Having ostensibly no money to put into the crypto markets -- but wanting desperately to participate and accumulate a bit of crypto -- near the beginning of 2019 I set about learning the best non-technical (not mining, bug bounties etc) ways to earn crypto. By best, I mean the most rewarding both from an earning perspective and enjoyment perspective. Here I've compiled a list of the top ten.
It is well worth noting that, especially when it comes to altcoins, we are likely at or near the bottom of the market, so with even a modest turnaround in market conditions, the dollar valuations mentioned below could easily double, if not triple. And that at certain points earlier in the year, the market value of these coins and tokens was often considerably higher than they are at the moment.
Also, most of these I did not use for the full duration of 2019 as I discovered many of them later into the year. But for the purposes of this article I'm going to estimate what would have been my anticipated yearly earnings if I in fact had --based on my earning experience so far.
1) Brave Browser -- Between enabling ads back in the spring for BAT earning, and getting a few referrals, BAT rewards via Brave turned out to be the most lucrative earning opportunity I participated in in 2019. It was also among the most enjoyable, as I enjoyed not only trying out a new browser, but also keeping up with the latest developments, writing blogs about it here and there, and sharing the concept with others.
About seven weeks ago or so I stopped receiving Brave ads on desktop and am only getting a couple a week on mobile. This is a common issue being reported among users lately. Nevertheless, from ad viewing alone, I earned roughly $50 or so in BAT in 2019 and ad viewing wasn't enabled til some time in the spring. And maybe another $100 or so in referrals. If I were to estimate a full year of earnings (if ads had been enabled and I'd been referring the entire year) I'd put it around $175.
2) Uptrennd -- I began using the crypto-focused social/blogging platform in February and took a break over the summer to attend to some things. I have yet to cash out any of my earned points for 1UP tokens as I continue to stake via Leveling Up. I'm considering finally starting to withdraw some tokens to an exchange in case the price spikes. While the Uptrennd tokenization system is among the simplest of any crypto monetized social/blogging platforms, I'm not going to go into detail about how I came to a conclusion about the valuation of my earning there. That's because of the way the staking/leveling up function works and makes valuing your time there a bit more complex. Let's just say I did do a bit of math and took into account the average price over the past three months, and I got a valuation for a little under $100. If I'd found Uptrennd on January 1 and not taken a long break in summer, it might be closer to $135 or so. With the exception of the break I took, I do spend a fair bit of time there, so your results may vary.
3) Publish0x -- I started using Publish0x sometime in February also. I also took a brief hiatus from it and most things crypto for about three months in the summer. I didn't write, and I didn't check in to read and give tips nearly as often as I had been. So I lost close to three months of daily activity. And of course there's roughly a month and a half missing from the beginning of 2019 when I had yet to start using the platform. All told, at current market value I earned roughly $58 by writing and giving tips for reading. Without the break and if I'd started January first I could estimate $75-$80 at current market value. When you factor in including a referral link in or at the bottom of most articles, this would increase crypto earnings a decent amount, but I've certainly no way to quantify it exactly.
It's been a great source of learning, information and entertainment for me, so it ticks the "enjoyable" box quite well too.
4) Pi Network -- This is hard to calculate because Pi won't be listed on exchanges for at least another couple to few months, and the tokenomics haven't even been finalized and released yet, but Pi is actually likely to in the end be the most lucrative of all the apps I've used this year once they are exchange listed--likely by many times over anything else listed here. I've been "Mining" (it's just simulated mining) Pi almost since day one and have managed to get a few invited users who regularly check in to restart their miner. This adds up over the course of time as a steady and generous airdrop.
