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/financial overview of how the Bitcoin system works, check out the resources in the Learn Section.
Online Bitcoin Wallets
I like Coinbase for the simple reason that it pays any transaction fees that the Bitcoin network demands while sending money out. Even though the fees is small, it can add up. In addition, Coinbase has a very nice and easy way to buy Bitcoin online in multiple countries. However, Coinbase holds your private keys.
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 an exchange like Poloniex or Bittrex. If you don’t want to create yet another account at an exchange, you can convert altcoins instantaneously to Bitcoin (and vice versa) using ShapeShift or Changelly. 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). Also called a ‘bit’, so 1 bit = 100 satoshi = 1/1,000,000th of a Bitcoin
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.
I am not making this post about Bitcoin faucets. However, if you really are a fan of faucets that pay a few hundred satoshi each time you visit them, I would recommend using ifaucet. It is a faucet rotator but gives you much more control over the whole process, such as blocking some sites if you don’t like them, or selecting the type of captcha you want. It also blocks stupid popup ads and other unnecessary scripts, so makes for a nicer browsing experience. If you’re looking for faucets, this is all you’ll need.
Also, 99Bitcoin’s milli faucet is a good grab if you’re into faucet-like micropayments.
You can also join QoinPro. This is unique in that there are no captchas and you just need to register and wait for payouts. It is a slower process, but doesn’t need any effort from your side at all.
Paid To Click Bitcoin Sites
Paid To Click (PTC) is a small genre of making money online that has seen wavering fortunes over the last decade. PTC in Bitcoin is still new, and there are not as many choices, surprisingly. 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.
Bitter: This had a significantly better standing in the past, but today requires installing a Chrome plugin to access. It isn’t all bad – the plugin lets you know whenever a new ad is available. It’s relatively new compared to some of the other sites that have been around for years, but the experience on Bitter is so much better than generic ‘bux’ type sites, that I think it’s worth mentioning this at the top. It is also one of the fastest growing Bitcoin PTC sites out there, and it has its fans due to its great design and prompt payments. This means you keep getting more advertisers with time, and thus more Bitcoins. It is not one of the ‘bux’ sites, i.e. it doesn’t use the same script as many other sites on this list. The navigation is completely different, and in a good way. The design looks much more elegant. The overall experience has been the best PTC experience among all sites. Also, the payouts seem fairly good, and the site tells you exactly how much you’ll gain after visiting the site and filling in a captcha. Another big bonus is the captcha is an easy one, so you don’t end up wasting a lot of time.
Special Note: You can click on the ads to the left hand side of the page. There is also an account and preferences section, from where you can requests withdrawals, on the top right hand side associated with the username. Also, remember that the site has ‘levels’ depending on how many ads you’ve clicked in the last 7 days. At the highest level 3, which is easy to reach, you can easily reach the minimum withdrawal amount every day, which is quite convenient.
Payment: The minimum payout is
10uBTC 70uBTC which can be reached in 3-4 days usually, depending on your level, which in-turn is based on how many ads you clicked in the last week. This is also a good site for those looking for low minimum payout sites.
BitsforClicks (previously Coin Ad) – BitsForClicks (formerly CoinAd) is now a veteran of the Bitcoin community and has been operating its PTC for several years now, very successfully. It is also 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 5-15 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: This 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 – BTCClicks has also been around for a while now, and has been running a PTC quite successfully so far. 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.
Ads4BTC: This site is styled after Neobux, the largest PTC site out there. It resembles this based on the organization of various ads on the page, sorted by the timer on the ads. This is a nice feature to have, since you can visually categorize your clicks and go from highest to lowest or skip the lower paying ones altogether if you want. Another very convenient feature is there is no captcha on the site (yet). The ad timers are also very transparent, so you know how long each ad click is. There is decently good ad inventory.
Special Note: The site asks you to unblock ad blocker to access the ads. Otherwise, the ad rates are quite competitive with the industry.
Payment: Minimum payout is 0.001 BTC.
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.
CoinAdder: This is another relatively new PTC site that pays out in Bitcoin. CoinAdder is different from other sites in that they have a standard payout for each ad on their site. This is unlike all the previous other sites that I’ve mentioned. The rate is lower than the previous ones, but on the other hand, their volumes are much higher. It’s a tradeoff that will appeal to some and not to the others.
Special Note: If you are picky about which sites to use for PTC, this shouldn’t be on top of your list, just because the average payout per ad is usually lower. If you’re looking for total payout though, this is a nice option to add to your repertoire.
Payment: Currently the payout is 50 satoshi per ad visited. You also get 500 satoshi when you sign up for the first time, so that gives you a head start.
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.
