Here are some ways to get free Bitcoin or earn Bitcoin online, ranging from the conventional to the entrepreneurial, so you can play around with this digital currency. Getting free bitcoins online as the Bitcoin economy expands isn’t that hard, but you’ll have to dig through a lot of crap. Thus this useful guide to help you navigate the space and also give you some ideas on how you can earn Bitcoins online. I’ll keep this post updated, so bookmark it and return to it whenever you can.
Before starting off, many of the sites and ideas I mention involve getting only a tiny amount of Bitcoin, which means it may not be a way to quit your day job but the ‘bits’ can add up, especially if you’re living in the developing world where cost of living is lower (or if you’re a student, say). Also, what better way to acquaint yourself with Bitcoin than to earn Bitcoin yourself!
These methods that I outline here are not for investors who want to put 10% of their savings into Bitcoin. Instead, it is for the average internet user who wants to be a part of the Bitcoin economy and system and wants to find a better way to get free Bitcoins than sifting though tons of sites that may not deliver what they promise.
As a general rule, it is probably more profitable if you just work offline, and convert your fiat currency into Bitcoin though an online exchange but since you’re here, I presume that’s not what you’re looking for!
To get a technical overview of how the Bitcoin system works, I’d highly recommend the free course on Bitcoin on Khan Academy.
Fiat to Bitcoin
If you have some USD and want to convert to BTC, try Coinbase if you’re in the US. Else, depending on where you are, you might want to look at Bitstamp or BTC China. If you’re in Russia, btc-e might be a good option. If you want to stick to the internet, you can always join a micro-task site like Mechanical Turk or become a freelancer on oDesk or Elance, earn some money and convert it into Bitcoin.
Altcoins to Bitcoins/Bitcoins to Altcoins
It’s sometimes profitable to do these trades to increase your holdings in one crypto-currency. For instance, if you go through Altcoin Faucets, or altcoin giveaways on the forums, you can get a decent number of different varieties of cryptocurrencies. You can either keep them, or exchange them for Bitcoin. In order to trade these, you can use Bter, Cryptsy or MintPal, etc. There are plenty of new exchanges opening up as the number of cryptocurrencies goes through the roof, but please do be careful of these newer exchanges and don’t put a lot of money into them.
1 mBTC = 0.001 BTC (milli BTC)
1 uBTC = 0.001 mBTC (micro BTC or millionth of BTC)
1 satoshi = 0.01 uBTC (smallest unit of divisibility, hundred milltionth of a Bitcoin).
To check the latest conversion price of USD/BTC, check out the open Bitstamp market.
If you want an online wallet, it’s easiest to get it from Coinbase if you’re in the US (and use it to buy and sell Bitcoin very conveniently) or from blockchain.info. Coinbase holds the Bitcoin for you, and they pay the network transaction fees, so you don’t need to pay any.
I am not mentioning faucets here, except for this one that gives Free Bitcoins every 24 hours. I mention them because there are no captchas or other monkey business. They also give free Litecoin and Feathercoin and there’s no need for captchas, etc. so it’s very convenient. No harm just joining – it isn’t much but completely free, no catch.
If you really are a fan of faucets that pay a few hundred satoshi each time you visit them, I would recommend using ifaucet. They do Bitcoin faucets, Litecoin faucets and Dogecoin faucets. It is a faucet rotator but gives you much more control over the whole process, such as blocking some times if you don’t like them. It also blocks stupid popup ads and other unnecessary scripts, so makes for a nicer browsing experience.
A) Paid To Work Sites
Bitcoin Get: This website is quite similar to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk – you perform small micro-tasks and get paid in Bitcoin. Tasks can range anywhere from taking a survey to finding search engine rankings for a keyword to small translation jobs. Most tasks here are powered by Crowd Flower, which is one of the largest collector of these micro-tasks. Read my full BitcoinGet Review to learn more.
Special Note: Stay away from the ‘Special Offers’ section of this site, even though they may appear lucrative because in most cases you’ll need to give your personal information such as your physical address or phone number to advertisers. There are some Virool Videos in the Videos section at times that pay 30uBTC for 30 seconds of watching a video which can supplement the above tasks.
Payment: Payment is automatic within 24 hours once the account balance reaches 60uBTC.
RewardsLive: RewardsLive offers plenty of third-party services that manage the completion of tasks, and you get paid by RewardsLive. There are plenty of options to choose from: Matomy, Sponsor Pay, Radium One, Super Rewards, WallAds, RevU, Payment Wall. There is also a section on Crowdflower Tasks, similar to BitcoinGet above. In addition, there is a whole section on surveys if that’s something you like. Then there’s RadioLoyalty that pays you to listen to music and enter a captcha every 10 minutes.
There are some other desirable features of RewardsLive like getting points for taking polls. There’s also a Rewards Grid that is a lottery system to earn more points, and is unlocked every day you login and whenever you finish any task.
Special Note: I present RewardsLive above ABitBack, since this has a wider variety of ways to earn Bitcoin and also because the earnings seem more consistent and there are no issues with any Bitcoin payments. Payments are made in Bitcoin and Litecoin (they promise to add more crypto-currencies in the future). They also have a super-helpful support, which is a great relief in this space. The tasks section can be very lucrative, with plenty of free offers, videos, etc.
