While cryptocurrency may sound complex, and in many facets it is, the idea of cryptocurrency is actually rather simple.
Rather than a centralized form of physical currency, cryptocurrency is a digital peer-to-peer currency that is tracked through a public digital ledger.
This public ledger is called a blockchain, and one of the most common ways to earn cryptocurrency is to mine the blockchain.
This mass running ledger is encrypted to secure user data and to secure the entire system.
Cryptocurrency can be used just like any other form of currency; it is simply housed digitally rather than being physically printed and minted.
You also have the opportunity to invest in cryptocurrency through cryptocurrency exchanges, which are similar in some respects to stock exchanges.
Rather than storing, receiving, and transferring money through a traditional bank, however, digital wallets are used to make these digital transactions.
These wallets secure cryptocurrencies, make online transactions streamlined, and even give you access to the public ledger.
The Basics of Mining
Every cryptocurrency transaction made is added to the ledger queue.
Before it makes it onto the public ledger, each transaction needs to be validated.
Miners use software to validate the transactions in sets, which are called blocks.
When a block of transactions is completed, miners work to validate the data as quickly as possible.
The first miner to verify the data receives a cryptocurrency reward.
The verified block is then added to the public ledger, creating a chain of blocks that make up the ledger, which is where the term “blockchain” comes from.
The entire system is encrypted, and the transactions are validated when the encryption is solved by mining software.
Using a keyword, a string of numbers that only a specific keyword can produce (called a HASH), and a randomly generated number, advanced mining software works to validate all transactional data before any other user.
Before the rise of the cryptocurrency market, it was possible to mine from your home computer and earn a lot of cryptocurrency profitably.
As prices skyrocketed, more and more miners began competing for crypto, and more and more transactions began occurring all over the world.
Now, it would take years for a home computer to validate just one block of transactions. This has caused many miners to rely on expensive hardware as well as mining software through cloud-based applications.
That said, there are some cryptocurrencies you can mine without the use of expensive equipment, such as Helium.
How to Get Free Cryptocurrency Without Mining
If mining sounds too complex, we’re here to show you a few simple ways to get free cryptocurrency.
You don’t need to invest in an expensive crypto mining right, and you don’t need to be a cryptocurrency expert to get free cryptocurrency like this.
Here are our top 20 ways to get free cryptocurrency without mining.
1. Eat Some Burger King
If you like Whoppers, I have good news for you: Spend $5.00 (pre-tax) as a Burger King Royal Perks member before December 17, 2021, and you’ll get some free cryptocurrency.
You’re guaranteed to — at the very least — win some Dogecoin with a (long) shot at winning Bitcoin or Ethereum instead.
Based on the official rules, here are your odds of winning:
Bitcoin Prize (20 available): 1 in 100,011
Ethereum Prize (200 available): 1 in 10,001
Dogecoin Prize (2 million available): 1 in 1
You’ll need the Robinhood app to get in on this because Burger King is doing this promotion with Robinhood. So here’s what you need to do:
Sign up for Robinhood. Use our referral link to get a free stock while you’re at it. If you already have a Robinhood account, you can just use that one — no need to set up another one.
Must use our link and make initial deposit within 30 days
Must use our link and deposit at least $400 of crypto within 30 days
Must use our link and buy at least $100 of crypto within 30 days
Must use Reward Code LOG23B2B5 and buy at least $100 of crypto within 30 days
Must use our link and buy at least $100 of crypto within 30 days
Must use our link and buy at least $100 of crypto within 30 days
3. Watch Videos on Coinbase Earn
Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
It has recently rolled out a section of its site called Coinbase Earn that allows you to earn free cryptocurrency simply by watching educational cryptocurrency videos.
So not only are you getting free crypto but free education as well.
Note that CoinMarketCap also has an earn feature, but I found it to be a bit clunkier than Coinbase’s.
4. Get Free NFTs
While non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are not technically cryptocurrencies, they are crypto-adjacent, and people are making life-changing money with them.
Of course, most NFTs don’t sell for millions of dollars, but I have personally made a few thousand dollars flipping NFTs.
Some NFT projects have invite bonuses in which the project’s creators will give away an NFT to the top five or ten people who invite the most people to the project’s Discord.
Now, if this all sounds like too much work for you, here’s an easy way to get a chance at free NFTs: Retweet this McDonald’s tweet from a personal account by November 7, 2021, and you could be one of ten lucky individuals who win a McRib-themed NFT.
