1. Earn Bitcoins by accepting them as a means of payment
In my opinion, the best and easiest way to earn Bitcoins is to accept them as a means of payment. If you have a small business, the integration is done quickly and easily. No matter if you have a brick and mortar shop or an online business, no matter if you sell goods or services. You just have to complete the following three steps:
- Get a free online Bitcoin wallet from Coinbase. If you’re not sure what a Bitcoin wallet is, check out my What is Bitcoin section. There are also many other providers apart from Coinbase. When you sign up with LocalBitcoins you will also get a free bitcoin wallet with a broad range of functions. Find out which works best for you. And remember, no wallet is absolutely safe, so be careful with your money. Especially make sure you keep your Bitcoins stored safely in at least 2 or 3 different places.
- Display a QR-code with your Bitcoin address next to your cash register. There are two options here.
- When you have your wallet, go to a section that says ‘Receive Money’ or ‘Add funds’ or something similar. There will usually be a QR-code that has your Bitcoin address encoded in it. Print out the image with the QR-code and place it next to your cash register. Your customers will typically have a Bitcoin app installed on their smartphone where they can enter the value of the purchase in USD or EUR. Their app calculates the corresponding Bitcoin value. It automatically takes the current exchange rate to get the right amount. On your wallet account, you can check the confirmation of your incoming payment.
- Some wallets offer a ‘Receive Money’ functionality. When you earn Bitcoins by accepting them as a payment method on a more regular basis it comes in handy when you use a button called ‘Create Payment Request’. Here you enter the Bitcoin amount the customer has to pay and it will show the corresponding QR-code automatically. This way the customer doesn’t need to enter an amount which makes the payment for them more convenient. For this method, you need to calculate the Bitcoin amount from your USD or EUR price before you can enter it for the QR-code to generate.
- Display a QR-code with your Bitcoin address next to your cash register. There are two options here.
- Display the ‘Bitcoin accepted here‘ logo at the entrance to your shop to show everybody your innovative payment integration. You will find a printable version of the logo plus a free guide under Downloads.
There are many other lists and indexes where you can add your shop. I find the two mentioned ones to work best so far. If you have one that you think is really good and complete, contact me. I will be happy to add other links here.
2. Earn free Bitcoins by completing tasks on websites ✔
There are many websites which offer you to earn free Bitcoins. With most of these sites, the concept is that you visit the site and just for looking at it you get a small number of Bitcoins. The concept has something in common with watching good old free TV. You watch a lot of ads and in between, you get something you actually want to see, like a film or music clips.
While this is a legitimate concept, the return on your invested time is very little. So when you earn Bitcoins from these advertising sites, the Bitcoins actually come at the cost of your time. As the saying goes ‘there is no free lunch’. But see for yourself, here is a list of some of the sites that I find interesting
- ads4btc :: Earn Bitcoins for watching websites or videos. You can click every advert once a day, you have to view it between 5 and 60 seconds. The reward might seem small but it can add up. You get up to 1,000 Satoshi per click. In any case, this site helps you to earn your first bitcoins fast.
- COINADDER :: This site has a similar concept to earn bitcoins as the one listed above. You can watch videos and websites to get your first couple of Satoshis. I haven’t tested this one but generally, the payouts seem smaller. However, before you start to earn bitcoins more seriously by watching ads, you should not just calculate the reward per view, but also how long a video view takes you. At the end of the day, you want to maximize the bitcoins you earn per hour.
- vidybit :: On this site, you can earn bitcoins only from watching videos. Same hints as above apply. Calculate how many bitcoins you can get per hour in order to decide which is the best option for you.
- freedigitalmoney.com:: Earn Bitcoins by getting rewards for purchases made in Bitcoin. On this site, you also don’t need a user account and just have to enter your Bitcoin address to earn Bitcoins.
- CoinWorker:: Earn Bitcoins by completing analytical tasks. A user account is required here. I haven’t tried this service but payouts seem to be a bit higher than with the aforementioned sites.
- Bitfortip :: Earn Bitcoins by answering forum questions. This is a nice service because it brings people together who are interested in Bitcoin and many other topics. At the same time, it allows paying rewards in bitcoin for answering questions. This is something that would not have been possible without a currency like Bitcoin that has low transaction fees and instant transfers
Earning Bitcoins from completing tasks on websites is a viable option to actually earn some Bitcoins, but don’t expect your income to be very large. I regard it as a first step to get familiar with Bitcoin in general. Also, it is interesting to see what kind of services are enabled through frictionless money transfers.
3. Earn Bitcoins from interest payments %
If you already have some Bitcoins, put your Bitcoins to work for you. Earn Bitcoins through interest payments by lending them out.