Payment: All accounting is done in terms of points, and these are converted to Bitcoin at the current market rate, based on Coinbase prices for Bitcoin and btc-e prices for Litecoin. Minimum payout is 1mBTC (0.001 BTC) which is very reasonable and not hard to reach at the site at all.
FaucetFM: FaucetFM is a site that pays you to listen to online radio. You have to submit a captcha every 10 minutes, and each time you enter the captcha, you get paid. If you have a good enough internet connection, you can make a decent amount of Bitcoins on the site, assuming you don’t mind listening to an online radio or perhaps just using mute on your computer.
Special Note: If the ads get annoying, just mute your computer! You will need to enter a captcha to get paid, which can be done every 10 minutes.
Payment: Currently, you get paid 400 satoshi every 10 minutes. The withdrawal minimum is 5430 satoshi, so realistically, it will take about 3 hours to reach the minimum payout and get paid. You also get 1 entry for a jackpot along with the payment every 10 minutes. To withdraw, click on ‘Withdraw Here’ and you should be able to see your account balance and withdraw if you have reached the minimum payout.
CoinLearn: A great way to learn more about Bitcoin while also earning Bitcoins at the same time. It’s a nice and simple way to earn Bitcoin – you learn in modules, and when a module is completed, you get paid a certain amount in Bitcoin. This will take time, just to be sure, since the goal is to learn about Bitcoin and spread the word rather than mindlessly clicking on advertiser links or the like. However, if you don’t mind it, the site is definitely good to check out.
Special Note: Make sure you are interested in learning about Bitcoin, or at least curious enough. Modules have a time, and you must spend that time on a learning module before being ‘done’ with it in order to get paid. Be sure that you only finish a module after this amount of time has passed. If you’ve completed a learning module earlier, just let it lay dormant in a browser tab and come back later to finish the module.
Payment: Minimum payout is 100 uBTC and payments are automatic. Each module has different rewards. You also get advertising credits that can be redeemed to advertise a site you like on CoinLearn.
Coin Tasker: This is a fairly new site in the get-paid-to genre of sites that offer you to earn free Bitcoin. However, at least in the current promotion, the site has some aggressive growth plans and therefore lots of ways to earn your free Bitcoins. For example, just for registering, you get 500uBTC. Each day you login, you get 10uBTC. It also has tasks from Crowdflower, videos from Virool, SuperRewards, Revsnap, CPAGrip, PaymentWall, WinterLeap, etc. There are plenty of options for you to choose from, and the site is fast becoming a go-to place for Bitcoin enthusiasts looking for quick Bitcoin online.
Special Note: This site has the most number of offers I’ve seen in the Bitcoin related space and the payouts are competitive. The bonus is quite high as well. Also, the site aims at much more than just completing offers, and surprisingly has a social element (you earn 1uBTC for each friend you have on the site!) as well. This makes me think it will be easier to expand into other areas. It also gives you an overall rank based on how many Bitcoins you’ve earned overall, which is pretty cool.
Payment: Minimum payout is 10mBTC paid out directly to your Bitcoin wallet.
A Bit Back (No Longer Active): One of the most prolific when it comes to earning Bitcoins, A Bit Back is fast becoming increasingly popular with the Bitcoin community. It hosts a bunch of third-party services and pays out in Bitcoin instead of dollars. You have all the following options to choose from: Crowdflower, SuperRewards, SupersonicAds, Matomy, Virool, RadioLoyalty, AdworkMedia and a few miscellaneous offers. They don’t have as many CrowdFlower jobs as BitcoinGet, however.
There are plenty of ways to get some free Bitcoins off of this. For example, one of the SupersonicAds was installing Expedia app on my phone through a QR code (so no spamming). All I had to do was uninstall my existing app and re-install it through the link they sent me. Took less than a minute in all.If you’re a member of BitcoinTalk forums, request a coupon code here to get 10 points for free.
Special Note: A Bit Back is one of the few ways to earn Litecoins (LTC) online (Litecoin is considered the silver to Bitcoin’s gold). You get points that can be converted into either Bitcoins or Litecoins.
Payment: Payment is based on a points system. 1 point = 30uBTC or 1mLTC. You can get paid through BTC or LTC. Minimum for Bitcoin withdrawal is 30 points (900uBTC) and minimum for Litecoin withdrawal is 250 points (0.25 LTC).
B) Paid To Click
Paid To Click (PTC) is a small genre of making money online that has seen wavering fortunes over the last decade. The idea is very simple – pay people a small amount of money to visit an advertiser’s site. The problem is with processing micro-payments. This is why Paid to Click is ideally suited for Bitcoin. I am surprised this hasn’t caught up more with the industry leaders of paid to click such as Neobux. I think it is only a matter of time, because Bitcoin transactions are so much easier in bulk for small amounts than dollar payments.
Coin Ad – Coin Ad is a more recent addition to the community but it is an active one and fast growing. It also has a more diversified ad network with several ads available everyday, so you can expect to make anything from 5uBTC – 25uBTC on an average (there are ads higher and lower on this scale) per day. This means it should, on an average, take you 7-15 days to reach the minimum payout: one of the lowest in the industry. The good thing is, you get paid based on how long you have to visit the advertiser. For example, if the ad just pays 1uBTC, you’ll need to visit the site for 1 second. However, if it pays 50uBTC, you might need to visit it for 30 seconds.
