Heard enough about blockchain and bitcoin but wondering how you can be a part of this exciting digital token economy without losing your shirt?
These days, everyone is bombarded with blockchain and bitcoin news. It has become the new dinner table conversation. If you have wanted to take part in this exciting digital token economy, but did not know where to begin, then, you are in the right place because we are going to explore all the different ways you can get your feet wet in the token economy, including the free options that are available.
Let us begin.
Earn by creating content
Creating content in the form of articles, blogs, YouTube videos, etc., is one way to set your foot into the world of cryptocurrencies. This is also the easiest way to start earning crypto without actually investing any of your fiat earnings.
- How does it work?: You create content on blockchain-based crypto platforms, and based on the engagement you create, each up vote, comment and/or viewership creates a monetary value for your content.
- Benefits: Depending on how well your content does, you will see an immediate monetary benefit from your content. You also get the lion’s share of the income generated by your content.
- Drawbacks: Compared to popular entertainment platforms, like YouTube and Netflix, crypto platforms are yet to garner a large audience. Although more and more users are joining the movement, it is still in its infancy.
Basic Attention Token (BAT )
You can start earning cryptosimply by using Brave Browser and its native crypto currency called Basic Attention Token (BAT), instead of using a mainstream browser. Brave Browser also helps you to block trackers and ads to save you time, all the while helping you choose which ads you want to pay attention to. You will be rewarded for viewing an ad. It also gives you free BAT each month for you to tip your favorite publishers who are verified on Brave Browser.
Download Brave Browser here, and get started today.
CryptoTapas is a verified publisher on Brave. Consider a tip (costs you nothing).
Being a relatively new platform, your profile has to be approved to start writing articles, however, you can still start earning crypto by being a reader. That is a unique feature of Publish0x – both publishers and readers are rewarded in multiple cryptos on Publish0x.
Another popular blockchain-based blog that helps people monetize their content instantly. If your content is good, you could generate substantial earnings. Look at one of the posts that’s trending today on Steemit. It has made $256 already. Not all posts manage to make that kind of money, but if you keep posting regularly, you can build your own viewership and make some money on the side.
In line with Steemit, Minds.com also helps users to create and monetize their content. In addition, you can use the tokens your earned on the platform to boost your content. One token will give you 1,000 impressions. You can use this to advertise your own content or other content.
PewdiePie made DLive sensational by walking away from his 93 million user base on YouTube to become exclusive content creator on DLive. YouTube (and other mainstream channels) pay content creators a miniscule percentage of the ad revenue. Blockchain-based platforms reverse that. They give content creators the major share while they take only a small share to maintain the platform.
Imagine BC is a combination of multiple platforms in one. They want to help you monetize your attention and your intellectual property. You can check the whole interview we did with the CEO of Imagine BC here. Their platform will be open to the public shortly – so get on the ground floor of this project.
If you have already invested in cryptocurrency, or considering it, you may want to learn about crypto lending platforms. These lending platforms not only lend money, they pay depositors decent interest rates for depositing their tokens. Some of these platforms provide custodian facilities to address the safety issue.
- How does it work?: You deposit your crypto onto their platform. They will use this crypto as collateral to extend loans to those who are in need. In turn, you get a decent interest rate for putting your money on their platform.
- Benefits: Much higher interest rate than any bank or institution in America (and most developed countries). Ability to earn your crypto by simply depositing on their platform. Automated and easy process. Your original deposit remains in place while you earn interest.
- Drawbacks: Your coins will be in the custody of a third party. Although some of these platforms use reliable custodians, that itself does not guarantee the safety of the funds.
We like Celsius Network because it is backed by Alex Mashinsky who is on a mission to change the current financial system. He is a successful entrepreneur with a deep knowledge of how Wall Street works, and he brings this knowledge to Celsius Network. Interest rates range from 2.5% to 10%.
Demand and supply determine price. Staking exploits this basic economic premise. In simple terms, staking is the process of holding on to the cryptocurrency you own, and keeping it in a wallet for the company to verify that you do indeed hold the asset.
- How does it work?: Once you have bought the cryptocurrency, you have to follow the instructions provided by the specific project. For example, some projects require you to hold your cryptocurrency in a specific wallet, like MyEtherWallet. Exchanges such as Binance and KuCoin have been pretty good at helping their customers stake the coins straight from the wallets on the exchange (Warning: We do not recommend that you hold your assets on any exchange; when you hold a crypto asset on an exchange, you do not own it and consequently, it can be stolen during an exchange hack).
- Benefits: Staking does not need investors to have technical knowledge, just enough computer literacy to follow the simple instructions.
