Though you might generally assume that you have to pay in order to get cryptocurrency, you can actually earn some cryptocurrencies for free through various methods. Of course these methods all require varying degrees of effort and time on your end, as nothing is truly free. But even something as potentially valuable as Bitcoin can be had for free. Let’s take a look at ways to get free cryptocurrency!
By: Evan Jones | Mar 20, 2020 | Modified Jun 25, 2020
Faucets are a fairly simple way to get free cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Cardano. Faucets generally just require you to click a button that has a time restriction on it, for example you can only click it once every hour. Each click gets you a random free amount of the cryptocurrency the site is offering, generally a fraction of a cent per click, with chances to get larger amounts, but odds are very low.
These sites then generally have ways to earn more free clicks by filling out surveys, watching ads, or clicking links, all of which generate the website revenue and allow them to give away free cryptocurrency.
Faucets will generally have a reasonable withdrawal threshold that you have to reach before being able to put the free cryptocurrency into your wallet of choice, but this means you have to be consistent in visiting the site to earn your free crypto.
Why do cryptocurrency companies offer faucet programs? Generally they are actually earning money through advertising and link clinking. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
If you wish you could earn money for watching ads while you’re browsing the internet, then the Brave Browser and Brave Rewards may interest you.
Brave Browser is an extremely fast internet browser that is compatible with all chrome extensions. The only difference is that instead of lamenting through ads as you browse the internet, you can actually earn money by watching them on Brave Browser through Brave Rewards earning you the Basic Attention Token (BAT) cryptocurrency. Brave Rewards comes with Brave Ads, which is how you earn free BAT.
Brave Ads are presented separately from your web content and keep your personal details completely private and anonymous. Brave Ads show up in the form of system notifications or sponsored images on the “new tab” page. You can control how often these notifications come up and whether you want to hide the sponsored images. But whenever you choose to see the ad you earn 70% of the ad revenue that Brave receives from the advertisers in the form of BAT, which can be traded or contributed back to sites you enjoy, with more options on the way. The advertisements that are shown on Brave are on an opt-in basis, so if you really don’t want to be seeing ads, you won’t.
Staking is becoming a more and more commonplace way to earn free cryptocurrency, the caveat being that you will have to invest a certain amount of money in that cryptocurrency first. Staking is the process of holding funds in a cryptocurrency wallet to support the operations of a blockchain network. Essentially, it consists of locking cryptocurrencies to receive rewards. This can only be done with coins that use proof-of-stake consensus mechanisms, such as Stellar.
So in order to get free crypto through staking, such as getting free Stellar Lumens (XLM), you have to first purchase some XLM. Once you have the XLM in your wallet of choice you can stake it and earn more XLM for doing so. Rewards are paid out at varying intervals depending on the crypto.
Staking processes throughout cryptos varies, but in general you have to delegate your stake to someone unless you have a large enough portion to stake yourself. Tezos, for example, requires 10,000 tokens to participate in staking, so most holders delegate their coins to a pool in order to earn rewards. This can be done directly through some wallets such as a Ledger Nano X. You aren’t transferring ownership of your tokens but giving your consensus voting power to the pool.
Hard forks are another way to get free cryptocurrency but much like staking, they require you to own cryptocurrency already. A fork happens when users of a network disagree over how the network should be upgraded, and thus the two sides “fork” the network into two paths. Forks are often considered an upgrade to the network. Hard forks mean that the two networks are incompatible with each other.
Ethereum experienced a hard fork when it split into Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC), meaning ETH blocks and transactions cannot happen on the ETC network, and ETC blocks and transactions cannot happen on the ETH network.
When a hard fork happens, you often receive the equivalent amount of the newly created token for free. When the Bitcoin network forked on August 1st, 2017, the newly created Bitcoin Cash network assumed the value of about 10% of what Bitcoin was worth at the time. Bitcoin was valued at about $5000 USD, so if you were holding 1 BTC at this time, you would have just received 1 BCH worth $500.
Coinbase offers you free crypto such as EOS in exchange for spending some time learning about the cryptocurrency and how it works. Simply sign up for Coinbase, get approved through their Know Your Customer process, and proceed to the Earn page, pick the cryptocurrency you are interested in, and get some for free for learning about it.
In most cases you simply have to watch a video lesson in order to receive the free cryptocurrency.
There are quite a few ways to earn free Bitcoin as a cash back reward for shopping, both online and in person.
Stormshop is a mobile app and browser plugin that administers rewards known as Bolts for online shopping with over 400 merchants and is available in over 187 countries. You can earn up to 40% crypto cash back paid in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, DAI, or STORM. You can swap your Bolt rewards point for cryptocurrency paid directly to your wallet.
Lolli is a Bitcoin cashback plugin for your browser that notifies you whenever you are shopping at one of its partner stores, such as Expedia and GAP. Up to 30% cashback can be earned, and it is delivered to your Lolli wallet where you can send it to a Bitcoin address of exchange it for USD and send it to your bank account.
Pei is a cashback system that gives rewards in Bitcoin or fiat currency, but unlike Lolli or Stormshop it works with your existing credit of debit card and works in store or online. Once linked you receive cash back in your choice of Bitcoin of fiat, there’s no membership fees, and occasionally you will receive special offers for additional cashback.
You can also earn crypto cashback through crypto debit cards such as Wirex and the Crypto.com card, with cashback percentages ranging from 0.5-5% cashback depending on certain conditions being met such as staking Wirex Tokens or Crypto.com’s MCO tokens.
While not necessarily getting Bitcoin for free, there are ways to earn Bitcoin as a payment for completing freelance work in fields such as engineering, design, writing, singer, translating, editing, and marketing to name a few. There are many platforms and websites offering Bitcoin for your services such as Cryptogrind and Coinality.
GitCoin is a popular platform for contributing to projects on the Ethereum platform. GitCoin allows you to hook up your developer profile from GitHub, and list your skills and services for hire.
Lending is a fairly reliable and safe way to get free cryptocurrency, again first requiring that you hold cryptocurrency to lend. There are many peer-to-peer lending platforms for Bitcoin, Ethereum, DAI and Tether to name a few. In exchange for lending your cryptocurrency you can earn a varying percentage return that is dependent on market conditions and what coin you are lending.
It should be noted that the lending space is highly unregulated, so do your due diligence before choosing a partner to lend with. If you’re looking to lend, look for companies which have 3rd party security audits, long track records, and guarantees on your funds.
There are many potential scams to look out for.
With staking you may find a scam where a delegation pool will ask you to send your tokens out of your wallet directly to them, this should never be required. Instead there should be a smart contract involved, and staking should be possible from the safety of your own wallet. Do your homework before staking.
Free giveaways where they ask you to send some crypto to register are a scam to look out for as well. There is no giveaway, they are simply going to keep everything that gets sent to them. The only reason faucets give away crypto for free is because you are actually earning them money through advertising and link clicking, there are no truly free giveaways.
Similarly prize giveaways where they want some personal information to receive your prize are a way of phishing for personal information so that that a hacker can try and impersonate you, do not provide addresses, emails or phone numbers to anyone claiming to be giving away crypto prizes, or free giveaways either.
In the end you need to be vigilant and do due diligence when dealing with cryptocurrencies, regardless of whether you are paying for them or trying to get some for free.