Special Note: Coin Ad is a pretty flexible advertising platform because advertisers are required to pay per second of your time instead of one click which is the industry standard. It is also very easy to reach payout and payments are made within 24 hours of being requested.
Payment: Minimum payout of 150uBTC (0.15mBTC). To request payout, click on <Username> on top > Cashout. The status becomes pending and you’ll get your Bitcoins in a day or two.
BTC Clicks -This site has several features in addition to regular PTC sites in that you can rent referrals, You can also change your status from inactive to active to see more ads for longer periods of time. After the Bitcoin price hike, this is one of the sites that has been doing very well. Currently, I see anywhere from 20-30 ads everyday. The ads pay about 1uBTC/10seconds.
Special Note: If you’re active in the PTC world and have a workflow to click on all ads, consider upgrading your membership in order to earn higher. Membership comes with a bonus set of clicks of your own that you can use to promote your website. 90 day membership is 5.94mBTC and there are options for more number of days too.
Payment: Minimum withdrawal is 0.1mBTC.
VisitBit: This is a relatively new Bitcoin PTC site but is very promising and gained popularity very quickly, mostly because the payments are instantaneous. It’s a little different from the traditional PTC sites, in that you can keep going from one ad to another without having to go back to the homepage, so it’s a continuous flow from one to the other. However, the biggest feature is that the payouts are instantaneous, i.e., you get paid as soon as you confirm the captcha. This is a great improvement over any other Bitcoin PTC site I’ve seen. Also, the site is very new, so look forward to many more features in the future, and an increase in number of ads (the number of ads is already pretty healthy).
Special Note: Payments are immediate, and sent to your Microwallet. The minimum withdrawal from Microwallet is 5800 satoshi. You can request payout after you reach this amount. Remember that VisitBit has nothing to do with Microwallet – you can actually get Microwallet payments from a number of Bitcoin faucets too.
Payment: No minimum payout, all balances are paid immediately to Microwallet. Microwallet minimum payout is 5800 satoshi. Ads seem to pay 0.5-2uBTC on an average.
MyCoinAds: This is a relatively new PTC site in the Bitcoin space, but already has a good collection of ads. Also, it cycles through ads one by one, so you just need one page open really and just click on ‘next’ once the timer has run down. It’s very convenient and user friendly. Best of all, it shows you all the ads in the list as well. The initial few pay the best, and the rest of them pay progressively lower rates.
Special Note: If you click on your balance on the top right hand side, you can see the entire account history and also the upcoming ads. If at any point you think the payout is not worth it, just close it and come back the next day. The first few ads pay well, and then it progressively goes down.
Payment: Payments are automatic at 0.1 mBTC. Payments are processed once a day.
BitVisits: This is another site similar to MyCoinAds and has campaigns that you can surf. One difference is the lower minimum payout, and therefore faster to reach payout. It also has a nicer interface to manage all the different options to getting paid, and the various ways to get paid. Look for the Campaigns under My Account to quickly go through the list of all campaigns that you can visit.
Special Note: There are several options under ‘My Account’ that are not obvious. You can list all campaigns and after each visit, you can either go to the next one automatically after entering the captcha or go back to the campaigns page to pick and choose.
Payment: The site has a low minimum payout of 0.05mBTC (50uBTC) which is fairly easy to reach.
bitPTC: Inspired from VisitBit, bitPTC is another site that pays out instantaneously to your microwallet. As of now, this site has a higher payout than VisitBit, so if you like VisitBit, you’ll definitely love bitPTC too. You get paid immediately after you correctly enter the captcha. Even though the site is pretty new, it already has a surprisingly large number of ads already.
Special Note: Payments are instantaneous and sent to your Microwallet. Number of ads are reasonable now, but the site is new, so expect this to grow significantly in the future.
Payment: No minimum payout. Minimum withdrawal from Microwallet currently is 5800 satoshi. Ads seem to pay 0.5-2uBTC per visit, depending on the duration of the ad.
Bitcoin Clix -This is another PTC site paying in Bitcoin. Relatively new on the block, but seems to have a good system in place. There are fewer ads but they are pretty consistent. Ads need to be viewed for 30 seconds for the equivalent of $0.01 paid in Bitcoin of course.
Special Note: This site has a larger minimum payout than the other Bitcoin PTC sites, so you need to click on more ads before you can qualify. The site pretty steady in supply of ads though.
Payment: $0.01/click, minimum payout is 10 mBTC (1000 ad visits).
Earn Free Bitcoins: This site is another Paid to Click site that offers to give you some free Bitcoins to visit websites. The good thing about this site is that it tells you in advance how much the time of the visit is going to be and how many Bitcoins you’ll get. For example, it might say that you’ll get 40uBTC for a 1 minute visit. You are free to skip and go to the next one if you don’t like the offer. This is generally low paying.
Special Note: The site is pretty old and has a decent number of advertisers. However, the average Bitcoins given out per visit is pretty low.
Payment: Payments are tied to your wallet address and paid out once you reach 100uBTC.
