’t wanna read through all the details? You should, but here’s a video to give you the general idea.

Log in and setup

Don’t wanna read through all the details? You should, but here’s a video to give you the general idea.

From the Nceno app page, click "log in with strava". You will be shown the Strava login screen. It is ok to sign into Strava with google or facebook. Just make sure your wearable is linked to the account you choose. After you log in, you will be redirected back to the app page.

Optional- join our club on Strava to see full profiles and interact with other users.

Nceno lives on a special branch of the internet that gives us better security for handling money and data, so we need to use a special "wallet" called Portis to let users interact with it. So when you click "activate blockchain", a window pops up asking you to sign in or create a Portis account.

Follow the steps, and then send some ETH to your portis wallet. Once you're done, close the window. If successful, you'll see your wallet address on the app page.

The first time you use Nceno, a profile will be automatically generated for you. It will be stored and used to associate your wearable to your challenges, rewards, and progress. So go ahead and click "create profile". This is the one and only time you will be asked to do it.

This is also your very first Ethereum transaction! You will be prompted to confirm the transaction with Portis.

FAQ- "Why Strava?"
FAQ- "Why/what is blockchain?"
FAQ- "Can I use a different wallet?"

Your first challenge

Don’t wanna read through all the details? You should, but here’s a video to give you the general idea.

Once you're all signed in, go to the "browse" tab. You'll see all of the upcoming challenges that others have made. Note: everyone in a challenge has to stake the same amount (in USD). If you see one you like, click Join. You will see a window sumarizing your commitment. If everything looks good, confirm it. You will then be asked by Portis to confirm the transaction (because your stake will automatically be deposited).

If you don't see a challenge you like, you can also create a custom one. See the next step.

Note: you can't leave a challenge once you have joined, even if it hasn't started yet.

If you don't see a challenge you like, you can set a new one. Go to the "host" tab, and use the sliders to set a custom challenge. Note: the earliest start date is the next day, to give people a chance to see it and join. You can also set a challenge to begin at any later date. Don't worry about the time zone issues, we've taken care of it.

Once you have set the parameters to your liking, accept the terms and click host. You will be shown a summary of the challenge as well as its unique ID. If everything looks good, confirm it with Portis. Wait a few seconds while Portis works its magic. If everything went well, your challenge will be available for anyone to join, just how you saw the upcoming challenges in the "browse" tab.

If you want to invite your friends, just send them the challenge ID, and have them search for it in the "browse" tab.

FAQ- "How many people can join?"
FAQ- "How many challenges can I be in at the same time?"
FAQ- "Can I set a challenge as private?"
FAQ- "Should I play it safe, and set an easy challenge?"

Logging workouts and claiming stake

Don’t wanna read through all the details? You should, but here’s a video to give you the general idea.

Ok, so your challenge has started. How do you get your money back? Simple... workout! When you do a workout, make sure it appeared in your Strava activity, and head over to the "manage" tab and check out "week-by-week breakdown". Important: You must log your workout on the same day you finished it.

You'll see a card for each week of the challenge. Click the appropriate week, and click "log". You will be asked to confirm the transaction with Portis. Nceno checks with Strava and your wearable to make sure your workout is the same intensity that you commited to in the challenge. If all is good, you will be paid back a portion of your stake immediately. Check your wallet after a few seconds.

On the same page, you can also view a leaderboard to see how others are doing, as well as your own detailed private stats.

Alright, so you know that Nceno can help motivate you to workout (because if you don't, you lose money). But where does the lost stake go?

Answer: To the people who actually did all of the workouts for the week.

That applies to you as well! If you did 100% of the workouts for the week, then the following week, you are considered a "winner" and can claim an equal portion of the stake lost by others (i.e. the stake from un-logged workouts).

Follow the same steps as you did to log, but click "claim" instead. Important: you can only claim lost stake from the previous week. This is so that everyone can schedule their workouts at any time during the week.

FAQ- "What constitutes a 'workout'?"
FAQ- "I worked out, but Nceno didn't pay me.. What gives?"
FAQ- "Why is my payout different from week to week?"
FAQ- "How does Nceno protect against cheating?"
FAQ- "Do I get more money back if I exceed the challenge?"
FAQ- "When can I claim lost stake?"
FAQ- "What if nobody lost?"
FAQ- "Suppose I do all of the workouts in a challenge. Whats the average profit I can expect?"