- Drawbacks: Traders swear that staking does not fetch as much profit as trading does. Also, while you may be receiving dividends for holding the crypto asset, given how volatile the markets are, the actual value of your asset may continue to drop and your dividends may not be worth much.
- NPXS: This staking program enables you to keep your NPXS tokens on MyEtherWallet (or supporting exchanges) and they verify the proof of your ownership each month by taking a snapshot (snapshot in this context involves screening the blockchain itself to confirm the wallet addresses that hold NPXS on a given date); the addresses that hold tokens on the day that the snapshot is taken will be rewarded with a pre-set percentage of NPXS tokens.
- KuCoin: KuCoin is an exchange that shares the profits from its trading platform with those who hold KuCoin Shares (KCS). Dividends are distributed at the end of each day. KCS must to be held on the KuCoin exchange itself.
- NEO: All holders of NEO receive a dividend in the form of GAS, a native currency on the NEO platform. GAS is required to be paid as ‘fees’ for any services on the NEO platform. NEO in turn pays the gas earned on the network to those who hold NEO in their wallets.
Many describe the cryptocurrency market as “a speculators wildest dream”. In which market can you find an asset that rises and falls in double digit percentages,and yet increases 100% in value over the course of a year? Hard to fathom, but bitcoin did precisely that in the past year.
- How does it work?: You can open an account with Coinbase and start trading, that is, buying and selling crypto assets.
- Benefits: Volatility in the cryptocurrency market means that it has a great upside for people with trading experience. Sometimes the volatility may cause people to lose large sums of money, however, those who are able to play the volatility have gained significantly.
- Drawbacks: Not for people with lack of knowledge on how markets work and how to trade.
- Trading, for the experienced
- Coinbase: Coinbase is quite popular among the American audiences. They have a limited number of crypto assets listed, however, most of these projects go through a stringent background analysis, which means that most of them have potential.
- Binance: Relatively new exchange that has quickly risen in popularity. Binance lists a lot more assets than Coinbase. However, they are going to shut down trading for Americans from September, 2019. If you are not American, you may be able to use the platform to trade.
- Copying other traders, for the not-so-experienced
- eToro: eToro offers a feature the allows its customers to copy the trades of their more experienced (and hopefully profitable) traders. This means you can simply choose to follow other veteran traders and get in on the action with them.
Many people in the crypto space swear by bitcoin. Why not? Even in this volatile market, bitcoin has spiked 100% from its prices of last year. It is only 55% of the value of its all-time high. So,if you bought all of your bitcoin at the peak of $20,000, you would still be underwater. However, if you continued to buy bitcoin at set intervals without paying attention to the price, then your dollar cost averaging would have kept you afloat. At least, that is the theory of those that keep buying a small amount of bitcoin each month.
- How does it work?: The process is simple, you buy your digital assets from one of the known exchanges, like Coinbase.
- Benefits: According to one theory, right now, only about 1% of 1% of the world’s population, with access to internet, is invested in cryptocurrency (specifically, bitcoin). If the blockchain becomes the norm in the next decade, and let’s say it captures 10% of the total internet user market, the potential upside is huge (Warning: not a financial advice).
- Drawbacks: The volatility of this market is the major drawback. No one knows which crypto project will become successful and which will bite the dust. There are over 2,000 projects,which can make selection somewhat overwhelming. The digital assets listed on Coinbase are usually regarded as a good start because of the vetting process they have. You can check our top five cryptocurrency picks that have long-term potential here.
- HODLing: HODLing (short for “Hold On for Dear Life”) is the word that crypto lovers use to indicate that they are not going to sell their assets based on price action. They are in this space for the long-term, and short-term corrections do not bother them. For many investors in bitcoin, this strategy seems to have worked out so far.
- IEO: Initial Exchange Offers are ways to invest in newer crypto projects through exchanges that offer these assets for the first time to their customers. These are similar to IPOs. but without complications and fewer barriers to enter.
- STOs: A Security Token Offering is a method of investing in a project that aims to comply with securities laws. Investors in STOs may stand to gain dividends and price appreciation if the project succeeds.
- ICOs: Initial Coin Offerings, although a dying breed within the crypto space, still exist. Most ICOs require participation using cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or Ether. ICOs ruined the capital of many investors who thought they were catching the next bitcoin or Ethereum.
Investing in crypto is very risky. Thorough research is required before investing.
We included mining further down the list of the token economy because it takes specialized equipment in many instances to participate. Nevertheless, there are many platforms that deliberately keep their mining protocols CPU friendly. One can also participate in mining pools, which combine the power of many computers onto a single platform to mine highly competitive coins (like bitcoin) and then distribute these to miners in the pool, based on the computing power they contributed. Mining pool operators take a small cut as fees.