Bitckerz: This site has a number of different ways to earn Bitcoin, from PTC to watching videos to micro-tasks. Not all of them are active, and they seem to be making their ad selection better. Other strategies include upgrading to get a higher per-click rate. The payout for ads isn’t too high here but things might change in the future.
Special Note: You can upgrade on the website, which gives you a higher payout from the ads that you visit. However, that means you should be a regular on the site for it to be profitable. Do the math before you upgrade. Also, the site seems to add new methods and features quite often, so stay on top of updates.
Payment: The minimum payout is the equivalent of $0.10 in Bitcoin, which makes it very easy to reach minimum payout.
Neobux: This is the only PTC on the list I’ll mention that isn’t directly related to Bitcoin payments. However, I mention this because it is the most reliable Paid to Click site out there, and the payments are much higher than what you see above with the Bitcoin PTC sites. If you have any way to convert USD to BTC, then this is a very good option to consider. There are plenty of features – from rented referrals to bonuses to random drawings. It is overall one of the best PTC sites out there. It’s a pity they don’t offer Bitcoin. Yet.
Special Note: There are lots of other payment options like PayPal or Payza. There are also “investments” you can consider on the site that will help you increase your earnings. If you are a regular PTC user, and click on ads everyday, this site has excellent resources for you in terms of investments in referrals. Also, upgrading memberships can be a good investment at Neobux, something very rare in the PTC world.
Payment: Payment varies by ad type, from $0.02 to $0.001 and the type of membership that you have.
Bitvisitor: *PAYMENT STATUS UNKNOWN* This is one of the most popular and trusted Bitcoin PTC site out there (and probably one of the oldest as well). You visit advertiser sites for a total of 5 minutes and then click on next on the top right corner to go to the next site. You don’t need to be on the page for 5 minutes; you can just let it run in another tab while you work on something else. Every visit is worth anywhere from 10uBTC to 100uBTC on an average. It is also a very good way to get to know about the new Bitcoin based businesses since most of them tend to end up advertising here.
Special Note: Be sure you click on the ‘Next’ at the top right in the frame. It is the only way you get credited for your visit. If you don’t and the timer is at 0:00, you will still not get credited.
Payment: Automatic payments. Minimum payment is 100uBTC.
Coin of Midas – *INACTIVE FOR A WHILE NOW* Coin of Midas is another veteran in the game (they were also one of the first to offer a Litecoin faucet although that’s currently inactive) where you can get free Bitcoins for visiting advertiser sites. It isn’t the traditional ‘bux’ script that is so popular in the non-Bitcoin PTC world but they have programmed the website from scratch. You get paid 10uBTC for every click.
Special Note: You need to be on the advertiser site for 30 seconds, i.e. the window needs to be in focus for a total of 30 seconds. You cannot browse away. This is annoying if you’re the one clicking on ads but as an advertiser, this is gold. I think advertising here is therefore more effective because you’re guaranteed 30 seconds of eyeballs for every click.
Payment: 10 uBTC/click, minimum payout is 1 mBTC (100 ad visits). 30 seconds per visit.
Click2Dad: *NOT ACTIVE ANYMORE* A newer PTC than the other players, but it makes it up with an excellent design and other features. On the ad clicking part, you see exactly which site you’re going to visit and for how long. It also generally has a lot more ads to click – about 20 or so, and pays higher as well. As a result, it seems easier to reach payout here than on other PTC sites. Best of all, you get regular bonuses to help you reach that level. The minimum payout at 1mBTC is a bit high though in my opinion, but considering all the bonuses like a joining bonus, it’s probably still a fair deal. The site looks very promising and is becoming popular by the day. The ads pay 3.5uBTC-10uBTC on average for 10 seconds of viewing the ad.
Special Note: There are additional ways to make money on this site, like an autosurf program, and two lotto games that pay out in some lucky cases but there’s no downside if you ‘lose’, i.e., they are not gambling in that you don’t lose any money. It’s just a fun way to top up your earnings from the PTC side of things (these are under the banner of Free Bitcoins on the top menu).
Payment: Payments are through Bitcoin, minimum payout is 1mBTC. To request payout, go to My Account > Withdrawal and enter the amount that you want to withdraw. Note that you’ll have to enter your valid Bitcoin address before you can do so, in your account profile.
C) Free Gambling Giveaways/Free Bitcoins Based on Chance
In this section, I’ll list the Bitcoin gambling sites that actually give you free Bitcoins to play around with. There are two types here – one that have a one-time offer of free Bitcoin when you create your account and another that give you free Bitcoins on a regular basis. Both of these can be a nice source of Bitcoins actually. Note that some of the one-time gambling giveaway might mean that you have to use your free gift to gamble and if you’re able to make it up to a certain minimum, you can withdraw, just like how real casino ‘coupons’ work. On the other hand, there is usually no catch with the Bitcoin gambling sites that give you free Bitcoins repeatedly, although they tend to be lower in value for obvious reasons.
FreeBitcoin: This is a very popular Bitcoin site that pays out based on chance, and you can enter once every hour, so there’s plenty of opportunity to earn some Bitcoins through the day. It’s based on the imitation of a dice-game, so you ‘roll’ a number and depending on what you roll, your payout is going to be different. However, even if you roll the lowest amount, you can still make some decent Bitcoins since it pays every hour. I would consider the effort to be on-par or less than the Bitcoin paid to click sites mentioned above, for the same payout.
