For the usual disclosure, I am not a financial advisor, I don’t even work in finance at all. My day job is as a telecommunications software engineer. Treat everything you read here as some educational resources and not financial advise. Some of the links you find on here will also be affiliate links, so using them will benefit the both of us.
In my last blog post, The Journey Begins, I talked about a lot of the basics behind some of the research I have been doing, and some of the general tips on how to get your feet wet at looking into crypto, but I didn’t actually get into any of the details on how to go about doing anything with that knowledge. In this one, I aim to change that a little bit, and go over a few ways you can earn some free crypto to get your feet wet, without having to shell even a dime out of your pocket.
Some of these will give you near instant gratification and line your pockets with dollars with of crypto. Others will require you to be in it for a longer term to reap the benefits, but hey, free is free, right?
The first and easiest place to earn some quick, free, crypto, would be over on Coinbase. They have an earn program that will give you free crypto, just by watching through a free videos or slide shows, and then answering some basic questions about the crypto you just learned about.
You’ll need to go through the Coinbase KYC (Know Your Customer) verification process in order to partake in the fun, but it’s relatively painless (unless you’re a friend of mine that had to do it a few times), and Coinbase is well known enough that I trust them with the few personal details they require you to provide in order to get setup.
Once you are all setup, its as simple as clicking on the Earn Reward button on the side of the page:
After you click on that, you’ll be presented with various short “courses” you can take to earn the free gains. They take just a few minutes each, and Coinbase puts out new ones regularly. I got about $20 CAD my first day of doing these, and I’ve gotten a bit more since.
Mining is the next easy way to earn some crypto, albeit on a much smaller scale that we are talking about with rewards programs. Unless you can afford some very serious hardware that is, then you can pull some serious coinage down, but if you’re dealing with some older hardware like I am, it’s still possible to passively generate small amounts of it over time.
Now, I’m not talking about running out to your parent’s house and digging out their old Commodore 64 or x8086 based systems, mining is just a little too punk rock for the likes of that hardware. But it doesn’t take much either, I am doing mine on a Nvidia GTX 1050Ti that I’ll say has adequate cooling, but I haven’t dared overclock it or anything of that nature. My CPU is just an Intel Core i5 8400, but I don’t mine with it, just my GPU. And of course, only when I am not mining.
Now, you could go off, setup a wallet and mining system, and go it on your own, and hey, maybe you’ll get lucky and nail the block and actually get a payout. Unless you have a very expensive ASIC mining right, that’s not going to be a Bitcoin (BTC) you are winning, and if you are using just a low powered system like me, it’s more likely to be something like Ethereum (ETH) using the ethash algorithm, or something else maybe using ethash-lowmemory, but also, you’re not going to get that lucky, and if you do, it’s only going to happen once. Lightning does not strike twice.
The best way I see to go about mining on the small scale, is to join a mining pool. This is where a number of miners all combine their power to attempt to solve the blocks, significantly increasing your chances of getting paid out. There are a number of these pools, but the one I found to be the easiest to use, as well as quickest to generate actual payouts using my hardware has been Prohashing.
They have a very nice structure, essentially you mine for whatever is best for your hardware, and then you choose a payout scheme to get paid in whatever coins you want. And they support quite a few of them for payouts, with relatively low thresholds and very low payout fees (if you decide to pay out lower than the free threshold, which of course, you can always let it build up and pay no fees).
They have a lot of guides on how to get yourself setup using whatever gear you’re trying to operate on, from CPU only miners, GPU miners, all the way up to full blown ASIC setups. They have a slightly active forum system, but the key is that the actual staff is active on it and quick to jump into discussions. I also opened a support ticket with them one day and they got back to me within a few hours to point out I was actually an idiot and did not RTFM (Read The Fucking Manual).
As far as how much I’m making doing this, it’s not a whole lot, like I said, I have a little 1050Ti that isn’t overclocked cranking out between 11–12 MH/s, but here is my daily earnings chart since I started:
If we ignore the first day, as it was only a partial day, and ignore the last day, as that is today and not over yet, we can see I get about 35–60 cents USD per day. The red lines denote the 12 cents a day it estimates I pay for electricity, but really, my PC would be on anyways, it’s just the GPU being a little more spun up.
Mining output in this way is of course also affected by the actual going market rates for both the coins you are farming, and what you want to get paid out in. Currently, the market is in quite a down turn, which you can see as my earnings steadily dropped through the last few days as Bitcoin (BTC) entered it’s dive and took everyone down with it.
I’ll discuss mining a bit more in a later blog when I discuss block chains and the like, but this should cover what you need to know as far as being able to setup a miner and start generating some slowly gaining crypto.
The next one is pretty straight forward, and applies really to anything you do online, and that is affiliate programs. All the major sites: Coinbase, Prohashing, Binance, Newton, etc, they all have affiliate/referral programs. And some of them pay out fairly well. All of them are easy to join, basically, have an account and click on the referral program on the given site and hand the link out to your friends that want to get into crypto, so that as they are making deposits and reaping their mad gains, you’re getting a small kickback for getting them into it.
Of course you could also do what I did and start a blog, plaster your affiliate links all over it and the rest of the internet, and hope a bunch of people click them. *cough cough*
The last easy way to get some free crypto I want to get into, is also the longest game. But let me start with a question. You hate online ads and use an adblocker right? What if I told you there was a web browser that had a built in ad blocker that even killed YouTube ads unlike some (looking at you PiHole), but you could also enable it to pop you up a maximum of 5 random ads an hour, that you actually get paid to see and click on?
If that sounds like something that might interest you, head on over and download the Brave Browser and sign up for the Brave Rewards program, and enable it to show you all the ads. And when you see them, click them. You get paid out in Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) at a relatively slow rate. I’ve been doing it for about a week and as you can see, I have not made all that much:
But hey, free money is free money and I was going to be using the web and using an ad blocker anyways, so why not? Plus Brave cares about security and whatnot, and is built on Chromium, so the addons all still work pretty much. Everything I’ve tried anyways.
As you can see, there are a number of ways you can pull off getting some free crypto to get your coffers started and get your feet wet dealing in the crypto game. You can convert it into something and store it long term, or toss it into the market and play the day trader game, because if you lose it all, it was free to begin with.
If you have any other tips I’ve missed, or suggestions for future content, feel free to drop me a line. You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, use the Contact form on the website, or drop me a line over on Twitter or Facebook, lots of ways to track me down. Just don’t find out where I live and come to my house. That shit is creepy.
Until next time, remember, I’m not your financial advisor, and this was not financial advise, just one random dude on the internet telling you what he’s learned about this world of crypto, and hopefully we can all make a buck.