This means that anyone with a decent computer can participate in the mining process.
- How does it work?: You select a crypto an asset that you want to mine, and then confirm that you have the computing power required to participate. The process includes downloading the wallet, syncing it with the network and allocating your computing power to the network to participate. It’s that simple. If you are using a mining pool then you simply register and follow the instructions specific to the mining pool.
- Benefits: If you participate early in a project that has potential, before the competition arrives, you could (in theory) make a decent profit from mining. Catching these projects early, before other miners enter with a lot more computer power, is somewhat of a challenge.
- Drawbacks: You can mine newer cryptocurrencies that have lower computing power requirements, however, they may not be successful enough for you to be able to sell it in the market. Also, be aware of the energy costs; you have to ensure that your revenue exceeds your costs.
Environment: Some mining operations can create massive amounts of heat.
Examples of mining pools:
- Antpool and Slushpool are popular mining pools. As stated before, you have to ensure that your electricity costs are not higher than the rewards you get from either mining coins yourself or through pools.
Creating your own cryptocurrency
If you have an amazing idea that you believe will revolutionize the decentralized token economy, you can create your own cryptocurrency. Build the platform, and invite people to test your platform by offering (we will talk about airdrops next) your tokens to them to test the platform. For instance, let’s say you created 2 billion tokens and give out 500 million tokens for free with an airdrop or bounty program, or as a reward for people to perform certain actions.
Let’s say, people like your idea and you see traction on your platform. Now, you can pay fees to a reputable exchange to list your token. If your idea is viable and has a decent following, there is a good chance that your tokens will be worth something. As an example of this, let’s say you have spent $100,000 on creating the platform, website and a listing on the exchange. After listing the tokens, let’s say they are worth 1/10th of a cent; that is, you could get 10 tokens for a cent. This may sound like nothing, but the 1.5 billion tokens you kept for yourself are now worth $15 million!
You have just created $15 million worth of capital from a mere $100,000 total investment. Some tokens were created without that initial capital. DogeCoin is a classic example, which was created to mock the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) frenzy and madness around cryptos that were sprouting everywhere. The irony is that DogeCoin itself has a market cap of $386 million dollars as of today (July 1, 2019).
Instead of just giving out tokens for free, you can pitch your idea to initial investors (VC and retail), and sell the tokens to them at very low price. This is the idea behind ICOs. When you sell the tokens that you created on the blockchain through a crypto exchange directly, it is called an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO).
If you issue the tokens with a promise of paying out dividends in the future, and in compliance with securities laws, then you are issuing security tokens through a process called Security Tokens Offering (STOs).
- How does it work?: If you have a background in basic computer programming, you could code your own cryptocurrency on top of an existing blockchain, like a bitcoin blockchain or Ethereum blockchain. If you do not have any technical background, then you can use platforms that can help you create your own custom tokens in minutes.
- Benefits: If your idea is really viable and you have the know-how to pull it off, you may be able to raise the capital you need without begging for VC funding, at least, that was the concept behind ICOs before the scammers swarmed in and scammed people out of their hard-earned money. This method is still in use, however, you have to have a great product, a team and a problem that needs a blockchain solution.
- Drawbacks: Creating your own tokens is easy, but getting people to accept and use it might be an uphill battle in this day and age.
- Assetplatform or Coinpress [no affiliations, please do your due diligence] help you to create your own cryptocurrency in minutes.
When a company creates it’s own token, it needs people to know about it and start using it on their platform, to create traction for their project. What most projects do is start a website, create an explainer video, and tell people why their project may have a shot at solving an issue that needs a blockchain. Since people are not going to spend money to test your platform, companies give out free tokens for people to test out the platform. Think of these tokens as ‘free samples’ that companies give out when they launch a product.
These free tokens could be given out to everyone who owns tokens of a certain platform (bitcoin, for example). Since people do not have to do anything to get these free tokens, it is called an airdrop. Some airdrops may require people to be registered to receive the free tokens ahead of the launch. This is intended to create awareness of their project within the crypto community.
Stellar ran one of the biggest campaigns in history by giving away $125 million worth of Stellar Lumens.
We have a full article on top websites that keep track of all airdrops. You can check it out here.
Companies may reward tokens to people who perform certain actions, like tweeting, commenting, registering, subscribing, sharing on Facebook, liking, etc. There are bounties of all sorts. Some bounties require that you contribute to the coding, while others may require that you write a review or an article.
