The Ultimate Guide to Earning Bitcoins Fast and Free in 2016

It’s been a while since I wrote a new post, and it feels good to be back! Today, I’m going to cover all of the available ways there are to to earn Bitcoins online. Before I begin, I just want to make something very clear:

There is no easy way to make a substantial amount of Bitcoins

Just like there’s no easy way to make a substantial amount of US dollars or any other valuable currency for that matter. The good news is that if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can achieve some very nice earnings online. Later on in this post, I’ll expose some of my own earnings so you can see what I mean.

Also, there’s no such thing as “free bitcoins”. It will always cost you something to get Bitcoins. It may not always be money, but something needs to be spent, whether it’s time, your email address, viewing ads or anything else.

I hope I didn’t burst your bubble too much right at the start of this post, but if you’re still here with me, let’s dive into the different ways you can earn Bitcoins today.

#1 – Micro Earnings

This is probably the easiest niche to get into, but it’s also the most time consuming. Methods that belong to this niche usually take up a lot of time and pay a fairly small (almost irrelevant) amount of Bitcoins. Even if you have a lot of free time on your hands, this still won’t bring you too much income. Also, some of the websites that pay out micro earnings have built-in malware and viruses, so you need to stay safe and not click any links you don’t trust.

PTC or Paid-to-Click websites ($0.4/hour on avg.)

As the name suggests, these are websites that will give you small amounts of Bitcoin for viewing ads and visiting websites. The most popular PTC website today is ads4BTC. The site will give you a choice between 5-second ads, 10-second ads and 20-second ads, as shown here:

Ads4BTC payout

As you can see, even if we watch 20-second ads all day long for 24 hours, we will be making 0.0216BTC. So basically, we’ll be making $9.612 for 24 hours of work.

Bitcoin Faucets ($0.054/hour on avg.)

Even though running a Bitcoin faucet can be profitable (more on this later on), using a faucet isn’t as much. Faucets are websites that will give you a small quantity of Bitcoins every few minutes. For example, Milli, our own Bitcoin faucet gives up to 1000 Satoshis (0.00001BTC) every five minutes. But even if you managed to hit the 1000 prize every time for a full 24 hours, you’d still be making only 0.00288BTC. So you’d get around $1.31 for 24 hours of work (and we have one of the highest-paying faucets in the industry).

Micro jobs

There is always the possibility of completing micro tasks in order to get paid small amounts of Bitcoin. Coinworker is a good example of a micro jobs Bitcoin site. Jobs can be anything from testing a web application on a browser to retweeting a post.

#2 – Writing about Bitcoin

Writing about Bitcoin requires time, knowledge and the ability to write in the required language (usually English). Through writing, you can start making a nice income depending on where you choose to write.

BitcoinTalk Signature Campaigns ($2.67/hour on avg.)

Somewhere around mid-2014, BitcoinTalk started running signature campaigns. What this means is that you use your BitcoinTalk’s signature to advertise a Bitcoin product and get paid for every post you write. The complete list of campaigns can be seen here. Of course, this created a lot of “junk” posts on BitcoinTalk, like people saying just “thank you” or “awesome post” and not adding any actual content.

You get paid according to your membership level on BitcoinTalk. Usually, anyone under a full member won’t get paid that much or paid at all. To becoming a full member, you’ll need at least 120 posts under your belt, and then you can start earning 0.0005BTC on average per post. There are also limitations on posts you can write such as “original posts with 60 or more characters”, “You can’t have negative trust or other advertisements”, etc. Sometimes, there’s also a minimum post requirement per week.

Seeing as writing a constructive post of at least 60 words takes a minimum of five minutes, my guess is that if you work for 24 hours straight, you can make 0.144BTC. So you’ll be making $64.08 for 24 hours of work. This, of course, does not include the number of posts you need to write in order to get the required membership level on BitcoinTalk. Also, many campaigns have a “maximum posts allowed per week” policy, so you may not be able to work a full 24 hours.