- Lend directly to someone you know. This allows you to assess personally, whether you regard the borrower as trustworthy. Then the two of you only need to agree on the terms like duration and interest rate and off you go. The drawback is, however, that you probably will not have too many acquaintances who match your amount, duration and interest rate requirements. But it’s a nice way to earn Bitcoins.
- Peer to peer Bitcoin lending websites with listings from various borrowers is another option. Bitbond is such a peer-to-peer lending site. Borrowers publish funding requests and you can contribute to their loan. You can fund small portions of many loans and thereby diversify default risk. Bitcoin loans usually work the same way as fiat currency loans. The borrower gets a certain amount of money over a specified time and repays the money with interest. There are two things you need to be aware of when you lend Bitcoins. The site needs to be trustworthy and the borrower needs to be trustworthy. When the site assesses the creditworthiness of their applicants the information given about borrowers can be more credible.
- A Bitcoin banking like model. Here you place your Bitcoins as a deposit with a site that pays you a fixed interest rate on these deposits. As everything here, this method has advantages and disadvantages. The good thing is, that you don’t need to diversify your Bitcoins over many borrowers. You just place your Bitcoins with your Bitcoin bank and that’s it. You earn Bitcoins as a steady stream of interest income. However, be very careful. In the previous case of peer to peer lending you diversify your lending activity over many borrowers. In the banking model, you trust one single borrower which is the bank. If they don’t do a good job of managing your Bitcoins, everything can be lost at once. That’s because the bank takes your deposits and invests them in assets, the most important assets usually being loans. If they do a good job you are fine because you simply collect the interest payment. If they don’t do a good job you take the hit. There is no deposit insurance in the Bitcoin world, too.
To sum it up, Bitcoin lending is a good way to make more Bitcoins from what you already have. And please notice this disclaimer: only lend through sites that you trust. Such sites will comply with the usual requirements that you expect from non-Bitcoin related sites as well. That means they have proper terms and conditions in place, they disclose their status of incorporation and contact details. Some sites in the Bitcoin world do not do this and in the end, people wonder what happened to their Bitcoins. Therefore, when you earn Bitcoins from Bitcoin lending watch who you deal with and only use Bitcoins which you can afford to lose.
4. Earn Bitcoins from mining
Bitcoin mining is the process by which new Bitcoins are generated. When you perform mining, your computer adds new Bitcoin transactions to the blockchain (a public ledger where all Bitcoin transactions are stored) and searches for new blocks. A block is a file that has the most recent Bitcoin transactions recorded in it. When your computer discovers a new block, you receive a certain number of Bitcoins. Currently, a block contains BTC 25. This number changes throughout time and gets smaller by the factor 0.5 every four years.
Since bitcoin mining has become a hardware intense and therefore expensive process, most individual miners join a so-called mining pool. One of the mining pools you can connect to is BitMinter for example. By providing computing power to their pool you can earn Bitcoins from mining without the need to build your own big mining farm. There are entire communities around Bitcoin mining and besides the fact that you earn Bitcoins, it’s also fun. You meet new people online and get in-depth knowledge about Bitcoin as a protocol and technology.
If you want to earn Bitcoins through mining, be aware that it is a costly and time-consuming process. Read the respective introductions and manuals to learn more about it. This website is a good starting point. Unless you are mining just out of curiosity and want to get to know the technology, it is important to make a cost/benefit analysis. Hardware prices, electricity costs, bitcoin difficulty, and Bitcoin value influence the profitability of Bitcoin mining. If all this seems interesting to you and you want to earn Bitcoins from mining make your first calculations on the Mining Dashboard.
5. Earn Bitcoins by getting tipped
When you earn Bitcoins through tips, it is much like accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment. You need a wallet, a QR-code with your Bitcoin address on it and the people who can potentially give you a tip need to be aware of it. There are various places where you can receive Bitcoin tips.
- Again, your shop is the first thing to start with in case you have one. It’s just a bit simpler because since tips are voluntary you don’t really need to check the incoming payment and the exact amount. Simply display the QR-code and check each day what came in.
- With tips, the nice thing is that you don’t necessarily need to have a shop. A blog for instance or any other website is sufficient. You can display the QR-code or just your Bitcoin address at the bottom of your page or wherever it seems convenient and let people decide how much they want to tip you. You can also view how this looks like in the footer of this German blog bitcoins21.
- Another really cool way to get tipped online is Bitfortip which was already mentioned above. This service allows you to get tipped in bitcoin as the name already says
- Imagine you have a restaurant and want to encourage your customers to tip with Bitcoins, there is this nice service: bctip is a website where you can print little paper vouchers that have a certain Bitcoin balance on them. When your customer has one of these, he or she can simply give it to you or your employees and you can redeem it like a coupon.
