12 Promising Ways to Earn Free Crypto in 2021

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The concept of free cryptocurrency was almost certainly originated by Jeremy Rubin in 2014, when he offered $100 in bitcoin rewards to every undergraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While some students held on to this windfall and eventually cashed in, others splurged on sushi at a local restaurant that accepted crypto for purchases.

Today, it’s still possible to get earn free crypto. Like the cashback rewards offered by credit card companies and special offers available from banks, the concept of free cryptocurrency incentivizes people to use blockchain platforms’ products or services. With the dollar cost average of bitcoin currently listed as more than $60,000, cashing in on these opportunities can potentially allow you to build a very nice nest egg for emergencies, or as a form of passive income.

Can You Really Earn Cryptocurrencies for Free?

It’s definitely possible to earn free cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, by making a few minor changes in your shopping habits and your overall approach to online activities. Crypto can be a lucrative investment, but it is volatile. While novices may be wary of its utility and value, earning crypto could be a good stepping stone to dipping your toe into a crypto investment with little to no capital required. Besides, it helps you become crypto-versed and gain confidence over time before diving into crypto trading.

How to Earn Free Crypto

Earning free bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies is widely available to both beginners who are more risk-averse and those well-versed in the crypto field. Some of these methods require a certain amount of effort on your part. Others are automated, requiring no effort to maintain. The following are some of the most practical ways to earn free crypto as a stream of passive income.

Crypto Airdrops

The crypto airdrop was introduced as a marketing strategy intended to boost the visibility of newly launched digital currencies. It involves small amounts of a new cryptocurrency to be deposited directly into the crypto wallets of active members within the exchange. Crypto airdrops are safe, as they don’t require you to share your private keys, and there are often exchanges that hold accountability for the event. 

One good example of a crypto airdrop event is the BIT airdrop, which allows users on the platform to earn free cryptocurrency by fulfilling specific criteria, including a minimum trading amount at a given number of days within the target period. Participants who are confirmed as eligible receive free crypto by having it deposited into their accounts. 

Most cryptocurrency airdrop activities occur during the initial release of a new blockchain project. In some cases, however, companies or platforms may offer a crypto airdrop to promote their exchange and to boost awareness of their services among the blockchain community. A good way to keep track of upcoming cryptocurrency launches is CoinMarketCal’s cryptocurrency calendar, which features crypto news and regular updates on upcoming projects. 

Crypto Exchange Referral Bonuses

Another way to earn free cryptocurrency is through crypto exchanges’ referral programs. These referral bonuses may require a specific spending amount by the person referred before the referring individual can earn free cryptocurrency. Coupons and other rewards may also be offered through these referral bonus programs. In most cases, referral bonuses are available for a limited amount of time, and may include added opportunities to earn crypto based on the referred individual’s trading volume. The people whom you refer will be required to use a link provided or a referral code to deposit and trade cryptocurrencies on the trading platform. Ultimately, the more users you refer, the more bonuses you’ll receive.

The Bybit Referral Program, for instance, offers up to $500 in reward bonuses for both you and your eligible referrals who use your referral link. If you have a fairly big circle of friends, a referral bonus is an excellent way for you to earn quick rewards and even combine the earnings with staking yields. 

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs work similarly to referral bonuses. Rather than referring friends to the crypto platform, however, an affiliate program requires you to have an existing social network or a platform on which you can consistently reach a much larger audience. In essence, you’re endorsing the brand on your social media and blogs by sharing valuable content aligned to the trading platform’s mission and values. In addition, you can earn a commission for each client you direct to the crypto exchange platform.

The Bybit affiliate program requires an application by opinion leaders and content creators before a link is provided for the applicant’s web content and social media sites. This is one of the most lucrative crypto earning programs, as you’ll be rewarded on a commission basis, based on your client’s trading volume. The more your clients trade, the more you’ll earn. The downside is you need to go through a stringent assessment in order to participate in the program and successfully become the exchange’s affiliate.

Crypto Staking

Staking is a way you can commit crypto assets on behalf of a blockchain platform or network. The parallel here with traditional finance is depositing money in a bank to earn interest. By pledging your cryptocurrency as backing for these platforms, you can earn crypto without monitoring your earnings regularly. The one downside of this strategy to earn free Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies is that you may experience a financial loss if you’ve opted for a fixed staking program. Since crypto is volatile in nature, you may miss the opportunity to unstake your assets quickly enough to avoid crypto market downturns. 

The Bybit Launchpool is a good example of a crypto staking system. By staking tokens to the BIT pool on Bybit, you can earn free BITs that can be used or redeemed on the platform at any time. This can help you to earn crypto even when you’re not actively trading on a crypto exchange.

Learn and Earn

Learn-and-earn crypto programs are designed to reward you with free crypto simply for reading crypto materials, watching videos and answering questions about the things you’ve learned. While most platforms include some amount of training and educational material about blockchain and digital currencies, only a few offer the opportunity to earn free Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in return for your investment of time.

Bitcoin Mining

Mining essentially means you’re using computing power to keep a network secure, and being rewarded for your services in exchange. Bitcoin mining is one of the oldest methods for earning bitcoins, but it’s far from obsolete. The only problem is that mining tends to be more suitable for participants who are already equipped with crypto knowledge and have the financial capability to invest in the mining hardware that’s required. 

