All List of Ways to Earn Free Cryptocurrency
We explain different ways to get or earn free cryptocurrencies. These include referral programs, yield farming, and more.
With that said, nothing in life is 100% free. In most cases, you’ll either need to put in some effort or have some existing cryptocurrency already to make any of the methods below work. If you are tottaly new to crypto and want some free crypto, we strongly suggest joining Coinbase and then doing Coinbase Earn to earn some free crypto by learning about it.
TIP: This list has been updated for 2021 and now includes yield farming, staking, lending and borrowing, and other DeFi goodies.
NOTE: The idea of this page is to offer an honest look at “how to get free cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin” to better navigate a potentially shady topic. With this in mind, some of the options below (the ones in grey) are questionable (not necessarily a bad idea, just questionable). Use any option below at your own risk, but be extra cautious with the ones in grey (as they have additional risks). Do your research before using a specific site, especially if the site wants your personal info or asks you to download files.
Ways to Get or Earn Cryptocurrency For Free (Taking Into Account Time, Effort, and an Initial Investment)
With the above noted, you can get “free” cryptocurrency in the following ways:
Use affiliate programs. Enroll in an exchange, or find a quality product with an affiliate program, then give your friends the affiliate link. For example, if you sign up with Coinbase via this affiliate link, you get $5 just for signing up and I get 50% of your fees for 3 months (see our page on Coinbase for more). Likewise, sign up with Binance via this affiliate link and you’ll save 10% (see our page on Binance for more). TIP: If the company is good and has a history, the affiliate program might be a good idea. For example, Coinbase is a reputable company with a solid history, so I can feel confident using it as an example. Same with Binance, great history, high volume, I feel confident sending you there. Just beware of no-name companies and scams. There are some scam companies that have affiliate programs, and some lesser-known crypto projects that are in murky territory legally. So be extra careful to promote a quality affiliate program and not a potentially shady one like Bitconnect. If you go around promising people they will get rich if they buy securities-like products using your link, you are taking a real risk! NOTE: Kucoin is an established crypto exchange that also has an affiliate program like Coinbase and Binance, meanwhile top tier products like TREZOR (see the ad directly below this) have affiliate programs too. The bottom line here is: This is a valid way to make some free crypto by sharing affiliate links, but make sure to do your own research!
Yield farm DeFi Coins. Pool coins you own and stake them to earn governance tokens of protocols (you can often stake single assets too). You’ll essentially earn coins as interest this way. You’ll need capital upfront, and there is risk, but you can get free crypto this way.
Stake coins. Hold a coin with a proof-of-stake system. You can make passive income by holding a proof-of-stake coin in a wallet, this is called staking. Most coins that payout crypto to holders require you to hold a substantial amount of coins. However, there are a few coins that will pay you on any amount held. We suggest looking into ETH2 staking on Coinbase.
Run a masternode. If you run a masternode (which requires a certain amount of coin, which in some cases can be substantial) you essentially get paid interest on the coin held. This is essentially a type of staking.
Have cryptocurrency in a wallet (but not on an exchange) when a hard fork that creates new coins occurs. For example, Bitcoin holders received one “free” BCH (Bitcoin Cash) for each BTC (Bitcoin) they owned when the Bitcoin Cash hard fork occurred in August of 2017. That is obviously an absurdly good deal (although one risks the original asset’s price dropping in “split” events like this). TIP: We strongly suggest this, it is the smartest of all the ones on the list (although not without its risks). Please follow best practices for claiming coins.
Have cryptocurrency in a wallet when an airdrop occurs (an airdrop is like a fork in that it produces free coins for coin holders, the difference is the coins are distributed instead of a copy of a ledger being made).
Lend Coins Through an Exchange For Borrowing, Margin Funding, and More. There are lots of platforms for lending and borrowing coins, plus margin platforms will pay you for lending your coins for margin funding. Some coins will pay rather high rates for lending, but it’ll be a variable rate that changes per coin. For example, you can lend on FTX.
Mining coins. If you have a computer, you can get “free” cryptocurrency by “mining.” The only thing to note is that mining takes time + electricity. A consumer CPU or GPU will mine very little coin, but the coin you do mine will be “free” (i.e. free minus the cost of electricity and the initial cost of your hardware). TIP: Unless you are going to sink money into an ASIC-based miner, then this is only going to work as a hobby. That said, here is a guide to mining Litecoin on a Mac that can result in you earning small amounts of LTC starting today.
Create an NFT. You can sell NFTs, and you can create an NFT rather easily on NFT platforms like OpenSea.
Earn Crypto By Learning. Coinbase Earn and other platforms will pay you small amounts of crypto for learning about crypto.