6. Earn Bitcoins through trading 📈
Some people would say that trading is a form of gambling. While there these two things have something in common, there are also fundamental differences. When you gamble (and assuming that it’s a fair game) you have a certain probability of winning and losing. When you trade assets, this gets much more complex. I don’t want to go into too much detail here. I just want to outline the concept of how you can earn Bitcoins with trading.
The safest way to make money with trading is through arbitrage. In short, this means that you see an opportunity to buy an asset in one place for a certain price and sell it immediately at another place for a higher price. It is important that you know you can sell the asset immediately at a certain price. If this does not hold, then we are talking of speculation – or gambling if you prefer.
The Bitcoin world, in my opinion, offers such arbitrage opportunities. But they are not as simple to execute as it might seem at first sight. Price differences between exchanges often come for certain reasons. The speed of fiat money transfers and access restrictions are just the most striking ones. You have to find out the concrete opportunities yourself. One place to start is this thread on Bitcoin StackExchange. Also, not every opportunity is available to everyone. Go and have a look at the price differences between exchanges and check out if you can find opportunities.
If you want to give arbitrage a try, you need to get Bitcoins almost instantly. One of the few sites where you don’t need to sign up is bit4coin. If you spot an opportunity and want to act on it immediately, this is a way to get a hold of Bitcoins fast. If you manage to earn Bitcoins from arbitrage, this can be very profitable after all. But start cautiously as it really does require some experience.
The other way to earn Bitcoins from trading is simple speculation. In this case, you would buy Bitcoins, wait until the price increases, then sell for fiat currency. When the price drops again, you buy more Bitcoins and start all over. For this to work out you either need to be very lucky or capable of predicting the future.
There are people who are good traders and who can recognize patterns from price charts. But that’s something very specialized and I’m not sure if I believe in this. So for me, if you want to earn Bitcoins from this form of trading it could also be categorized as gambling. And actually, it’s even riskier if you compare it to a fair game where you know your odds. When you speculate with assets, you can extract your odds from historical prices. But never start believing this would tell you something about the future reliably.
7. Earn Bitcoins as a regular income
Getting your monthly paycheck in Bitcoins is probably the steadiest way to earn Bitcoins. There aren’t many organizations who would pay you in Bitcoins but there are some at least. And maybe there will be more as acceptance increases continuously. Gavin Andresen, core Bitcoin developer of the Bitcoin Foundation stated in this interview that he gets paid in Bitcoins. And chances are, that when your employer accepts Bitcoins they might be willing to pay you in Bitcoin, too.
Apart from being employed by a company or a non-profit you can be self-employed and get paid in Bitcoins. Being a freelancer has multiple advantages. You can, for example, earn Bitcoins conveniently from home by participating in this bitcoin affiliate program.
You can also work from home for others. Here is a list of sites where you can search job offers or where you can post an offer yourself. It’s a very convenient way to earn Bitcoins because many jobs can be completed from home.
- Bitcointalk Forum Services Section is another starting point to look for job listings that are paid in Bitcoins. Some of the jobs are done easily within a short amount of time so it’s a good way to earn Bitcoins quickly.
- Jobs 4 Bitcoins on reddit has a focus on job listings for programmers. But again, it’s not purely programming and it’s definitely worthwhile to browse through the different offers.
- BitGigs is an online job board with many diverse job offers. The variety is really amazing so go check it out.
- Coinality has a different approach by not simply listing jobs where you can earn Bitcoins, but displaying them on a map. This comes in handy when you are interested in a local job somewhere near you. The number of listings could be higher but when it keeps growing it will become more interesting.
- XBTFreelancer is another job board for gigs that are paid in Bitcoin. These jobs are mostly also software related. If you have programming or other IT related skills it is therefore probably easiest for you to earn Bitcoins with your expertise.
- bitWAGE lets you find remote jobs that are paid in bitcoin. bitWAGE also offers a second, quite innovative service. They let you invoice your USA, EU, or UK employer or client in many currencies including bitcoin. This means that you can earn bitcoins from your regular job. Definitely, something to try for real bitcoin enthusiasts.
Then of course, you can start your own Bitcoin-related business and earn Bitcoins this way. Either as a fully fletched business of goods or services or you could run a website and place ads from CoinURL. If you want to start or already have a brick and mortar shop check out the earn Bitcoins downloads. The flyer shows you, how easy it is to integrate Bitcoins payments in your shop.
8. Earn Bitcoins from gambling – not suitable for everyone
To be honest, I’m not a big friend of gambling. But it is a way to earn Bitcoins so in order to make this list complete it needs to be mentioned here. However, I won’t list any links to gambling sites here. It’s fairly easy to research them if you are interested. And if you clicked on some of the above links you probably already came across some Bitcoin gambling sites.