Since no one knows the market value of Pi it doesn't feel right to list it in the top three, but at the same time based on anticipation of market value (blockchain forks often have similar tokenomics to their "parent" chain, so many are probably going by XLM tokenomics), I'd be remiss to not list it in the top four. While I don't necessarily have a ton of faith in Pi long term, I also don't dismiss it as the scam/junk project many people have. I've read the white paper and they have some pretty interesting ideas and a team with some significant expertise and background in blockchain. Supposedly they are going to end the phone mining at some point as they release their node software for their fork of the Stellar Network, and launch their ecommerce marketplace; though the phone miner has been popular enough that it's possible they'll change their mind. If you want to earn some Pi, you can use my invite here, and if it asks for an invite code, use CryptoScrimper
5) Coinbase Earn -- The popular 'Earn' video learning series offered by Coinbase continues to be popular for a reason. Watch a series of usually three or four 2 minute long videos to learn about various blockchain projects such as EOS, Stellar Network, and the recently added Orchid Protocol. Then answer a simple multi choice question after each video to earn a few dollars worth of the related project's coin or token. Some Earn opportunities also offer an additional $10 worth of coins/tokens for each successful referral to the Earn program. It's so popular in fact that Coinbase recently announced it's ending Earn.com (a different Coinbase managed endeavor) to be able to focus more on Coinbase Earn. I'm sure that means we can all look forward to earning more crypto in 2020 with this program. I still have invites for the EOS and OXT Earns if you haven't done either yet. Users often get put on a waiting list, which can be quite long (indefinite even) depending on your region.
6) Cointiply faucet -- I only recently started using the Cointiply Faucet, but if I had been using it all year (I'm not sure when it became available), and if i had gotten say even three or four referrals, I would have expected to make around $20 or more in Bitcoin in 2019 (yes this is better than most faucets which is why I continue to use it). The key to getting good earning out of it is making sure to never skip a day. That's because it has a daily loyalty bonus that continues to increase by 1% a day as long as you don't skip any days. So the longer you use the faucet withou skipping any days, the higher your earning gets. Cointiply also features other ways to earn like taking surveys, offer walls etc, but I never use them.
7) Lolli Bitcoin Back Shopping Extension -- Through a few online shopping trips with Vitacost for groceries and such I earned just over $12 in Bitcoin back with the Lolli Bitcoin back shopping extension installed on Brave browser. It works just like Ebates (now Rakuten), Honey and other similar extensions, but with Bitcoin instead of cash. You do often have to wait longer than with those popular extensions to get your Bitcoin but eventually it comes through. The standard rate seems to be about 3.5% back on your purchase. They have hundreds of popular stores they partner with to give you Bitcoin back. A couple of times I simply forgot to enable the extension before checking out, and probably could have closer to $16/$17 worth if I had. Use the link above to get a bonus with your first Lolli enabled shopping trip.
8) Electroneum -- I received roughly 1000 ETN (like Pi it's just simulated mining) in 2019 for a current value of less than $5, lol. But once you're registered, all you need to do is open the app once a week so i guess it was worth it. Electroneum has already launched its mobile top up product into several different countries on three different continents and continues to build its digital gig economy platform which will be marketed mostly in developing nations. If you want to earn ETN, click the link above to register and install. Then under "Earn More ETN" within the app, you can enter this code to earn an extra 1% on all your mined ETN forever: C8684A
9) Coin App -- While technically, if I'd been using the app all year, I'd have made significantly more USD value than some other listed apps, I'm putting this toward the end of the list for a couple reasons. 1) It can be a little cumbersome to use at times and cannot run in the background behind other open apps. *EDIT--they recently introduced a feature that pays out slightly reduced rewards even when the app is running in the background , which is very helpful. Now I earn an extra 20 COIN while sleeping and don't have to burn up my battery so much in the day. 2) It will put some wear and tear on your phone battery. 3) There's a $13 initial investment in a device the app connects to (which you really do need to make it even worth considering using).
Coin is the app created by the XY Persistent company for users to earn Coin (ultimately XYO, read linked article for more info) for collecting geospatial location data for a database they are creating, which they hope various companies will want to access. This is a highly speculative endeavor, but I am a sucker for crypto earning opportunities, especially ones you can incorporate into your everyday life and this fit the bill.