Writing for blogs and news sites ($31.25/hour on avg.)

If you think you have enough knowledge to contribute about Bitcoin, you can always become a writer for a blog or a news site. Many sites need to fill up a daily quota of posts, and they are desperately looking for writers. We hire the occasional writer on 99Bitcoins as well, and I can say that the salary of a blog post writer will vary significantly based on your experience, control of the English language and expertise. If you’re a top-notch writer, you can even make up to $80 per 1000-word blog post. On average, I’m guessing most writer get somewhere around $35 for a 1000-word blog post.

But writing a good blog post takes time. For example, it took me about four hours to write this 2400-word blog post. So let’s say, theoretically, that I can work for 24 hours straight; I’ll be making around $750. If you want to become a writer, the best way to find Bitcoin blogs that are looking for writers is through Coinality, which aggregates all of the Bitcoin jobs being posted online.

#3 – Supply Bitcoin-related services

This category is a bit broad, as it includes every possible Bitcoin service that you can think of that someone would pay for. The best ways to get ideas for services you can provide is to visit either Coinality (which I’ve mentioned previously) or the services thread on BitcoinTalk. Some examples for services people are looking for:

  • Blockchain developer
  • Website manager
  • Graphic design expert
  • Mining expert
  • Online marketer, etc.

Becoming a Bitcoin escrow agent

One example of a service you can provide is becoming a Bitcoin escrow agent and getting paid for arbitration in Bitcoin transactions (more on that here). Of course, this will mean you will need to gain some sort of reputation for yourself as a trustworthy person in the community.

I can’t really put a price estimate on this category, since every service is different. This is something you will have to personally research depending on the service you’d like to provide.

#4 – Bitcoin lending / investing

If you own some Bitcoins and want to increase their value, you can always look into Bitcoin lending. The idea is pretty simple – you lend out a certain amount of your coins to people for crypto-related projects (usually) and get them back with an interest.

The good news is that you can get very high returns through lending. The bad news is that with high returns also comes high risk. Some of the people you will lend to won’t return your money, or you might have to chase them in order to make sure they pay. That’s why it’s important to choose your lending projects wisely. Here’s my own personal experience with Bitcoin lending, and here’s how to choose a good lending project.

There are currently three main websites that deal with Bitcoin lending – BTCJam, Bitbond and Loanbase.

#5 – Mine Bitcoins

I’m going to be brief about this option. Bitcoin mining is not a way to earn Bitcoin fast or free. It takes a lot of time, research and money that you’ll need to invest into mining equipment. If you’re a newbie, then you probably shouldn’t be pursuing this. If you’re a veteran, then you probably already know this.

Sure, you’ll be able to generate Bitcoins even if you use your own PC at home, but if you use a mining calculator, you’ll see that you’ll be making 0.00000968BTC  a day ($0.0043) and spending perhaps 100x that on electricity bills or cooling down your computer (in hopes it doesn’t get ruined in the process). If you’ve missed our latest video about Bitcoin mining, perhaps this will give you a clearer explanation of what mining is and why you should probably stay away from it:

Some of you may say “but I saw some cloud-mining websites that allow me to profit without the need to pay the expenses involved in mining”. Well, in that case, you should perhaps read this article I wrote a while back. TL;DR – IMO, most, if not all, Bitcoin cloud mining websites are ponzi schemes that rarely actually use your investment to mine Bitcoins.

#6 – Gambling

This part doesn’t need a lot of explanation, I guess. There are a lot of Bitcoin gambling websites out there that will gladly take your money for the chance of winning a bigger pot. Here’s just one example. The upside about gambling is that it doesn’t take any specific skill to start doing it; the downside is that it’s much more likely that you’ll lose all of your Bitcoins than actually win anything.

