Updated Thursday, May 18th, 2017.
Earning money online without expending too much effort is something that everybody craves.
With the rise and increasing popularity of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether, it's no surprise that so many people are interested in joining the crypto-train—hopefully without paying too much for a ticket.
While most people are happy to fork out cash to buy Bitcoin, there are numerous ways to get your hands on digital currency that don't involve opening your wallet. Instead, these methods ask for a bit of time and mind-effort.
This page will discuss the various methods that can be employed to earn Bitcoin free of charge, including how much you can theoretically (and realistically) earn.#
For those who do not know (really?—it's 2017), Bitcoin is a digital currency based on a public ledger known as the “blockchain”. It was created back in 2009 by a person or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto, whose identity remains a well-guarded secret.
Bitcoin was created with the purpose of revolutionizing the traditional financial system, by leveraging peer-to-peer technology and hardcore mathematics. The currency is, strangely, backed by processing power instead of politics and greed—and it's completely unstoppable by banks or governments.
In addition to the freedom that Bitcoin provides over traditional currency, the cryptocurrency was created with speed in mind. Bitcoin transactions are processed instantly and quickly verified by a network of “miners” operating on the extremely-powerful blockchain network.
These Bitcoin transactions are much more cost effective than traditional bank transfers, considering the fact that most transactions only cost a few cents (yes, cents). If you've ever made a bank transfer across a border, you'll know how amazing that is (my bank charged me $50 USD on a $150 USD wire three days ago).
Bitcoin also has a fairly strong privacy element to it, as Bitcoin “addresses” (basically the Bitcoin version of bank account numbers) are not connected to the names of the beneficiaries. Transactions are pseudonymous by default, and there are even controversial ways to acquire complete financial anonymity with the cryptocurrency.
Apart from what has already been outlined, it's worth mentioning some of the pitfalls of Bitcoin. Firstly, transactions are by-default completely public due to the fact that the details for every transaction is stored within the blockchain ledger that I mentioned earlier. Also, Bitcoin is non-repudiable, which means that once a payment is sent to the network there's no way of getting a refund (besides asking nicely).#
The reasons why you might want to earn Bitcoin depend on how you look at the cryptocurrency. While some view it as a medium of private payments, others think of Bitcoin as an asset with real-world value that has huge profit potential.
Depending on who you are, you might want to earn Bitcoin for spending cash, for investment capital, or for liquidity. Or you might want to keep it as a sock-draw asset and wait for the global industrial financial system to collapse.
Right now, the value of Bitcoin is at an all-time market high — approximately $1,144 USD. With such a (relatively) high market price, even a fraction of one coin is now a decent sum. Even you were to earn only half a Bitcoin, the value could continue to grow over the months, and you could potentially be sitting on gold.
However, for a lot of people, Bitcoin is just a bit of fun.#
Before anything else, it's important to point out that earning Bitcoin without investing neither time nor money is nearly impossible. The methods outlined on this page require at least some amount of effort and brain-power, so you should stop here if you've already got a headache.
The list of methods on this page isn't exhaustive, as new ways of earning free Bitcoin online appear daily.
It may sound too good to be true, but if you read on, you'll find it is actually pretty darn easy to earn free Bitcoin. In the long run, by employing some of the methods on this page, you can earn yourself a viable sum of cash without investing even a cent.
You've probably answered a survey or two in your lifetime, but did you know you could be getting paid for it?
Online surveys have been around for ages. For those who don't know, these are questionnaires-of-sorts that can be completed over the internet.
Most of today's online surveys are created as simple web forms, linked to a database that stores every answer. The answers are used to create infographics, provide analytics, or to identify market sentiment, brand awareness or conduct broad market research.
As an example, a business owner might conduct an online survey to determine whether a demographic of people would be interested in purchasing a new product or service, or to learn the market's opinion about a certain subject.
Paid online surveys often work by rewarding people with vouchers, rebates or money when they answer a series of questions.
Bitcoin surveys on the other hand are still fairly new to the market, yet they're mostly similar to the traditional ones — the only difference being that free Bitcoin is given out as an incentive instead of coupons.
By repetitively answering Bitcoin-based online surveys, you can earn small amounts of the digital currency.
Here are some sites to get you started (I haven't tested these personally yet):
Another method of earning free Bitcoin is to access websites offering “bonus programs”.
The way this works is that website owners and people pay you to do a task (like viewing an ad, downloading an app or trying out a new game). In return for time spent to do these things, the people posting these offers give out Bitcoin, coupons or cash as incentives.
Currently, there are numerous websites offering huge Bitcoin bonus programs. One example would be “Free Digital Money”, which is known for giving visitors access to over one thousand offers. Another popular site is BTCClicks.
Some of the strange offers available on the internet include signing up to various websites and checking search engine results for certain specific searches. Lots of weird shit like that.
Most bonus programs do not require users to register an account, yet sharing your Bitcoin address is required.