Cashing out

Don’t wanna read through all the details? You should, but here’s a video to give you the general idea.

Ok, the challenge has ended, and you have made a nice little profit, or maybe not... Anyhow, as long as you logged at least one workout, you should have some crypto in your wallet. (It will be DAI instead of ETH.)

You can keep it in your wallet for later, convert it into ETH again and start a new challenge, or cash out. If you want to exchange it, go to the sign in page and click "convert". You can use this tool to instantly convert it into several different Ethereum-based tokens. Set up the conversion, and confirm the transaction with Portis. Your tokens will be in your wallet shortly. Note: you must have a bit (~$1.00) of ETH in your wallet to do a conversion.

If you're just trying to convert it into paper money (or your bank), convert it to ETH and send the ETH to an appropriate exchange. To send ETH or tokens, open Portis from the internet or from Nceno, and click "send". Enter the address and amount, and authorize the transaction. It's a good idea to check the destination account to make sure the funds were sent successfully. 

FAQ- "Where to send my crypto?"
FAQ- "Why am I getting paid in DAI?"

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this gambling?

Absolutely not. You are the only deciding factor of your own success in the challenge you join or create. There is no element of randomness that determines whether or not you recive your money back.

Is this competition? What if everyone else is better than me?

Nceno is not competition. In fact, so long as you complete the workouts you set or agree to, the worst that can happen is that you earn all of your money back, even if everyone else in your challenge also completed all of them or more.

Why crypto/blockchain?

We have users from all over the world. Using crypto as the medium of value lets us avoid banking jurisdictions, limits the information we need from individuals, reduces the transfer fees to zero (or at least low enough so that we can afford to pay them for you!), and allows for instant micro transactions between users. Blockchain makes these transfers more secure by using something called “smart contracts” to hold the funds, only releasing them when certain conditions are met (like when you record a workout that is consistent with your challenge). Blockchain also allows you to have an uncounterfeitable record of your progress!

Why Strava?

Nceno uses Strava as an oracle because almost any wearable fitness tracker can be connected to it. It is also one of the most secure platforms when it comes to storing and accessing your data. When you log a workout, Nceno’s smart contracts communicate with Strava to determine if you get a payout. Strava also has lots of cool features that allow our users to interact with each other.

Can I use a different wallet?

In the future, we may decide to allow other wallets, but for the time being, we will be requiring Portis because of its excellent user experience for all levels of blockchain users and low barrier to entry.

How many people can join a single challenge?

Currently, the cap is 10 users per challenge. We may increase this in the future.

What happens if I set a challenge and nobody joins?

If you set a challenge that nobody joins, it will still start and end as planned. You may not cancel or leave a challenge once you deposit stake. If nobody joins, you may reconsider the parameters you chose. See “Should I play it safe by setting an easy challenge?”. When the challenge starts, you should still log workouts to get your stake returned to you, but there will be no profit that you can make since nobody else is there to fail, and you cannot claim your own lost stake.

How many challenges can I be in at the same time?

You may set and join as many challenges as you like, all at the same time, since you must pay the buy-in for each. You may also “double spend” your workouts (i.e. workout once, and then log it in all of the challenges that you are a member of.) You may not combine multiple workouts to form a single one though. Also note that you may only register one wearable to your wallet at a time.

Can I set a challenge as private?

In the future, we will set this as an option, but currently, you cannot.

Should I play it safe, and set an easy challenge?

If you set a challenge that is “safe”, the result may be either a) people join, but everyone completes all of the workouts resulting in no reward for anyone. Or b) other people already realize a) and don’t join, leaving you to complete the challenge by yourself and still not getting a reward. Thus, to maximize your potential payout, you should only set or join challenges which you consider challenging.

What constitutes a 'workout'?

A workout is a continuous span of time for which you are moving and your average heart rate is measured to be above a threshold. Currently, that threshold is 125bpm, and the challenge creator sets the time duration. In the future, we will allow custom heart rate zones as well. Nceno uses a combination of sensor data including: steps, GPS, accelerometer, and heart rate to determine to what extent a user is exerting themselves. Nceno uses average heart rate so that it is possible to take resting periods without splitting the workout into multiple segments.