#7 – Bitcoin trading

Today, there are many forms of Bitcoin trading available. If you’re interested in getting started with trading, you need to make sure you have the required knowledge. In the following weeks, I’ll post a complete beginner’s tutorial on Bitcoin trading, but for now, here are the main options:

Bitcoin day trading

Day trading is the buying and selling of Bitcoins on the same day,  on the basis of small, short-term price fluctuations. So, if you think that Bitcoin’s price is going to go up, it’s a good time to buy some Bitcoins and sell them off after you’ve made a profit. In order to participate in actual day trading, you’ll have to own or buy Bitcoins.

Bitcoin CFDs (contracts for difference)

This is similar to day trading, but different to the extent that you don’t have to buy Bitcoins. When you buy Bitcoin CFDs, you can do it through a broker such as plus500 or AvaTrade. The idea is that instead of buying the actual asset (Bitcoin) and then selling it later, you buy a contract for that asset, so you don’t have to deal with actually holding or storing Bitcoins. More on Bitcoin CFDs here. With CFDs you can also short sell – meaning make a profit when Bitcoin’s price goes down.

Bitcoin binary options

Bitcoin binary options are a form of trading in which you predict if the price of Bitcoin will rise or fall in a certain amount of time. If you’re correct, you earn the option’s payoff; if you’re incorrect, you lose your investment. They are called “Binary Options”, because the outcome is either win or lose; there’s nothing in between.

Basically, it’s a form of gambling that’s covered up with a pretty name. No one can predict precisely what will happen with Bitcoin’s price. If that were possible, we would all be billionaires. I suggest you stay away from Bitcoin binary options unless you like to gamble, and if you do, that’s fine I guess.

#8 – Bitcoin affiliate marketing

I’ve written a lot in the past about how I generate a nice amount of Bitcoins through affiliate programs. The idea of an affiliate program is that you promote someone else’s product and they pay you in return for sales you bring in. So, for example, I can promote TREZOR (which is actually an awesome product that I personally use), and if someone decides to buy TREZOR and they came from my site, I get a commission for it. Just so you understand the potential in this, here are my TREZOR earnings from the past month:

TREZOR earnings

*The negative transaction on Jan 5th is a payout from TREZOR for previous earnings.

As you can see it can adds up to a pretty nice amount, especially when you consider that once I set up a post that generates referral, it’s basically all autopilot from there. If you’re interested in going down this route, here’s some more information about affiliate marketing with Bitcoin. And here is a list of many of the Bitcoin affiliate programs out there.

#9 – Open a faucet / rotator

I came to know about this option only recently. I’ve written an extensive post about how to operate your own Bitcoin faucet, but if you don’t want the hassle of managing a faucet, you can also try to build a Bitcoin faucet rotator.

A rotator site is a site that allows you to quickly surf through different faucets without opening a new site or tab each time. The links to each faucet inside the rotator are referral links, and the rotator owner earns a commission from each faucet you visit through it as well. You can take a look at 99Bitcoins’ rotator to get a better idea of what I mean.

However, rotators require maintenance as well, since Bitcoin faucets come and go pretty quickly and you’ll need to update your rotator accordingly. Having said that, if you make a successful rotator with a lot of traffic, you can probably generate a nice income. Unfortunately, our rotator isn’t that successful, so we’re only making a few thousand Satoshis a day (these are our actual payment stats).

#10 – Play games to earn Bitcoins

Aside from gambling, which is also considered a game, there are a variety of Bitcoin games that don’t require any investment, and allow you to earn Bitcoins while playing them. Think of them as a fun faucet, since you’ll probably be wasting your time and earning very little as well.

ChopCoin, Coinbrawl and Bitcoin Aliens’ mobile app are just some examples of how you can make the task of earning small amounts of Bitcoin pleasurable.

There’s no such thing as easy money

There you have it; this is the full array of possibilities to earn Bitcoins online today. As I said in the beginning, there’s no such thing as free Bitcoins – in each of these options it will either cost you time or money to generate more coins. To wrap things up, I made this chart showing where each of the options I’ve just listed is located on the “effort – income” axes.

income effort bitocin earnings

If you have more ideas for earning Bitcoins online, list them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear about them.

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