Find out something you are good at and enjoy, and offer your services online.
This way, you'll be getting paid in Bitcoin for the work that you do, which is virtually limitless. You can write, code, edit, proofread, design, enter data, conduct surveys, carry out research etc — and be paid in Bitcoin in return. In the long run, after working online for a while, and considering the possible value fluctuations of cryptocurrencies, you could end up making a small fortune without needing to invest anything else apart from time.
As an example, I'm usually on the other end of this market. I found somebody to translate this website into the Russian language on Bitcointalk, and I paid another guy from the same place to write most of this page. In total, I've spent several thousand dollars hiring freelancers from Bitcointalk—and I'm not alone.
Find out what you do best and promote yourself on the various Bitcoin services marketplaces. The best places to advertise your services are:
People have been earning money online through affiliate marketing for years, and with the Bitcoin-revolution currently taking place, it's no surprise that Bitcoin-based affiliate campaigns have appeared as well.
Bitcoin affiliate programs are programs that incentivize promoting a good or service in exchange for revenue share in Bitcoin. Some companies pay up to 50% of revenue from customers you refer. If you've got a website or blog, or if you have rich friends, this is the best option for you.
Most Bitcoin affiliate programs work by generating you a unique URL to share, which is tied to your account. Once you get a link, you can go ahead and promote it anywhere you'd like (within reason), and purchases made by people who click it will earn you a tasty commission.
Sometimes, revenue is paid through a CPA (cost-per-action) model, but I prefer the revenue share models as it feels more transparent. Currently, most of the Bitcoin affiliate programs pay their affiliates in BTC, yet there are also a few which pay out fiat — choosing the right site depends on your financial preferences (I strongly recommend choosing a program which pays out in BTC).
Driving traffic through affiliate programs is really simple. For example, if you have a blog and have shared your affiliate link, you'll either get a percentage of all sales made by the people you have referred, or a fixed payment, depending on the programs that you are collaborating with.
Perhaps the greatest thing about affiliate programs is that once you refer somebody, you get a lifetime commission from every single purchase they make. Somebody could follow you link, make an account but never purchase anything — years later, they'll return and you'll still get a cut. This means that your affiliate revenue should keep increasing as you build up more customers, and it will create a permanent stream of passive income so long as the business doesn't shut down.
Once you've built a decent following begin making decent money from Bitcoin affiliate programs, you can leverage your experience to earn a higher commission rate. Once the business sees you as a reliable source of customers, you can negotiate your way up to a 50% — or higher — deal — don't be afraid to reach out to the business owner(s) via e-mail or Facebook.
To help make things easier, we have also created a list of some of the most lucrative affiliate programs available in 2017. Without further ado, the following websites offer affiliate programs:
For those of you with a weak moral compass (I kid), you can also get paid to promote online gambling. Online Bitcoin casinos offer some of the most lucrative affiliate programs. Here are some of the numerous Bitcoin casino affiliate programs:
I'm going to shamelessly use myself as an example again: I've been promoting affiliate programs for two years now, and I earn upwards of $1,000 per week doing it.
If you enjoy spending your time on Bitcoin forums such as BitcoinTalk, why not join a signature campaign? They're an added bonus to all of the threads you start, and replies that you make — no matter how shitty.
Signature campaigns are often organized by an individual, company or group of people who would like to promote their services or products across the entire forum, and most signature campaigns tend to pay fairly well.
To make life easier, some nice staffer by the name of “Mitchell” over at Bitcointalk has made a comprehensive list of all active signature campaigns that you can join. I recommend you check that out.
Some signature campaigns require that you have a particular account level or that you post several times per day, however most campaigns are open to all users who submit on-topic posts. If you're not a spammer or Nazi sympathiser, then there is a signature campaign for you somewhere.
Depending on your current user rank on the forum (junior, member, senior member, hero member, legendary member or VIP), you will be entitled to a different payment, based on the structure being employed. Increasing your rank to earn more is fairly easy, as you'll simply need to post often with on-topic comments. It's not rocket science.
Some signature campaigns pay per post you make, while others pay a fixed monthly or weekly price. It's up to you to decide which payment model you prefer — I like the fixed ones since then I know exactly what to expect each month.
On top of the free monthly Bitcoin, by joining a Bitcoin signature campaign, you're going to learn more about the cryptocurrency, make new friends, and also become a more-respected member of the community.
Be careful of signature deals that sound too good to be true — unless the deal is protected by escrow (i.e. a trusted community member middle-mans the deal).
A Bitcoin faucet is a type of “reward system” that dispenses free Bitcoins, usually in exchange for completing a captcha or task. Think of it as a modern way to bribe the Internet for more web traffic.
Surprisingly, the first Bitcoin faucet was invented by Bitcoin Core developer Gavin Andresen in 2010.
The amount of money you can make from a Bitcoin faucet varies: most only give away a few satoshis at a time, but with the right site and dedication you could easily make a few hundred dollars reasonably quickly. (By the way, one satishi is another name for a hundredth of a millionth BTC.)