Special Note: If you’re feeling lucky, there’s always the option of betting your own Bitcoin. This is actually a neat feature because you can use the free Bitcoins you get to quench your Bitcoin gambling thirst. This route is obviously not a way to build wealth but to have fun, and it goes without saying that if you gamble, please do so responsibly. However, in order to get paid from this website, you don’t need to gamble at all. You can just withdraw whatever you have once you hit the minimum withdrawal.
Payment: You have a 98.85% chance of getting 438 satoshi for free, about 0.1% chance of increasing this x10, about a 0.06% chance of increasing this x100, 0.03% chance of x1000, 0.02% chance of x10,000 and 0.01% chance of x100,000. Not too shabby!
Free Bitcoin Lottery: This is a nice site to satisfy your Bitcoin gambling urges, if you have any, while making a few satoshi in the process (you’re unlikely to get rich. On the plus side, there’s no downside other than your time). You pick 6 numbers out of 49, and depending on how many you picked ‘right’, you get paid accordingly. Not a lot, but a few satoshis.
Special Note: Know your odds! The payment keeps changing, and the information is displayed on the top of the page. You can get some free satoshi but don’t expect high payouts. I’ve known people who were addicted to Bitcoin gambling use this site as a nice alternative since you don’t end up losing any Bitcoin in the process.
Payment: Payment is sent to Coinbox.me which will pay you out once you reach the minimum thresholds that wouldn’t trigger transaction fees on the Bitcoin network.
BitPoker: A relatively new entrant in the Bitcoin gambling space, but the site has a great feature of an in-built faucet that pays you out based on the total amount wagered so far. The good news is, you get paid even if you haven’t put any Bitcoin in your account or wagered anything. The faucet pays out from 1250 satoshi to 25,000 satoshi depending on how much you’ve wagered so far. If you haven’t wagered anything, you get 1250 satoshi per hour, which isn’t a bad deal. At that point of time, you’re just playing with the house money.
Special Note: If you’re good at poker or can just break even, your faucet payments goes up significantly as your total wagers increase. Even a modest 0.01 BTC gives you 5000 satoshi per hour through the internal faucet. Note that your balance must be below 400 satoshi to claim, so the site is good for poker players who want to play with real money but without putting any of their own money. To claim the faucet, go to the Funding/Faucet page on the site.
Payment: Minimum withdrawal is 0.001 BTC.
D) Watching Videos
Bitcoin Get: BitcoinGet was discussed above as a micro-task website where you can perform small tasks online and get paid in Bitcoins. There is a video section here that pays 50uBTC/video watched. This is the highest I’ve seen in the industry. ABitBack, for instance, has the same videos that pay just 30uBTC/video, as an example. Read my full BitcoinGet Review to learn more.
Special Note: Stay away from the ‘Special Offers’ section of this site, even though they may appear lucrative because in most cases you’ll need to give your personal information such as your physical address or phone number to advertisers. In addition to watching videos, you can perform tasks online as well to increase your overall payments. Virool videos can be skipped after watching 30 seconds of it, so you don’t have to watch the whole video. This will help you quickly skip the uninteresting videos.
Payment: Payment is automatic within 24 hours once the account balance reaches 100uBTC.
Land of Bitcoin: This is a fairly new website that has several ways to get some free Bitcoin. The thing I like about this site is that it isn’t afraid to experiment with some new payment methods. For instance, when the site was new, they had an option to buy ASIC miner shares that pay out over a period of time (this isn’t offered anymore). The main way to earn Bitcoin through this site is through Virool Videos. There’s also a faucet that pays anywhere from 10-100 satoshi every 5 minutes. They just came up with a Paid-to-Click model of advertising that pays around 10uBTC per advertiser click. It has additional games you can play as well. The site keeps changing often, so it’s hard to describe it in one niche, but it’s always an interesting mix of features and ways to earn Bitcoin online.
Special Note: You only need to watch the Virool videos for 30 seconds to get credited, so you don’t need to spend time watching the whole video. Also, keep an eye out for new ways to get free Bitcoins from this site.
Payment: Minimum payment of 100uBTC. Click on the Cashout Now button on the top right hand corner to get paid.
CoinTube: CoinTube is another site that pays you to view videos. In general, CoinTube has more number of videos than several other video sites, but it also pays out lower per video, so it is a trade-off.
Special Note: CoinTube is older than most other video sites in the Bitcoin community but was discontinued for a while. They are back in business again.
Payment: 20uBTC for every video watched.
If you have your own website or blog, you can monetize the traffic through Bitcoin based services. These are mostly through advertising. There are options for both pay-per-view and pay-per-click, and you can try both these options to select the one that suits you the best. Do note that these services are still in their initial stages of development both for publishers and advertisers, and no where near the inventory of say Google Adsense.
Pay-Per-Click Ad Units from Coin URL: This is an ad unit from Coin URL that is very similar to Google Adsense, except that it is tailored for the Bitcoin system. Note that most of the ads here are of businesses that are in the Bitcoin economy. It is a pay-per-click model which means you get paid only for the visitor clicks and not the number of banner impressions. I personally use this ad unit for my blog – the ad unit that you see on the top right of this blog is an ad unit from Coin URL.