IMPORTANT:Later this year, Coinbase will be launching its own NFT platform. This will be HUGE for the NFT space — I truly believe that there will be a second NFT gold rush once Coinbase opens the floodgates of NFTs to the masses, just like it did with Bitcoin back in 2012. Because Coinbase knows that demand will be extremely high for its NFT platform, it has a WAITLIST for those who want to get in. You can join the waitlist here and get ahead of the masses. It doesn’t cost anything to join the waitlist; I’d recommend you do so immediately even if you’re not sure that you are interested. It really doesn’t hurt.
SparkPoint is a pretty cool cryptocurrency ecosystem that houses projects like:
SparkPoint Wallet: This is basically a decentralized exchange — nothing too crazy here.
SparkPlay: This is SparkPoint’s gaming platform where players can compete in tournaments with cryptocurrency prizes. There’s a slicer game (similar to Fruit Ninja), a shooter game, a match-three puzzle game, and a game called Crypto Loco that I haven’t tried out yet.
SparkLearn: This is SparkPoint’s e-learnign platform that teaches financial literacy and the basics of blockchain technology.
Spark DeFi: This is a defi app that allows for lending and borrowing using SparkPoint’s native tokens, SparkPoint (SRK) and SparkPoint Fuel (SFUEL).
Anyway, you can earn SRK cryptocurrency through the SparkPoint platform through the games I mentioned above as well as through its referral program.
3. At the end of the article, you will be asked how much of your rewards you want to keep for yourself and how much you want to give to the author of the piece you just read. Make your selection.
4. See the cryptocurrency immediately deposited into your account.
I earned $0.02 of a cryptocurrency called FARM for reading an article that took me less than a minute to read.
So you won’t earn a fortune, but if you want to learn more about cryptocurrency anyway, Publish0X can be a good option.
11. Participate in Cryptocurrency Referral Programs
Cryptocurrency programs are available to those who are part of crypto exchange sites, and if you currently hold crypto, you’re more than likely already a part of one of those exchange sites.
These exchanges often have a referral program, much like an affiliate program.
When you get others to sign up using your referral link, you can earn free crypto or other rewards.
Users have to complete specific actions, typically a minimum number of transactions or buying and selling a minimum amount on the exchange, in order for you to earn your referral reward.
Using an exchange’s referral program is one of the easiest ways for you to earn cryptocurrency for free, with very little involvement needed on your end.
Remember, always go through secure, safe exchanges to avoid common scams.
12. Understand the Market Cycle
No one knows the future, but I personally see Bitcoin and Ethereum prices going a lot higher during this bull run — yes, this means new all-time highs even beyond $66,000 for Bitcoin — followed by an altcoin run up before the next crypto winter happens.
So what am I saying?
If you have significant Bitcoin holdings, consider shifting some of your Bitcoin profits into altcoins the next time Bitcoin has a huge run-up. This is not investment advice but just my opinion.
While you will have to pay taxes on the appreciation in your Bitcoin that you swap into altcoins, using an exchange like Celsius will allow you to make the exchange for free.
Cryptocurrency is one of the most volatile investments available today, but it can also be one of the biggest payoffs if you invest correctly.
Exchange your coins strategically and you’ll see real gains. Although this strategy may not give you “free” crypto in the sense of the other ideas on this list, it can still drastically increase your net worth.
13. Earn Interest on Your Cryptocurrency
If you’re OK with leaving your cryptocurrency on a centralized exchange, you can actually earn a bit of interest on your cryptocurrency.
How much you earn depends on the exchange you use, what kind of cryptocurrency you’re earning interest on, how much of that cryptocurrency you have on the exchange, and in some cases how many of the exchange’s native token you own.
I personally use Voyager and Celsius the most, but I also have some coins at BlockFi and Gemini as well to spread the risk around just in case one of the exchanges gets hacked.
The table below shows the current interest rates on the three largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Cardano (ADA)
Much of Bitcoin’s success today is attributable to the financial rewards offered to those who help validate transactions on the blockchain, which is basically a publicly-available list of records of all the transactions that occurred on the Bitcoin network.
Why is this important? It is important because with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, there is no centralized authority to verify the validity of a transaction.
Now, if I send you a dollar electronically, like via ACH or something, my bank deducts a dollar from my bank account and your bank adds a dollar to your bank account.
But if I send you a Bitcoin, there’s no centralized authority to deduct a Bitcoin from my wallet — obviously many of us have our cryptocurrencies at least in part on centralized exchanges, but if we were just talking about hardware wallet to hardware wallet, there’s no centralized authority there — and this is the double-spend problem that the blockchain addresses.