People create free Bitcoin faucets for a number of reasons, yet the most common driving forces are:
As an example, there are a ton of Bitcoin casinos which double-up as free Bitcoin faucets. This is because marketing can be difficult in the online gambling world — it's a grey area, and casinos are often restricted from traditional advertising such as Google AdWords, YouTube ads, billboards and radio.
One strategy that Bitcoin casinos have been using lately is to plainly give away free money through a Bitocin faucet. The goal here is to attract as many new players as possible. This might sound like a stupid idea for a casino operator to do, but it's actually profitable.
If it costs the casino $9,000 in giveaways in order to eventually find someone who blows $10,000, it’s still a return on investment. Casinos have worked out that giving money away is actually a good way to make money. Besides, most people who claim free Bitcoins from these faucets never withdraw it—they just give it back. Don’t make that mistake!
I never recommend gambling away faucet money, because it usually never tends to work out. Instead, collect, collect, collect and collect, and then withdraw.
Some sites allow you to withdraw instantly after a faucet collection, while others don’t. The usual trick to encourage you to gamble or abandon your free Bitcoins is to have a minimum withdrawal amount higher than what you can claim. No worries — just keep collecting, and you’ll be able to withdraw in no time.
Usually Bitcoin faucets allow you to claim free money every few minutes, so if you collect 2 mBit every three minutes over four hours, you will have accumulated 160 mBit ($250). That’s not bad for a few hours of clicking!
The sites that do allow you to withdraw instantly usually pay less than those who don't, but if you accumulate enough, you can withdraw a pretty substantial sum of Bitcoin in no time. If you regularly use normal faucets to earn free Bitcoins, this may be a faster and more lucrative option than hopping many sites at once.
Some Bitcoin casinos offer showers of Bitcoin, which usually pay the same amount as a faucet. The difference between a Bitcoin faucet and Bitcoin rain is that rain money gets distributed to everybody at once. Other than that, it’s essentially the same thing.
In today's world, tipping has become commonplace.
When people appreciate something they read, or a service they have been given, they'll sometimes pay to show their appreciation. With this in mind, earning Bitcoin by being tipped is not difficult at all.
For example, if you have created a quirky reddit bot, or coded an application that you don't want to sell, you can introduce your Bitcoin address near the download button. Those who are kind enough might donate/tip money to you if they like what you've created. The same principle applies if you own a blog and you write smart articles — copy and paste your Bitcoin address in the footer.
Just try it: add a Bitcoin address to some content that others might like. Even if you think nobody will care enough to donate, there's no harm in trying — you never know.
Here's mine: 1G7YuorMmZzUBMukeftcXEHysR7tN8oAhd.
Bitcoin games are sometimes referred to as “fun faucets”.
To put things better into perspective, they require zero investment and offer you small fractions of Bitcoin every time you win, manage to beat a level, or reach a higher score.
These Bitcoin games normally make their money from smart ad campaigns, and can afford to give out small amounts of the cryptocurrency (in exchange for the massive influx of traffic).
Therefore, if you'd rather play an actual game, then spend all day entering captchas on traditional faucet websites, then perhaps Bitcoin games are a better solution for you.
Before anything else, it is important to be aware that mining Bitcoin won't be easy, and it'll likely require investing both time and money, bit I've included it anyway.
Bitcoin mining nowadays requires purchasing, and keeping an eye on the mining equipment that will be doing all of the heavy lifting.
During the last couple of years, mining Bitcoin has become considerably more difficult, while the rewards for each block mined have also gotten much lower. Currently, 12.5 BTC is given for each block mined, whereas last year, the reward was of 25 BTC.
While you can theoretically mine the digital currency without a huge investment, the money you'll make won't really classify as a profit. In fact, you'll probably be spending much more on electricity per month than you will earn through mining Bitcoin. If the value does end up increasing more, only then will the funds that you get classify as profit.
Today, there are numerous methods of trading Bitcoin that you can try out. Generally, trading Bitcoin consists of buying low and selling high, while foreseeing the possible value fluctuations in the digital currency. However, becoming a trader can be quite difficult, considering the fact that you'll have to know just about everything there is to know about the digital currency, and how it behaves on the market.
Foreseeing market events, and predicting how the value will change is the key to making a profit while trading Bitcoin. While luck is also important to a certain extent, education, smart fund management, an understanding of the underlying market principles, and a love for FOREX are all required to make Bitcoin trading profitable.
On the other side of the spectrum, you might also want to consider Bitcoin investment websites, Bitcoin CFDs and Bitcoin binary options, yet an initial investment will be needed, therefore, you won't be technically earning Bitcoin for free.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, by following the methods mentioned above, you can end up accumulating a small fortune worth of digital currency with ease. In case its value will continue to increase, you can theoretically become rich with the help of Bitcoin, without investing a single cent.