Special Note: Cookies need to be enabled for a Coin URL link to be registered. If cookies are not enabled in the browser, then you won’t get credited for the click.
Payment: Minimum payment is 5mBTC. No fees is charged for a monthly withdrawn amount of 0.15 BTC. Beyond that, there is a fee of 12%.
Pay-Per-View Ad Units from Anonymous Ads: This ad unit pays based on the number of banner impressions to the ad unit. The numbers have been fluctuating pretty wildly for me, so it is hard to give an estimate of what the average cost per impression is, but it is something you can try it out and see if it works for you. For me, it worked really well on one site and moderately well on my other two sites.
Special Note: Your earnings can fluctuate greatly from one site to another, depending on site categories, advertiser preferences, conversions, etc. I would suggest trying this ad unit out for at least 30 days before you make a decision on whether it is worth it or not. It takes at least that much time for the ‘health’ of the ad unit to approach 100%. I like this ad unit because it is fairly unobtrusive on the site, and you don’t need a huge ad unit to register clicks and get paid.
Payment: Minimum payment is 0.1mBTC (0.0001BTC). Payments are automatic once they reach this threshold. This was lowered from an earlier minimum of 10mBTC, so it makes experimenting for publishers all the more convenient and easy.
URL Shortener for Links from Coin URL: This service is very similar to adf.ly in that you can use it as a link shortener. However, when a visitor clicks on this link, you’ll be redirected through an advertising landing page where you need to click on ‘Skip Ad’ to actually go visit the site. As an example, consider visiting Google through my Coin URL link. You’ll see that you’re directed first to an advertiser’s page and when you click on ‘Skip Ad’ to the top right corner, only then will you actually go to Google. You’ll be paid based on the number of clicks to your links.
Special Note: If I am a webmaster, I wouldn’t go overboard with this. Even though you’ll get a few Bitcoin for the clicks, it is annoying to your readers when they have to go through hoops to reach the site they are interested in. There is potential of losing some of your readers if you overdo this.
Payment: Minimum payment is 5mBTC. No fees is charged for a monthly withdrawn amount of 0.15 BTC. Beyond that, there is a commission fee of 12%.
Operation Fabulous: This is a way to sell ad-space on your blog. Operation Fabulous acts as the middle-man, where publishers and advertisers sign up. You can set your own terms, such as a minimum bid for advertising on your blog. If an advertiser likes it, he can sign up to be an advertiser for your blog. If no one signs up, the banner just shows the Operation Fabulous logo that redirects to the advertising page. It is a good way to bring publishers and advertisers together. Right now, most advertisers seem to belong to the Bitcoin world.
Special Note: This was one of the earliest Bitcoin based advertising methods and is well known in the community. It isn’t always easy to land an advertiser though and there’s potential for lost revenue when you’re not getting paid showing the Operation Fabulous logo in your banner space. If you have space to spare though, could be a good option to consider.
Payment: Minimum payment is 0.05BTC. Payments are automatic and processed once a day. There is a 5% commission fee.
BitAds: BitAds is a new ad network similar to Operation Fabulous above. Some Bitcoin based blogs and businesses have seen better success with BitAds. The idea is the same – it works as an ad network that brings advertisers and publishers together. Publishers also have an option for the minimum pay per day for advertising on their blog. There are also several sizes of banners to choose from. You’ll have to display the ad banner even in the absence of any paying ads, which just displays the BitAds logo, so there is potential for loss of earnings potential. The site is still new, and the only way to contact them is through their BitcoinTalk forum thread but just a heads up on this option.
AdBit: AdBit is another new but promising ad-inventory site that lets publishers list their ad space and set a minimum bid per day. They offer 3 ad size units currently, and advertisers can directly bid on these properties. The advertisers know exactly what they are getting, as AdBit gives them an estimate of the traffic and impressions. This is a relatively new site that I am currently trying, so will update with more information about my experience when I have more information.
F) Bitcoin Community
By being a part of and engaging in the Bitcoin community, you can not only learn a lot about the fascinating world of crypto-currency and make some great connections in the process but also get some free Bitcoin in the process. It’s a tightly knit and close community of people that are early adopters of a very new technology, so you’ll find some fairly smart and interesting people in your interactions.
BitcoinTalk Forum Signatures: BitcoinTalk forum is the only Bitcoin based forum worth considering. After all, it was here that Satoshi Nakamoto implemented Bitcoin in the first place and moved it into the mainstream, which is almost a $1 billion economy less than half a decade later. If you’re new or want to engage in the community, there’s no better place than the BitcoinTalk forum. Now, there’s special incentive to be a member because you can easily sell your signature here and get free Bitcoins for it.
There are many threads and forums are pretty dynamic in nature, so do your research based on what suits you best (length of membership, number of posts per month, etc.) For example, you can sell your signatures here to get anywhere from 15-50mBTC per month.
Special Note: Keep an eye out for the best offer that suits you, depending on how long you’ve been a member and how many posts you have. Even if you’re new to the forum, there are some good signature selling threads that are newbie friendly.
Payment: Depends on the offer, your level of activity and history of community engagement. Payments are typically processed once a month.