I ordered a Sentinel (this is the device you need to buy to work w/the app. Read linked article for more) in late September. If I had gotten one January first, I'd estimate my annual earning to be about 100,000 XYO which comes to a little over $25 if you take the average of the past three months XYO valuation. That's a fair bit of work for that amount of dollar valuation (while not work per se, the app requires a fair amount of mindfulness as you move about) and at current prices you'd be better off just buying some XYO. But then you wouldn't have the somewhat game-ified interactive experience of earning crypto either! It is worth noting I do not drive or travel much, so for those who do these numbers are likely to be much higher. One thing I'm not sure of is if or how much they adjust the payout rate based on the current USD valuation of XYO. It's possible the rate stays the same, in which case if we were in a different market cycle, my estimated annual earning would have been a lot higher.
You can read my longer review of the Coin app here to see if you might want to give it a shot. For full disclosure, this company is rife with controversy and I consider this a highly speculative investment of your time, energy, money (for the required Sentinel device, see article for more info) and battery wear and tear. I got into it out of curiosity and cause $13 for the Sentinel was a small investment. I don't yet regret it, as I've already nearly made my money back, but at the same time, and in the interest of full disclosure, it would technically have been far easier to simply buy some XYO on KuCoin. But I think the novel, interactive game-ified aspect has appeal to me and some others.
10) TokenTuber -- I only started using TokenTuber in November, and since the platform is brand new and has very little traction yet, the dollar valuation of what I've earned isn't even worth mentioning. However, it's the potential that interests me, as well as the fact that I just plain enjoy using the platform for educational and informational purposes. I wrote more in depth about it here, so won't go into many details. Basically it's a video based crypto education site for the masses. Suitable for blockchain novices and intermediate enthusiasts, but those with more advanced knowledge could certainly find some interesting content as well, as there are hundreds of topics and projects covered.
There's a way for video creators to earn too, but I'll just focus on viewers like myself for the moment. All you need to do is visit the platform regularly and upvote the content you like most and which you feel has the best shot at going viral/getting the most upvotes. The earlier in its upvote history you upvote a video, the more TUBER you will earn as it goes on to earn upvotes. Hope that makes sense. It's really a simple concept. And if you get started now, it could turn into a decent source of mostly passive crypto income over the course of 2020. I'm personally kind of excited about watching my TUBER grow in 2020 as I was one of the first wave of users and so have been upvoting a lot of content very early. Sign up here and take the crypto quiz to immediately earn TUBER.
Also consider watching ScottCBusiness' interview with the founder to glean more insight into just how early an adopter you would be if you started using it today. What you see there today is the very first iteration of the platform. There are tons of improvements to come.
While none of these are making anyone rich, they are nice options to scrimp yourself a little crypto whether you have or don't have money to invest in the markets. All in all my experience with these apps, services and platforms has been good enough that I plan to continue to use all of them in 2020 so long as they're all available. And hopefully staking some of these proceeds or selling them after a nice market rise will make it seem even more worthwhile as we move further into 2020.
Ideas I plan to explore for 2020.
- Continue to use LBRY and earn LBC via their Rewards program
- Crowdholding bounty earning platform (earn crypto for sharing your experiences with various Dapps and platforms)
- Instars --Earn crypto for participating in surveys, polls and other tasks while preserving your privacy. Open to most countries for a while, but just now opened up to U.S. residents. Earn $10 in EOS when you sign up and complete 3 tasks (US residents only for the EOS offer). While I have no experience w/it yet as I've until just now not been allowed to participate, I suspect this is better than your average crypto earning platform from what I've seen and read so far, and I could be wrong but I believe Tim Draper may have even invested in it. And I always pay attention to anything he's paying attention to (Datawallet is another)
- Will continue to look for updates from Datawallet who are creating a way for us to choose how our online data is used and allowing us to be compensated for it
- Permission.io/ASK token, ecommerce platform
- Continue using Triviata app to earn VRA and Bitcoin
- Continue using PreSearch/DSearch as my search engine