- How does it work?Find the projects that are giving out bounties (see examples below as to where to find these projects); perform the simple tasks and get rewarded.
- Benefits: Relatively simple tasks to perform. Some of these projects may potentially become something substantial. This is an easy way to get free tokens without investment.
- Drawbacks: These bounties may sometimes be worth only a few cents, or less. So, you have to decide whether or not it is worth your time.
- Bitcointalk is the best platform to find all the bounties offered by various projects. This forum makes it a lot easier to keep track of the many projects that provide instructions on how to take part in their bounty programs.
There are sites that give away free tokens, including bitcoin, for just logging in at certain intervals or for just signing up. These are called faucets. Although this sounds like a scam, some legitimate faucet sites do exist.
- How does it work? You sign up at various faucet sites and perform the simple actions prompted. You receive a micro payout each time you perform the action.
- Benefits: An easy, non-technical and cost-freeway to earn your free tokens.
- Drawback: These micro-payouts are really micro. Unless you accumulate a substantial amount through faucets, it may not be worth your time.
- Cointiply: This faucet pays you for rolling a dice on the site, or watching videos, or playing games, etc.
- Bonus Bitcoin: This is another faucet that gives away free satoshis (units of bitcoin) simply for claiming (hitting claim button) every 15 minutes. There are other ways to earn bitcoin satoshis on this faucet.
Starting a bitcoin ATM
While cryptocurrencies, as a whole, are still lagging in terms of mainstream acceptance, bitcoin and Ethereum are slowly becoming household names, especially bitcoin. This means there is a growing demand from people who want to put some small change into bitcoin. There is also a small group of people who hold bitcoins,and who want to cash out to fiat for their immediate needs.
Both these groups present an opportunity for a bitcoin ATM, which can help people buy and/or sell bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies. Just like traditional ATMs, the host of these machines gets to earn a commission each time a transaction happens.
- How does it work: The process is similar to starting a new privately-owned ATM service, however, it is important to ensure that bitcoin and cryptocurrency sale is permitted in the jurisdiction you want to operate in. Once you confirm that it is legally okay to proceed, you check the various vendors that provide bitcoin ATMs and pick a machine that meets your budget, fees and space specifications.
- Benefits: Relatively new opportunity and if you find a place with good traffic (like a banking district or shopping mall or places where people come to spend money) it could fetch some decent returns. Of course, you have to perform your cost-benefit analysis and consult a professional if this business is right for you.
- Drawbacks:The majority of people who are interested in cryptocurrencies are well-versed with online buying and selling options. There is a growing interest among the general populace that want to at least buy a small fraction. This is the limited target audience, however, it is growing in size every day. Also, the need for bitcoin ATM’s could be solved with a simple app payment option once those become more widely used.
General Bytes: There are now a few players in the market that offer one-way (where you can only buy or sell), two-way (buy and sell) and point of sale machines. General Bytes offers various options for people interested in owning bitcoin ATM.
Earn by playing games that pay out cryptocurrency
What can be better than having fun playing video games? What about earning free crypto? There are surprisingly innovative games that pay out crypto.
DigiByte was working on rewarding players of popular games like Counter-Strike, League of Legends, etc. At the time of this writing, clear information is quite lacking on how to earn DigiByte while playing those popular games.
- How does it work? Most crypto gaming platforms will reward you for performing certain tasks, or reaching a certain level. When you unlock a level, you will receive a crypto reward.
- Benefits: Turning what you already love doing into making some extra dough on the side is not a bad thing at all. You do not spend any extra energy to mine the crypto, instead you simply get paid crypto for playing games.
- Drawbacks: Most of these crypto gaming platforms are not popular. What you earn playing these games may be very small in value, and sometimes could go bust before you cash it out.
- Storm Play: We tested this platform for the purpose of this article. You can earn crypto in two ways. One way is to complete micro tasks, like taking a survey. We took a survey that required two minutes and resulted in 45K bolts (translates to about 15 cents). Not bad if you are doing this once in a while during down times. You will need to earn 200K bolts before you can withdraw. They also have a referral system to invite friends. If you would like to, you can use our referral code (ZFWRKUUF) which will fetch you 6000 free bolts.
Gambling, although we don’t commend it
There are platforms that specifically let you gamble over the internet. The rewards are paid out in cryptocurrencies (like bitcoin) and most do not require your ID, although they may also be the ones that could run off with your funds one day.
- How does it work? You create an account on the crypto gambling platform, and transfer cryptocurrency to your assigned wallet address within your account on the platform. Once your cryptocurrency is deposited, you can start placing bets online.
- Benefits: Provides an anonymous gambling experience. Most payouts are instant. Some platforms may offer sports betting as well.