CoinChat: *CURRENTLY INACTIVE* CoinChat is one of the best places to chat with fellow Bitcoin enthusiasts. You’ll find a bunch of people who were one of the earliest contributors to the community and folks who have started Bitcoin ventures. It is also a very good place to learn about Bitcoin and all the businesses around it. You get free Bitcoins for chatting here and making new friends. You’ll get rewards ranging anywhere from 0.02 – 0.2 mBTC for your contribution. They do have a complex algorithm that determines the payout, but on an average, a good half an hour of discussion can easily generate 1-2mBTC on this site.
Special Note: Behave! It is easy to get banned from here if you spam or don’t follow the rules. It is hard to police anything on the internet, but they take the quality of discussions very seriously here, so stop the hate and put on your nice-guy/nice-girl hat when you’re here.
Payment: Minimum payment is 5mBTC. The fees for withdrawal is 20% which reduces as the amount you withdraw increases.
G) Bitcoin Marketplaces
Bitcoin marketplaces are still evolving, and there are not too many of them. However, this does present an interesting opportunity for people who want to sell their goods or services to the Bitcoin community at large. There is a good potential for these marketplaces to take off though. There are interesting ideas in this space and there are sites already distinguishing themselves based on what is offered on the marketplace.
4Bitcoin for Services: This site is similar to Fiverr in that you can advertise a service that you can provide. However, the pricing is flexible, so you can quote any price you want. All payments are in Bitcoin of course. This marketplace is slowly but steadily gaining popularity in the Bitcoin community, so something worth checking out if you can offer some service.
Special Note: Remember the community and visitors here are usually associated with the Bitcoin community, small businesses and entrepreneurs. If you can provide some value to these businesses, you’re off to a good start. Don’t undersell yourself though, always quote a fair price.
Bitbooks for Books: Have a book or manuscript sitting on your file that you want to sell for some Bitcoin? This is the right place. The marketplace isn’t huge currently, but there’s no harm in putting something up for whoever wants to buy it. Of course it is anonymous, unlike say, selling on Amazon, so you don’t need to sign your work and tie it to your identity, which also means you can take more chances and create something bold and see if it succeeds or fails.
Special Note: This marketplace is relatively new and there aren’t too many books on sale yet. If you have something of value to offer, it might be easier to get in front of an audience (although limited) and get your book to be one of the most popular on the site.
Payment: Paid out every month or when your account balance reaches 0.1BTC. The site takes a commission of 5%.
CoinGig for Everything: CoinGig is an all-purpose Bitcoin marketplace just like eBay. You can buy and sell things for Bitcoin, everything from Bitcoin t-shirts to Handcrafted Indian Breastplate. It has the most diverse set of products on sale through Bitcoin that I’ve seen in any Bitcoin based marketplace (you can actually buy stuff that you NEED from here!) If you have things lying around or can actually make art yourself that you want to sell for Bitcoin, this is a great way.
Special Note: CoinGig is the largest and most trusted Bitcoin marketplace. This is very important because of the escrow system – you need to be sure, as a seller, that after you ship the item, you’ll get paid. It is very easy for fly-by-night marketplaces to scam both buyers and sellers. Trust and reputation really help in this marketplace.
Payment: This is a marketplace, so you need to ship the product. The buyer pays into an escrow account. You then ship the item. Once the buyer gets the product, the Bitcoin is sent to your account within 24 hours. See the FAQ page for how canceled orders are handled. CoinGig commission is 2.5% of the sale price.
H) Getting Bitcoins through Altcoins
Altcoins, or alternate-cryptocurrencies work using the same overall principle as Bitcoin. The major altcoins have some slight to significant differences from the main Bitcoin of course, like using the Scrypt protocol instead of SHA-256 for instance.
The best place to learn more about alternate crypto-currencies (altcoins) is on the official Alternate Cryptocurrencies forum of Bitcointalk forum. Currently, the most popular altcoin to Bitcoin is Litecoin.
When the Bitcoin economy gets too competitive, the altcoin economy might have something there for the average user.
Mining Altcoins: That’s right, it’s much easier to mine altcoins than Bitcoins. There are several reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that most altcoins use Scrypt as their mining protocol which is still easier to mine on CPU. Besides, there haven’t (yet) been ASICs for Scrypt yet. The idea is to mine these altcoins and exchange them for Bitcoins on an exchange or through direct user-to-user exchange with someone on the BitcoinTalk forum.
Special Note: If you’re able to get on board early on with promising altcoins, you can make a huge profit. Primecoin gained over 10 times within the first two days because the idea held promise and it distinguished itself from the crowd with something interesting and special. Also, coins that have a strong developer team behind them tend to do well. Avoid pump and dump schemes.
Payment: Exchange altcoins mined for Bitcoins on an exchange or peer-to-peer transfer.
Altcoin Trading: Altcoin trading can be a very profitable endeavor, if you know what you’re doing. The altcoin world is a very fast-changing one indeed and it’s hard to predict long-term trends. However, knowledge is the key here, and if you stick with the altcoins that are proven to have good ideas and a strong development team behind them, the downside is limited whereas sky is the limit. Since many new altcoins fall in the pump-and-dump schemes, do be careful that you’re not the bagholder after a pump. If you’re new, learn the game first before putting in real money.