Can I track a workout using Nceno?

Nceno is not a fitness tracking app. It is a platform for hosting, and managing group fitness challenges for a payout. Nceno uses Strava to check workout data, which in turn uses other apps and wearables.

I worked out, but Nceno didn't pay me.. What gives?

Nceno does not use humans to verify workouts, so the problem may be one of 3 things: 1) the transaction was not successful (check the transaction on etherscan.io (fast) or email support@nceno.app (slow)), 2) your wearable was not configured with Strava properly, or 3) Your workout did not meet the minimum parameters set in the challenge.

Why is my payout different from week to week?

To keep things interesting, Nceno randomizes the stake that is locked into each week (but it is the same for all players in a given week). So in the first week, 10% of your stake may be locked up for you to earn back, and the next week it may only be 2%. There is no way to see this beforehand, but rest assured that it totals to 100% over the entire challenge. You can read more about this on our "What is Nceno?" page.

How does Nceno protect against cheating?

Nceno uses a combination of sensor data including: steps, GPS, accelerometer, and heart rate to determine to what extent a user is exerting themselves. Thus, it is not possible to shake your wearable to log a “walk”, or artificially elevate your heart rate and sit in the corner to log an “HIIT” session. This does not rule out the scenario that someone has their friend do the workout for them, but that would be similar to the case where a real athlete joins your challenge. Realize that even if someone does this, they only stand to win their own stake, as long as you do all of your workouts. Finally, Nceno has a strict no-cheating policy. If any users are found to be conspiring to gain an unfair advantage against other users in the same challenge, their stake will be frozen and redistributed to the victims. Also see: “What constitutes a workout?”.

Do I earn more if I exceed the challenge?

You do not earn extra money if you exceed any combination of the challenge parameters. If you log multiple workouts in a day, only the first one that qualifies will earn you a payout.

When can I claim lost stake?

You may only claim lost stake from the previous week. This is so that everyone has the freedom to schedule their workout days whenever they want during the week.

What if nobody missed a workout?"

If there is no lost stake during a week or during a challenge, the best that everyone can do is to just earn their stake back. If you frequently encounter this situation, you may want to consider only joining or creating challenges with “interesting” parameters. See “Should I play it safe by setting an easy challenge?”.

Suppose I do all of the workouts in a challenge. What’s the average profit I can expect?

Oh, so you’re either super motivated, or super disciplined, eh? ;) If you are 100% adherent to your challenge, then on average, our statistics show that you will make around a 15% profit on top of your buy-in, though it might even be more! If you want to see how we arrive at this number, check out our whitepaper.

Where to send my crypto when I cash out?

Because of legal reasons, we cannot recommend any particular exchanges or conversion ramps, but we encourage you to google “good crypto to fiat ramps”. You should choose one with low fees, and which is legal in your jurisdiction.

Why am I getting paid in DAI?

a. DAI is what’s called a “stablecoin”, and no, it’s not for paying your horses (ha… ha…). The cool thing about DAI is that 1 DAI is almost always equal to 1 USD, no matter what the rest of the crypto market is doing. We say almost because the price still fluctuates within 1 or 2 cents above and below a dollar. When you deposit your stake, it is converted to DAI, and paid back to you when you log or claim. If you want to convert it back to ETH or a different token, just use the conversion tool on the Nceno app page. Also see: Isn’t ETH volatile? What happens to my stake if the market fluctuates?

Isn’t ETH volatile? What happens to my stake if the market fluctuates?

Because your stake is converted to DAI stable coins when you deposit, its value in USD will not change no matter what happens to the market. Similarly, if the market shoots way up, you will not see an increase in the USD value of your stake.

Where’s the iPhone/Android app?

Right now, there’s no real need for a mobile version of Nceno. In the near future though, we will be developing the mobile version packed with more features! Stay tuned…

Will Nceno have a token/ICO?

For the current feature set, Nceno works just fine using ETH and DAI. At this stage, we cannot see how a native token would add to the value of Nceno. However, we are hard at work deriving an economic model and feature set for which a native token would not only increase the efficacy of the platform, but also increase the network value of such a token. Stay tuned for further developments.