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.
Paid To Share Bitcoin Sites
Paid to share Bitcoin sites are a new genre of sites that can be classified under the ‘Get Paid to’ category with payments in Bitcoin. These are different from other sites because the payouts are not fixed. Instead, your payments depend on how many people from across the globe saw an image or a gif. Thus it is a type of revenue sharing where the uploaders earn Bitcoin based on the advertising revenue received by the site. With Imgur losing some of its dominance (especially after allegations of censorship during the US presidential elections), these newer platforms are trying to build network effects by rewarding people who upload content.
Supload: Supload was one of the first sites to try this idea out. You will see some of the content from Supload on Reddit. It is a very good Imgur clone. It can be used as links and also as hotlinks. Note that you won’t get paid for hotlinking to an image, but only when you send visitors to their site (that’s when the site makes money off of advertising). It isn’t as popular as some of the other Imgur alternatives, but it pays you Bitcoin and might catch up.
Loopnroll: A relatively new site very similar to Supload. They share 50% profit with the image uploader. You get daily earnings. It is a new site, but if you’re uploading images to share on popular social media sites, it’s a good enough option to consider.
Paid To Work Bitcoin 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.
21 Tasks: 21, led by the serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist Balaji Srinivasan, is the best funded Bitcoin startup in the world (I am not counting ‘blockchain’ startups). It is no wonder then that the company has great ambitions, including creating true decentralized competitors for existing centralized services. For ordinary folks, there are two ways to earn Bitcoin with 21 – 21 tasks and 21 paid email service. 21 tasks are easy to get started, although not as numerous (currently), but I suspect it will be able to compete with the likes of Amazon’s mechanical turk in the future. 21 paid email service is for ‘unsolicited’ emails where the sender needs to pay you to send you an email. This competes directly with LinkedIn’s InMail service.
Special Note: 21 is rolling out new products, services, and features every few months. Keep an eye out – there should be lots of opportunities to earn some Bitcoin here. Easy things like connecting LinkedIn, or just reading about a few features also gets you Bitcoin – a quick one-time way to get free Bitcoins.
Payment: Payments are in Bitcoin, but may need identity verification.
PaidBooks: This site pays you to read books – for real. You get paid every 10 minutes while reading a fairly large collection of classic books. All the books seem to be in the public domain, so the site can freely pull the content from these books and show it to the people. The site makes money via advertising – while you’re flipping through the pages, you may see a small advertisement in the middle of the text. It’s not a bad distraction. The site is also well organized, and fairly amenable to read, if you’re ok reading books online. Seriously, how can you not like a site that literally pays you to read a book?
Special Note: There is a fairly large collection of books on the site that you can choose from. Just click on ‘next page’ to navigate to the next page. There is also a timer at the bottom that counts down from 10 minutes. Remember that you get paid once every 10 minutes.
Payment: Payment is 800 satoshi every 10 minutes. You will need to click on the ‘Get Paid and Turn to Next Page’ at the bottom of the screen. There is also going to be a captcha to complete.
BitcoinReward: This site contains many third-party online tasks that you can complete and get paid in Bitcoin. This includes everything from Crowdflower tasks to watching videos to completing tasks. The payouts are competitive based on industry standards, and the payments are instantaneous too. Another good feature is that there is no need to create an account – you can just enter your Bitcoin address and get started.
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 relatively 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. Just variety wise, this site has one of the largest options available, and is rapidly also including a bunch of Bitcoin faucets in the mix.
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 5mBTC paid out directly to your Bitcoin wallet.
Coin Worker: A relatively new site that has microtasks from third-party applications.
Earn Bitcoin By Freelancing Online
Coinality: Coinality is a great site which collates a lot of Bitcoin-related job postings from various sources into once single place, while also being a place for people to advertise their own Bitcoin-related jobs. It is easy to filter jobs through full-time, part-time, freelance, etc. It is possible to find a few well-paying Bitcoin gigs on the site. Personally, I’ve had at least two good short-term writing gigs from Coinality that were freelance and paid fairly well. You may have other skills like graphic designing, programming, etc. that you could use to earn some Bitcoin this way. You can apply for jobs or gigs directly through Coinality or via a third-party site. There are lots of small gigs like writing, logo designing, etc.
Reddit’s r/jobs4Bitcoins: This subreddit posts any jobs that people are looking to hire and pay with Bitcoin. The subreddit isn’t super-active, but still worth checking out once in a while. Also, the usual nature of jobs here is short-term gigs and freelance assignments as opposed to longer term job offers. If you’re looking for a chance to work on a quick assignment and get paid Bitcoin, it’s worth checking out.