Use a DAapp that pays out in crypto: Above I noted there were a few survey apps on IOS and Android that paid out in crypto. That aside, there are also more than a few DApps that payout in crypto. Try downloading Coinbase Wallet and checking out DApps that let you earn crypto-like Cent, SmartDrops, ETHlance, and Hong Bao (all different types of apps that offer a range of ways to earn crypto from answering questions, to airdrops, freelancing, to crowdfunding).
Play a game that pays out in cryptocurrency. Playing a game, and then having to watch ads, is probably more fun than just watching ads but it is also more time-consuming. Still, there are games that pay out in cryptocurrency. For example, the Blockchain Game. TIP: This option is interesting in theory. Right now many of us play free games and watch ads for in-game bonuses, getting small amounts of cryptocurrency is even better. Still, just like the other options, there is a price of sorts.
Use a cryptocurrency faucet. Cryptocurrency faucets are websites that theoretically
- Give small amounts of new coins to those who request them (funding this by donations and absurd amounts of ads);
- Or, have you click on ads and fill out surveys and then reward you with coins (which is essentially just like the next option on the list, except branded as a faucet).
The first step is to find a faucet that works and isn’t scam-y, which could be a tall order. The second step is to jump through the hoops. There are tales of faucets working, but there are more tales of them not working well. TIP: We won’t link to any “cryptocurrency faucet” here, which gives you an idea of which ones we suggest. Google them at your own risk.
Earn cryptocurrency by clicking on ads and filling out surveys online. Just as you can earn USD online by filling out surveys online, trading “time-for-money,” you can also earn cryptocurrency. It’s a bit like a low-wage job, but you can do it in your pajamas and use it to get cryptocurrency without having to join an exchange or use a broker. TIP: We won’t link to any “earn cryptocurrency” website here, so that should indicate how much we like them. Google them at your own risk. If a company is reputable, great. Not every company that goes into the “pay people in cryptocurrency for clicking on ads” business is as upstanding as the next.
Publish on Steemit or a similar service. Steemit authors can post content to Steemit. Steemit has its own cryptocurrency. Authors get paid in Steemit when their posts are upvoted. See: Steemit for Dummies (like me) – Everything you need to know in simple terms and How do I create a Steemit account?
Signature campaigns. On some forums, specifically Bitcointalk.org (the forum that Satoshi founded) you can get paid out in crypto for adding an advert to the signature of your forum posts. See: How to Qualify for Signature Campaigns on BitcoinTalk.
Get a job in crypto. Lots of crypto projects need contributors, some will even pay you in crypto. Looking into contributing to a DAO.
Bounties. Like an affiliate program, some new coins will offer “bounties” (non-developer-based bounties) for performing actions like signing up for a forum, getting someone else to sign up for a forum, posting on social media, or creating online content. In other words, some coins will pay you out in their coin for performing tasks online. Also, if you have coding skills, some large projects offer large developer-based bounties for finding bugs and vulnerabilities. See an article about “bounty hunting” and see the crypto bounty hunting platform Bounty0x. NOTE: Please research a project before you promote it and be wary of scams.
Get tips. If you use a service that allows tips, like Twitch, people can tip you in cryptocurrency. Make sure the platform allows it before asking your audience to tip you in cryptocurrency. Rules can change, so make sure to know the current rule).
Get paid for goods and services. This is one of those “it technically involves work” sort of deals, but you can be paid in cryptocurrency for goods and services. If you create art or do a service, you could consider the cryptocurrency you get in return as “free”-ish, sort of.
Invest and trade cryptocurrency. When you sit on a coin, and it goes up, you essentially get “free” money. When you buy low and sell high, for example via a combo like Coinbase/Coinbase Pro, you essentially get “free” money. Of course, when the reverse is true, you essentially lose money. Yes, I’m just explaining the basics of investing in an exchangeable asset here. But for those who didn’t know, now they do. TIP: We strongly suggest this, it is more difficult than sitting on coin, but it is a rather rewarding mix of work, time, and initial investment. Imagine, the options that include work and putting up capital tend to be better investments; it’s shocking I tell you!
That is all the ways to earn free coins I can think of. I’ll add more to the list moving forward.
Bottom line: As you might imagine, the best ways to get “free” cryptocurrency are ones that involve initial capital or work like buying, selling, staking, farming, working, and mining (if you have the chops for it). Other decent options include affiliate programs, NFTs, and games with ads (if you already play games) or surveys online (if you already do that). There are some interesting options for “free” coins, but nothing really replaces a day’s hard work (although you can notably get paid in crypto for that. If you intend to make money, you are probably better off working at a paying job and setting aside a bit of your paycheck to invest in cryptocurrency or finding a job of sorts online which pays you in crypto. If you intend to earn a little cryptocurrency as a hobby, CPU/GPU mining, affiliate programs, and even some of the time-for-coin options are interesting choices.