So how can transactions be validated and verified on a blockchain? Well, in the words of the original Bitcoin whitepaper written by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto:
“We need a way for the payee to know that the previous owners did not sign any earlier transactions. For our purposes, the earliest transaction is the one that counts, so we don’t care about later attempts to double spend. The only way to confirm the absence of a transaction is to be aware of all transactions. In the mint-based model, the mint was aware of all transactions and decided which arrived first. To accomplish this without a trusted party, transactions must be publicly announced, and we need a system for participants to agree on a single history of the order in which [the transactions] were received. The payee needs proof that at the time of each transaction, the majority of nodes agreed it was the first received.”
Note that phrase “the majority of nodes.” This means that in order for a transaction to be validated on the blockchain, there has to be something called consensus for that transaction, and that consensus is accomplished — and this is really oversimplifying things — by a lot of computers essentially trying to guess a random number.
Guessing these random numbers takes a good deal of computational power i.e. work, so this method of validating transactions on the blockchain is called proof-of-work. And the computers who engage in this process are called miners, and these miners are rewarded in Bitcoin for validating transactions on the blockchain.
And this is why you hear all this noise about the energy that Bitcoin takes for its blockchain to operate. It comes down to these computers having to do this work to validate transactions.
Now, other cryptocurrencies do not use a proof-of-work consensus protocol; others use what’s called a proof-of-stake consensus protocol. And the idea for this first came up in a bitcointalk.org forum post by an individual with the username QuantumMechanic.
The beginning of this post says:
“I’m wondering if as Bitcoins become more widely distributed, whether a transition from a proof-of-work-based system to a proof-of-stake one might happen. What I mean by proof of stake is that instead of your “vote” on the accepted transaction history being weighted by the share of computing resources you bring to the network, it’s weighted by the number of bitcoins you can prove you own, using your private keys.”
So instead of all this computing power being consumed by guessing random numbers, like in the proof-of-work protocol, with a proof-of-stake protocol owners of a cryptocurrency lock their cryptocurrency on the blockchain in order to earn the right to validate transactions and they are rewarded for doing so accordingly, similar to how miners on a proof-of-work blockchain are rewarded.
And because often, depending on the blockchain, these validators are randomly chosen, the more cryptocurrency you’ve staked on the blockchain, the greater your chance of being selected to validate transactions and the greater your chance of being rewarded in cryptocurrency.
The r/CryptoCurrency subreddit has its own cryptocurrency called Moon that it awards monthly to subreddit members based on the amount of karma they earned in the subreddit that month.
(Note that Moon is not the same as the very questionable SafeMoon crypto project; Safemoon is a completely different project unrelated to the Moon project.)
If you’d like to learn more about earning Moon as well as the tokenomics of the project, check out this Reddit post.
16. Join the CryptosRUs Giveaway
Crypto YouTuber CryptosRUs is giving away five Ethereum (ETH) on January 1, 2022.
To get a chance to win, sign up here and complete as many tasks as you can, including:
Visiting CryptosRUs on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Patreon, and Teachable
Following CryptosRUs and CRUNewsDesk on Twitter
Referring friends to the giveaway
Note that as of the time of writing there are over 700,000 entries, so your chances of winning are fairly small, but who knows? It might be your lucky day.
17. Play Games to Earn Crypto
This may sound strange, but some games will actually give you cryptocurrency simply for playing them.
Note, however, that the amount of crypto you earn is relatively small. Nevertheless, here are a few examples.
Coin Hunt is a free mobile game that is basically the crypto version of Pokémon GO.
You download the app and explore the real world searching for various-colored keys, which you then use to open vaults.
When you open a vault, the game asks you a trivia question, and if you answer the question correctly within the time limit, you are rewarded in Bitcoin or Ethereum.
And by “real world,” yes, I mean the real world. The game has a GPS map of your location and points you in the direction of the nearest key. You then have to go to that location (again, in the real world) to find the key to open a vault.
I’ve found that most keys are located in busy locations such as malls, plazas, etc.
CryptoPop is a free match-two game for Android that pays you Ethereum (ETH) just for playing.
Find your NANO wallet address and copy it to your clipboard.
Sign up for NanoQuakeJS here, pasting your NANO wallet address when prompted.
Start playing Quake and get some NANO for each kill you get in the game.
Personally, I found the game a bit laggy, but maybe that was just due to my computer and internet connection.
18. Participate in Airdrops
Warning: Many airdrops are a scam. Be very wary of an airdrop that requires you to download an application. If an airdrop website asks for your login credentials or private keys to a cryptocurrency wallet, it is certainly a scam. Always do your own research before participating in an airdrop.