- Drawbacks: Gambling, especially online gambling, could be considered illegal in many jurisdictions. Most of these online crypto gambling sites operate out of jurisdictions with zero to none investor protection protocols, which means, if you lose your funds, there may be no recourse available.
Wagerr: This platform offers lotto and sports betting opportunities.
What is Wagerr? & How does it work?
Fortunejack: One of the leading places to play bitcoin video casino games online.
Taking Salaries in cryptocurrency
You may be surprised, but some companies are already forward thinking, and are offering their employees salary payment in crypto. Some blockchain companies even grant their employees stock options in crypto with similar guidelines as regular stock.
If you happen to work for a company that gives you an option to participate in tokenomics, you should look into it.
Taking payments in cryptocurrency
You can start accepting cryptocurrency in your business. You can simply start by accepting bitcoin or Ethereum, if you want to remain with mainstream crypto, or you can start accepting other cryptos that you believe in.
- How does it work? You can start by using PoS machines that accept cryptocurrencies. Alternatively, you can provide your own personal wallet for people to scan and send you money. PoS machines will help you verify the transfers quite easily, while personal wallets may take more time, unless, you use cryptocurrencies like ICON. Bitcoin, with its lightning network, should make transfers fast to verify.
- Benefits: There is a potential that the bitcoin or Ethereum that you accept for your services could increase in value. Since not many customers will pay using crypto, you could save up these crypto as an investment to hedge against mainstream vehicles.
- Drawbacks: Cryptos may be difficult to liquidate. There may be restrictions in many jurisdictions and volatility is another factor that needs to be taken into account.
PundiX (NPXS): PundiX is a manufacturer of point of sale (PoS) machines that accept cryptocurrency in place of fiat.
More and more businesses across the world are using Pundi X solution to harness the power of blockchain technology. We have been deploying our blockchain-based point-of-sale (POS) solution and solidifying partnerships with governments, payment companies, and retailers. Together, we will achieve fast-paced growth. There are many reasons why people are now turning to digital currency.
Simply use crypto services to receive a piece of the pie
Ever wanted to take back control of your data, but did not know how? Or, wished your data received more than a like or a thumbs up?
You can start using some of the blockchain-crypto services to digitize your identity and start taking back controlof your data. Eventually, when more people start demanding better control and monetization of their private data, these platformswillwork better.
- How does it work? You sign up with the blockchain service provider to create a digital identity that is unique to you, which sits on a blockchain without compromising your personal data. Once the ID is created, it is then tagged to your online footprint. Whenever an advertiser comes to pitch an idea to you based on your online footprint – the blockchain ID will act as the gatekeeper. Only those that are ready to work with the customer, in terms of usage of data, are allowed to see your footprint, and in the process, securing you a bigger chunk of the pie.
- Benefits: This is an effective way to stop the exploitation by tech giants like Facebook, Google etc. from benefiting from user data and details of their social activity, without ever compensating those who create the data.
- Drawbacks: All crypto services are in a relatively new phase. It will take a while for them to build the traction they need to go after the entire activity on the internet.
Hu-manity.co: Richie Etwaru, CEO of Hu-manity.co, is very passionate about fighting for individual data privacy rights. He wants to eventually get the same rights to your private data as an actual property. His team has built an app for you to start participating in this fight. All you have to do is sign up on the app, and follow the steps; Hu-manity’s team will then go out and act as your private data gatekeepers. Based on your permission settings – anyone utilizing your data will reward you for the privilege. Check our exclusive interview with Richie to learn more.
Imagine BC: While Hu-manity wants to create digital property rights for your online identity, Imagine BC wants to create a platform where you receive rewards for all of your online activities. If and when this is realized, Imagine BC could drastically shift the way we view our private data and the content we create, we create and how we should be rewarded. Imagine BC will open doors to public registration shortly. You can see the exclusive interview here.
Resources: Here are few resources for your reference.
Airdrops: Check this article for details.
Disclosure: We have included referral links, wherever feasible, in this article. You do not have to use them if you do not want to. Use of referral links does not mean endorsement or guarantee.
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About the author
RK Reddy holds two Masters degrees, one in Accounting and another in Business Administration with over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.
RK Reddy is an ardent fan of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies. You can see the excitement about this new blockchain technology in every article on Cryptotapas.com. Sometimes this excitement leads to an overly optimistic view. Guilty as charged. RK Reddy says “what may seem like an ‘overly optimistic expectation’ today may become an everyday norm in 5-10 years; look at the history of cars or airplanes, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies belong to a similar frame of reference.” Of course, that is just his opinion.
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