You’ll actually lose money by falling for scams, and you will typically lose money overall when gambling, so these are by far the least profitable options. Scams are worth a mention because some “free bitcoin” offers are simply scams.
If the offer asks you to make a payment of any kind and you don’t know exactly what you’re getting in return, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. There are legitimate ways of getting small amounts of bitcoin for free, so being asked to make a payment is a distinct red flag.
By contrast, bitcoin gambling sites are often just as legitimate as online gambling with any other kind of currency. They might be full of ads or malware, and you’ll typically lose money overall, but it’s theoretically possible to get free bitcoin from it.
A bitcoin faucet is a feature on websites that steadily drips bitcoin. For example, a website might dispense a fraction of a bitcoin every few minutes.
It’s usually an extremely small amount, equivalent to a few cents or a dollar, awarded to one user every few minutes.
This is often done as a promotional feature. If a faucet holds visitors on a website, it may translate to increased engagement, higher ad revenue or other benefits for the site’s owners that make it worthwhile.
Games might award miniscule amounts of bitcoin as a prize. They’re typically also filled with advertisements.
It works similar to bitcoin faucets. The bitcoin rewards keep people playing and viewing ads, so on paper the game looks like a great way for advertisers to reach people.
If you don’t mind viewing ads, actually enjoy the game you’re playing and have a lot of time to kill, the tiny bitcoin prizes might eventually add up.
Cloud mining warning
Cloud mining will almost never be profitable. This is because the breakeven point, where you make as much money from cloud mining as you put into it, will keep moving backwards and you’ll typically never be able to reach it.
The reason it moves back is because Bitcoin mining difficulty tends to rise over time, especially as Bitcoin prices do. This means the amount of Bitcoin you get from cloud mining will usually decrease over time, which pushes back the breakeven point. Bitcoin mining difficulty will usually only drop if Bitcoin prices do, but if that happens then your Bitcoin is worth less, which also pushes back the breakeven point.
As such, even if a cloud mining contract looks like it will be profitable, you’re still more likely to lose more than you earn.
In the rare cases where a cloud mining contract turns out to be profitable, it will have been more profitable to simply buy cryptocurrency instead of cloud mining.
When you can get discounts or free money, it can be worth going out of your way to sign up for a service through an affiliate link instead of signing up directly.
Get paid directly in bitcoin
You have to work for it, so it’s not really free, but technically you’re also working for any bitcoin you might get from a faucet or as a game reward.
There are different ways to do this. For example, you could do any one of the following:
Asking for bitcoin donations on your website through a wallet address and QR code.
Working for a company that pays directly in bitcoin. For example, if you do freelance work for a cryptocurrency business or have a reputation as a reliable service provider, you could get paid in bitcoin.
Asking your employer to pay you in bitcoin. If you really want, you might ask for part of your wages or salary in bitcoin. Although it’s safe to assume that at this stage, most employers will say no.
If you’re hoping your bitcoin will appreciate in value, it might just be better to buy it the usual way.
Bitcoin might multiply in value tenfold, but that 10 cents of bitcoin you’ve earned from a game will still only be worth a dollar.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly
volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of
future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information.
You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory
requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may
have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
Andrew Munro is the cryptocurrency editor at Finder. He was initially writing about insurance, when he accidentally fell in love with digital currency and distributed ledger technology (aka “the blockchain”). Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales, and has written guides about everything from industrial pigments to cosmetic surgery.
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