As the Bitcoin network’s hash rate and mining competition have increased, most miners are investing more in custom-made hardware to secure their rewards. You’ll also generally receive bitcoins if you complete a block of verified transactions that are then added to the blockchain. These Bitcoin mining rewards are halved every four years, which will mean a decrease from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC in the next four years. Bitcoin mining is also labor-intensive, and it’s expensive to maintain the hardware.

In most cases, your chances to break even on your expenses with the bitcoin you receive from your mining efforts are relatively low. Mining for lesser-known coins may be more lucrative with the potential rewards, but the risks of coins becoming worthless overnight are high. Thus, many people opt for cloud mining, which uses rented cloud computing power to mine crypto. For example, users can buy hashing power from Bybit Cloud Mining to get access to ETH mining with minimal entry price.

Crypto Lending

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a form of decentralized finance (DeFi) developed from the idea of borrowing funds from a lender, using cryptocurrencies as collateral. The concept relies on smart contract execution to allow lenders to lock up crypto funds in a lending pool and earn interest (crypto dividends) for lending their crypto. However, there are also programs like Flash Loans that let users borrow without collateral. 

Crypto lending is one of the easiest ways to generate steady passive income with your existing crypto assets, such as stablecoins or bitcoins. For example, you can select P2P lending by depositing 1 BTC in the wallet of a crypto lending platform to earn the weekly or annual interest rate. If the borrower doesn’t repay the loan, the over-collateralized assets from the borrower can be used to cover your losses. 

Run a Lightning Node

The Lightning Network is a Layer 2 protocol that runs on top of an existing blockchain (main chain). As a lightning node, you can charge small fees to process the transactions through Lightning’s payment channels. While Bitcoin nodes verify transactions on the blockchain, Lightning nodes only verify transactions that are privately and directly interacting with it in the payment channel. In exchange for your services in processing and verifying transactions, you earn rewards.

The downside is you’ll need an initial investment in hardware and software, and then only you can connect your nodes to payment channels to route payments. Generally, running a Lightning node won’t make you millions of dollars, but it’s a sustainable passive income if the demand for the Lightning Network continues to grow. 

Turn Your Daily Activities into Crypto

There are certain activities that can put free Bitcoin into your crypto wallet. Some of the most popular ways to earn free Bitcoin include targeted blogging, browsing, playing games and spending money at select online retailers. These methods can help you to earn Bitcoin while doing the things you enjoy.

Earn crypto by blogging

The advent of distributed ledger technologies has given rise to many types of content platforms. And the best part is some of these blogging platforms reward highly ranked content with free bitcoin that can be cashed out for dollars, or for other cryptocurrencies. If you’re struggling to get your hands on some crypto, blogging is one of the easiest ways to earn free bitcoins.

For example, Steemit rewards its users with native tokens (STEEM) for publishing and curating content. It aims to empower the creation of user-generated content to foster a collaborative and creative community. Since the platform is powered by Steem blockchain and run by the community, content creators are paid based on the upvotes they received from other users. The payout for each blog post is highly dependent on the value of these upvotes.

Typically, the more Steem Power is held in a user’s account, the more impactful the upvotes are, thus, the more crypto you’re going to earn. The rewards are stored on the distributed Steem blockchain, and a user can cash out the collected STEEM to their crypto wallet address. Blogging sites can often be a great starting point for cryptocurrency investors who are reluctant to risk their own money during their initial foray onto crypto platforms.

Earn crypto by browsing

The idea of getting paid to search is straightforward. A user is paid for searching a query and watching the ads on a specific browser. Just like your everyday search on your preferred search engine, the Brave Browser rewards users who watch the ads with their native token — Basic Attention Tokens (BAT). At the same time, if you’re earning extra free crypto tokens whenever a referral signs up for the browser. New users can be awarded $5 in BAT simply for downloading and using the browser for 30 days. Along with the other monthly rewards worth up to 25 to 40 BATs.

Alternatively, you can also join the Brave Rewards Program as a content creator. Your followers can choose to support your creation by rewarding you with BATs as and when they want or automating monthly transfers to support your content.

Earn crypto rewards by playing games

Crypto play-to-earn games have been around for a while but they took off specifically when non-fungible tokens (NFT) sparks massive interest in the financial industry. In fact, there is news that people in the Philippines are earning NFTs as a source of income during the pandemic. These earned NFT can be bought and sold for a value.

The concept is similar to any game, except the in-game rewards are real. Generally, play-to-earn games incentivize users to collect in-game items and answer quizzes in exchange for crypto rewards. For example, players of Axie Infinity allow users to breed, battle and trading digital pets called Axies to earn income through NFTs. Whenever a player completes quests and farm resources, they’ll be rewarded. On the flip side, some of these games do require a decent amount of initial investment. In return, however, they may offer the opportunity to receive free crypto in return for completing in-game tasks.

Earn crypto by spending and receiving cashback

You can earn free cryptocurrency in much the same way you would earn cashback rewards from your credit or debit card issuer. As NerdWallet notes, credit cards that allow users to earn crypto are becoming increasingly popular in the financial marketplace. These credit cards offer a percentage of the purchases made on the cards in the form of free crypto rewards. By choosing to earn crypto for each of your purchases, you can build up a significant amount of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies over time.

The Bottom Line

The idea of earning free crypto is not to be confused with winning a lottery. It won’t make you a millionaire overnight, but you can make an income out of it with proper strategy and consistency. As the adoption of Bitcoin and blockchain continue to grow, the free crypto you’ve earned might turn out to be worth more ten years from now than you may imagine. 

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