An airdrop is a cryptocurrency giveaway that developers of a (typically) new cryptocurrency do in order to spread awareness about the new cryptocurrency itself, often as part of an initial coin offering (ICO).
Airdrops are kind of like free samples at Costco — they give you a taste of their latest spread in the hope that you buy it and keep using it.
It’s the same thing with airdrops. The developers of a new coin are giving you a “sample” hoping that you might buy more of the coin itself and participate in its ecosystem.
Typically, in order to participate in an airdrop, you have to take some action, such as:
signing up for the project’s newsletter
joining the project’s Discord server or Telegram group
following the project’s social media account
sharing on social media about the project
It’s important to keep in mind that many airdrops are scams and even airdrops that are not scams may still be a waste of time, leaving you with a cryptocurrency that never takes off and is essentially worthless.
Before I move on to the next way to get free cryptocurrency, I want to say it again: Many airdrops are scams, and you should be doing significant due diligence before participating in one, even if you found it on a website like one of the ones listed above.
19. Get Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Bounties
Warning: Many initial coin offerings are a scam, and they are not as regulated as initial public offerings for stocks. According to the SEC, ICOs “bring increased risk of fraud and manipulation.” Always do your own due diligence before participating in any cryptocurrency project.
An initial coin offering (ICO) is the initial release of a new cryptocurrency.
You simply exchange some of your existing coins for the new coin at a set exchange rate.
An ICO works much like an initial public offering (IPO), but rather than owning stock, you’ll own new digital currency.
One of the draws of purchasing into an ICO is the opportunity to earn bonus coins through programs called bounties.
Bounties are similar to airdrops, but typically the tasks required to participate in a bounty are more challenging than the requirements for an airdrop.
For example, while to qualify for an airdrop, you may just have to retweet a tweet, a cryptocurrency bounty program may involve you completing tasks like:
translating marketing material about the ICO into a different language
writing a blog post about the ICO
making a video about the ICO
As with airdrops, we always advise that you thoroughly research any ICO or bounty program before buying in or participating in it.
Bounty0x.io is a site that supposedly lists out cryptocurrency bounties, but when I signed up recently, I didn’t see much activity.
20. Check Out Crypto Faucets
Warning: Many cryptocurrency faucet sites are scams. Be sure to do your research on any site before giving it your cryptocurrency wallet information.
Cryptocurrency faucets are similar to rewards sites like InboxDollars — but rather than cash or gift cards, you are rewarded in cryptocurrency.
Believe it or not, some of these sites used to give visitors as much as five Bitcoin simply for completing a captcha! Of course, back then, five Bitcoin was not worth much.
Today, faucets don’t pay nearly as well, but the basic idea is the same: In exchange for performing easy tasks on the faucet’s website, you are given free cryptocurrency
Examples of faucet activities include:
clicking on advertisements
That said, since you have to give up your cryptocurrency wallet address in order to receive your cryptocurrency from faucets, they are a breeding ground for crypto scammers.
On the other hand, while the earnings are minimal, faucets are a simple way to get free cryptocurrency without having any upfront investments.
Similar to gift card rewards sites, however, you have to keep an eye on the minimum redemption amount; some cryptocurrency faucets set the minimum crypto redemption amount so high that it would take you a very long time to reach it, which would make the entire faucet a waste of time.
Probably the most popular cryptocurrency faucet today is Cointiply, which pays out in Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Dash.
One unique thing about Cointiply is that it allows you to earn interest on the cryptocurrency you earn on the platform once you reach at least 35,000 coins (not literally Bitcoins — “coins” are just the name of the Cointiply in-platform currency).
One annoying thing about Cointiply are its unique captcha puzzles that can take a while to loan. I suppose this kind of goes with the territory, given how prone cryptocurrency faucets are to bot manipulation.
Another example of a cryptocurrency faucet is Bituro, but I personally don’t think it’s worth it because the earnings are so low.
For example, if you take a 1-minute survey in Bituro, you will earn 10 points. But how much are these 10 points worth? Well, if you have a Coinbase wallet, once you have 1,000 points, you can redeem your points for $1 worth of Bitcoin.
Based on that, each Bituro coin is worth $0.001, or 1/10 of a penny each. So 10 points is worth $0.01, or a penny. I don’t think spending a minute of my time to make a penny is worth it (that would come out to $0.60 per hour), even if it is paid in Bitcoin.
Like I mentioned previously, if you have a Coinbase wallet, you can redeem for a dollar’s worth of Bitcoin once you have 1,000 points. Otherwise, you can’t redeem until you have earned 50,000 points’ worth (i.e $50) of Bitcoin.