Special Note: It should go without saying that there is a good probability that you’ll lose money. Be careful and trade only with what you can afford to lose. You can get a good list of altcoins at CoinMarketCap. I would also suggest that you not trade any altcoin you don’t fully know what it’s about, what the idea is and how it’s different from the rest of the coins out there. It’s important to take your precautions. The market can be extremely volatile.
Payment: Trade on reliable exchanges like Bter or Cryptsy and you can convert your altcoins to Bitcoin and then withdraw them to your wallet.
Altcoin Giveaways on BitcoinTalk Forum: There are several altcoin giveaways that don’t require you to do anything other than posting your wallet address. This is usually done in order to provide some initial interest in the coin and have more people use it. Merchant adoption, after all, is the key to the success of all altcoins. For instance, this Novacoin giveaway thread was giving out 1NVC to anyone posting their address. That’s about 0.05BTC based on the then exchange rate. That isn’t too shabby for a free giveaway.
Special Note: Giveaway threads start all the time. In order to stay on top of this, check the alternate cryptocurrencies section of Bitcointalk forum regularly. Also, a lot of new coins have giveaways for changing your profile picture to the logo of the coin. This isn’t a bad deal, considering it’s a very simple process really.
Payment: Exchange altcoins obtained through giveaways for Bitcoin on an exchange or peer-to-peer transfer. Altcoins are usually sent out once a day or once every few days and the threads are updated with this information.
Altcoin Faucets: There are several altcoin faucets that you can visit on a regular basis (usually once a day) and get some free altcoins. Litecoin faucets are the most popular, but there are several other altcoin faucet sites, like altcoin.tk that has a faucet that refreshes once a day.
Special Note: The faucets are constantly updating. Check out the alternate cryptocurrencies section of BitcoinTalk forum to be in the loop for new faucets. It’s a good idea to use faucets in conjunction with the giveaways listed above.
Payment: Coins are usually sent within a few days or when a minimum payout is reached, sent to your wallet address. These can then be exchanged for Bitcoin on an exchange or peer-to-peer transfer.
This section is not for everyone. However, if you have the skills required for each idea, you can definitely earn a good number of Bitcoins in the process.
Come up with Interesting Peer-to-Peer Betting Ideas: Betmoose is a peer-to-peer betting site based on real life events with specific deadlines (e.g. Barack Obama will be re-elected president of the United States or 1 Bitcoin will overtake 1oz of Gold by end of the year). I am not advocating gambling and that is a highly unreliable way to try to get free Bitcoins (it seldom is free). However, if you can come up with interesting ideas/statements for this, you can earn Bitcoins for your creativity. It is free to create a new bet, and you can earn anywhere from 0.5% to 1% depending on your ‘level’ of activity on the site. This can add up, especially if it’s a hot topic.
Special Note: Try to choose statements where people bet on both sides and make it interesting. Also, think of statements that would be popular globally rather than locally.
Payment: Depends on how popular your statement becomes. The site has a nice social component to it, so you should try to create goodwill in the community as well, with interesting ideas. It’s free to create new bets.
Create Your Own Altcoin: Intimidating? Doesn’t have to be. If you have some experience with C++ coding and are willing to spend some time looking through open-source code and coming up with a new idea/angle for an altcoin, you can go ahead and create your own altcoin.
Developers aren’t directly compensated for creating an altcoin of course. However, you could ‘premine’ a set number of coins (frowned upon in the community) or just mine along with everyone else. Never go overboard with premining; otherwise the coin will be DOA to the community.
The main sources of success of any altcoin are a new idea and a strong, committed development team. That’s it. If you can provide that, your coin can be a success. The first goal should be to get your coin listed on an exchange like Cryptsy.
Here’s a guide on how to create a brand new altcoin. Good luck!
Special Note: Winning over the community is key. Don’t underestimate the name and logo of your coin either. Make sure to provide something unique to the users/miners.
Payment: Payment is usually in the several forms – the value of your premined coins, your initial mining bounty along with other initial miners, getting your name out there in the community for bigger future projects, the satisfaction of seeing your creation out there in the wild, surviving, etc.
Make Gaming Bots for CoinChat: Creating gaming bots is a very effective way to earn some Bitcoin if you are able to create on. It is easy to host them on CoinChat simply because there is ready community of Bitcoin enthusiasts who are willing to bet Bitcoin either their own or whatever they earn in the chatroom for regular chatting. The first gaming bot hosted here was MooBot and it was a huge success. Consider creating your own.
Special Note: Make gambling games interesting and unique. Take ideas off of existing gaming systems if you must. The most popular game currently, under #gem, is the same idea as plenty of other Bitcoin based sites. You’ll find a supportive community in the admin and moderators (the admin was probably one of the first people in the world using Bitcoin for business purposes when Bitcoin initially came out).
Payment: Folks can be quite aggressive in their gambling at this site, because they get free mBTC for chatting that they can use to gamble. Multiply that by hundreds of active users and you have a solid foundation already. You don’t need much ‘maintenance’ because your code is hosted on the site itself. A certain percentage of your income goes to the CoinChat admin.
I) Bitcoin Arbitrage
J) Bitcoin Mining
L) Lending Bitcoins
To be updated soon
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