Ethlance: Ethlance is a website built using the Ethereum blockchain, with a 0% service fees. It’s goal is to compete with Elance, but for now, it is being used more as a jobs board (i.e. work being done outside of the app itself). Ethereum is a fast-developing ecosystem, with lots of projects being built on top of it. It is very easy to convert from Ethereum to Bitcoin if you want to. Some of the top players in the Ethereum ecosystem are advertising on that platform. Although Ethlance is relatively new, it has a few jobs already and is growing fast.
XBTFreelancer: This is a jobs board where people are looking to hire freelancers from all over the world for small assignments like writing, data entry, logo creation, etc. There are not too many US/European clients here, so the pay tends to be a little lower, but if the jobs fall within your budget, it’s worth a try. The jobs are not necessarily restricted to the Bitcoin or cryptocurrency niche, but can be all types of jobs, like Elance (but smaller of course).
Now it should go without saying that you can lose money if you trade. However, there are many traders who are repeatedly successful (repeatedly being the key word, otherwise it is just dumb luck). The two most important things to know are learning to control your own emotions, i.e. trading on systems and not on emotions, and understanding how others’ emotions drive the markets (captured mostly in technical analysis).
If you want to make any significant amount of money trading Bitcoin, you’ll likely need to use leverage. Whaleclub is probably the best known Bitcoin trading portal that allows up to 100x leverage. Remember that leverage can amplify both gains and losses, so use it responsibly. Also, at Whaleclub, you can trade not just Bitcoin but also other cryptocurrencies, and other currencies/commodities like forex and gold.
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.
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.
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%.
BitMedia: BitMedia is one of the fastest growing ad networks in the Bitcoin and crypto space, and if you’re a webmaster looking to earn some Bitcoin, definitely give them a try. The ad units look very similar to CoinURL ad units and they are nice and clean. However, BitMedia has better reporting tools, and you can test out this ad unit against CoinURL and do some A/B testing to see which one works best for your site.
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.
MellowAds: MellowAds is a more recent advertising community, but is finding support on a lot of Bitcoin websites. It seems like a good way to get a high traffic volume from sites like faucets, PTC sites and the general Get-Paid-To (GPT) industry in the Bitcoin niche. The ads support banner ads of various sizes.
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. Check out this thread to find a more comprehensive list of signature campaigns at Bitcointalk forums.
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.
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.
Bitcoin marketplaces are looking very promising going forward, especially with the rapid developments in Open Bazaar, the decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace powered by Bitcoin, which can take everyday regular commerce to a whole new level with Bitcoin, since it takes no platform fees like eBay or Amazon.
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 Poloniex and Bittrex 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.
Upload and Share Viral Images: Supload is a new site that will pay you Bitcoin automatically, after you’ve accumulated $1 in credit. You may have started seeing the images being shared on Reddit already. If you know your communities and can upload images that have the potential to go viral, upload them on Supload and share them with the community.
Make Gaming Bots for CoinChat *Not active anymore* : 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.
This is a risky business, especially with new companies that seem to underwrite a lot of these loans. Be very careful who you decide to lend money to. Global marketplaces are all well and good until someone fails to honor their debt obligation or simply takes the money and runs and there is really nothing you can do. However, I won’t let the few bad apples spoil the idea – yes, if you do it intelligently, you may make a good return on your Bitcoin investments through lending Bitcoins to others.
Bitbond: Bitbond is more curated than BTC Jam and usually lends to small businesses, which are far more secure than individuals in this case (since it is tougher to scam by applying for a business loan instead of personal loan). It is a peer to peer lending marketplace like Lending Club or Prosper, except it is global in scope. They denominate all the loans in USD, so do be aware of that. This can be good or bad, of course, depending on the price movement of BTC/USD. Still, the proposition carries its risks, so don’t invest anything you can’t afford to lose.
BTC Jam: This is the largest peer to peer lending marketplace but unfortunately also has a lot of scams, so be very careful. It is almost like the wild-west of investing/lending. I am sure there are plenty of legitimate users who borrow and pay back, but there are also many who have no intention of ever paying back. Know the risks before you give anyone your Bitcoins.
Loanbase: Loanbase is another company that is working in the peer-to-peer Bitcoin lending. It promises that the loan doesn’t affect your credit score, which is a mixed blessing, since there is a higher incentive to default. The loan volume has been steadily increasing, and the average returns advertised are above 7% for a ‘balanced’ portfolio as opposed to cautious or aggressive. However, the data points go back only several months and you should be careful in extrapolating this data. It hasn’t even seen a full business cycle, after all!
I) Bitcoin Arbitrage
J) Bitcoin Mining
To be updated soon
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