I’m a cryptocurrency beginner—a rookie, a novice, a noob. Sort of.
Long ago, I bought and sold some Bitcoin (well before I could have made real money), and after the 2016 election, bought some Bitcoin and Ethereum as insurance against possible devaluation of the U.S. dollar.
In the past couple of months, I took an interest in the many ways people earn free crypto. I’ve dipped my toes into a few streams, and report on them below.
Brave Browser. The Brave browser disables most advertising and offers users fractions of Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) for allowing and viewing Brave’s ads instead. Users can allow up to 5 ads per hour, but the amount actually seen depends heavily on where located. I started using Brave right at the beginning of March, and just received my first deposit of 8.3 BAT in my Uphold wallet.
Brave Mobile Browser. Same as the desktop browser, however the two cannot be linked (at the moment). I browse on my phone less than my desktop, so the first deposit from the mobile browser was for 1.8 BAT.
Coinbase. A cryptocurrency brokerage and wallet, it’s where many people start their crypto journey. Referring someone to Coinbase earns you both $10 of Bitcoin, if they buy or sell at least $100. Coinbase may be worth a look from veterans as well, since it multiple bonuses payable in various coins (see below).
Coinbase Earn. Coinbase allows you to earn crypto in exchange for watching videos (about particular coins/blockchain applications), and offers bonus coins for sharing the offer. Each offer is detailed below:
- Orchid (OXT): Earn $12 in OXT for watching videos; earn another $10 for each referral who completes a lesson (capped at $40).
- Tezos (XTZ): Earn $6 in XTZ for watching videos.
- EOS (EOS): Earn $10 in EOS for watching videos; earn another $10 for each referral who completes a lesson (capped at $40).
- Stellar Lumens (XLM): Earn $10 in XLM for watching videos; earn another $10 for each referral who completes a lesson (capped at $40).
- Basic Attention Token (BAT): Earn $3 for watching videos; earn another $5 for installing the Brave browser. Note, however, that last I checked, this offer is not working. Despite watching videos, I did not receive this payment. Also, there is no link to download and install the Brave browser.
- Three others were available, but all their rewards have been claimed. It is unclear whether these will be funded again or not, but the videos are still available for anyone interested in learning about Dai (DAI); Zcash (ZEC); and Ox (ZRX).
Coinbase Staking Rewards. Coinbase also offers the opportunity to earn staking rewards on Tezos. I staked my Tezos from Coinbase Earn for an estimated reward of 5.10%. In a month and a half, staking yielded just under $0.02, credited to the Tezos in my account, thereby compounding the staking reward going forward.
Ecoin. A blog link led me to Ecoin. It was easy to set up, yielding 1,250 Ecoins. What are Ecoins? Who knows. Not me. The account claims a “future value” projected at $125, but a current value of $8. However, because “currently, withdrawal is not enabled for USA residents,” these coins have no practical value to me. Huzzah, Ecoins. (What initially drew me to Ecoin is that E Corp (Evil Corp) from the TV show Mr. Robot unveiled their own currency called, you guessed it, ecoins! I am reasonably sure these are unaffiliated.)
Publish0x. This is a platform where authors and readers earn crypto for writing and/or reading articles unique to the site. Every article allow the reader to tip the writer an undisclosed amount of an undisclosed crypto. Readers may choose to tip as low as 20% or as high as 100% based on any metric they choose. The key is the reader keeps balance—tip 75%, keep 25%. It allows you to be selfless or selfish (or objectively fair). The primary crypto given is BAT, though others are sometimes rewarded. At a minimum of $0.50 value, the coins can be transferred to any Ethereum wallet. I’ve earned about 12 BAT this way, without being selfish.
StormPlay. StormPlay was advertised as a way to make money playing games. In the app, Storm asserts, “[b]uilt on the back of blockchain technology, Storm’s gamified microtask platform creates opportunities for people around the world to earn cryptocurrency rewards.” I play plenty of mindless games, so took a shot at being paid for it. After download, I immediately completed all the available “tasks” (primarily surveys) to earn 25,200 Bolts (valued at approx. 9 cents). I then downloaded several games and started working toward the goals (e.g., get to level 20, obtain a gold level character, etc.). These goals must be completed within 30 days to be rewarded. One day, the games disappeared from the app. They were on my phone, but no longer connected to Storm. Storm customer support suggested I keep playing, since I might get the reward. Or, they claimed, the reward may have expired, been deactivated, or otherwise no longer be available. Storm customer service seemingly had no clue what was happening on their platform. This was enough for me to abandon my efforts. Checking now, I see that the games are back in my “in progress” tab, but the 30 day limit has expired. Oh well.
All told, I earned a bit more than $40 in crypto that can be converted to actual money (I’m not including Ecoins or Storm Bolts, which I cannot convert). It’s not enough to be a legit side hustle (and will drop off after the big money Coinbase promos conclude), but it’s been fun and interesting to play with.
[Note that each link above takes you to a referral page. Sometimes that gets us both a bonus; sometimes, it’s just me. Feel free to use them or not, and happy hunting!]