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Who doesn’t like free stuff? Well, those who like cryptocurrency can get their freebies, too. A number of websites offer free cryptocurrency to consumers, and all it takes to get started is a bit of initiative. With crypto’s penchant for price swings, you may get more than you bargained for. And some sites may also offer cash or NFTs, which could be transformed into crypto.
Here’s how you can earn free cryptocurrency for visiting sites and what to look for.
How to earn free cryptocurrency: 11 easy ways
1. Sign up with an exchange
Plenty of crypto exchanges will put some crypto in your wallet if you sign up as a client (just as brokerages will give you cash if you sign up as a client.) You may want to pick the best available option, although it could be worth your time to earn them all. The good news is that this is among the safest options if you’re looking to score free coins, though you’ll need to put up some yourself.
Some of the exchanges offering free crypto include the following:
From time to time other exchanges add promotions or provide time-sensitive bonuses, so stay on the lookout for those additional opportunities.
2. Crypto staking
Staking your crypto can help you earn a continual source of income, and that can be especially advantageous if you’re a long-term buy-and-hold investor or looking to stack up some coins. The rewards vary from coin-to-coin, but those for more speculative coins tend to be higher.
Some cryptocurrencies use a “proof-of-stake” protocol to validate and manage their decentralized system. That gives those who own the digital currency a chance to participate as a validator and earn income through staking their coins. You’ll support the infrastructure, get to hold your coin while doing so and even earn some income, too.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has challenged some staking programs as being unregistered securities offerings, which are illegal. Kraken agreed to end its staking program in early 2023 as part of a settlement with the SEC.
3. Free NFTs
A non-fungible token, or NFT, is a kind of digital asset or artwork. Technically, NFTs aren’t cryptocurrency, but you can trade them for crypto quickly. So how do you get free NFTs in the first place? There are giveaways for those, too.
If you’re on the hunt for NFTs, you have a couple good avenues. First, many new crypto projects offer NFTs as a type of “invite bonus” to their top supporters. You could follow a new crypto on its Discord channel with the hope of participating in an invite bonus pool for the people who drive the most traffic to the channel.
Another alternative is to search Twitter regularly for NFTs giveaways, which may be offered for retweeting and promoting the project itself. A retweet could get you a chance to win an NFT.
Of course, NFT giveaways can create some tax issues, so be aware of those.
4. Learn and earn
Some websites offer you the chance to learn about cryptocurrency and earn a little bit of it at the same time. You may need to watch some videos, take a short quiz and pass to earn the bonus.
Coinbase Earn is one site that offers rewards for learning about crypto, but others such as CoinMarketCap.com also provide an opportunity to rack up free rewards. The thing with these “learn and earn” promos, however, is that you may not always get the cryptocurrency you want.
The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Coinbase in June 2023, alleging it had illegally operated as an exchange, broker-dealer and clearing agency, and offered and sold unregistered securities. The lawsuit said Coinbase knowingly violated securities laws that are designed to protect investors. Coinbase said it would continue to operate its business as usual.
5. Crypto savings account
Looking to combine an easy way to earn interest with cryptocurrency? A crypto savings account lets you earn interest on your holdings while you continue to enjoy their potential rise. And the initial interest rates you receive can be much better than with traditional banking accounts.
One option here is Crypto.com’s savings account, which offers a tiered-rate structure. That means the more you have deposited, the lower your interest rate. High-flying coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum may offer an annual return of a few percent, whereas stablecoins might offer several percent higher interest, helping to make those a more attractive place to hold your money.
6. Crypto lending
Take your cryptocurrency game to the next level and lend money to borrowers and earn interest on the transaction. It’s called decentralized finance, or DeFi, and you can use the power of digital currency and decentralized apps to earn money through peer-to-peer lending.
Regardless of which lending platform or currency you use, however, you’ll want to be careful that the potential borrower can repay the money you’ve lent. Additionally, it may make sense to fund many smaller loans or fund them in connection with other lenders, to help reduce the risk.
If you go this route, however, it’s important that you work with a well-established platform.
7. Get cash from a brokerage
Even a few traditional brokerages offer promotions from time to time. However, these bonuses are typically paid in U.S. dollars, but then could be converted immediately to crypto on the platform. Is that reaching too much on the premise of this article? Maybe, but you’ll end up with crypto in your wallet all the same.
One place to begin here is eToro, which operates as a crypto exchange in the U.S., though it’s a traditional broker in other countries. The broker offers a referral bonus to you and your friend if your friend signs up and makes a deposit. Other traditional brokers that offer crypto trading such as TradeStation may run promotions from time to time, too. Then just trade cash for crypto.
8. Participate in an airdrop
The developers of a new cryptocurrency may do an airdrop – a giveaway – of their new coin in order to hype it and generate more interest and excitement around it. You may have to do a few things to have the potential of receiving new coins, such as follow the crypto project on social media, track it on a Discord channel or otherwise support the project.
However, it’s worth noting that many airdrops are scams and, even if they do deliver you some coins, those coins may end up being worthless. That worthlessness may be good for tax purposes – since you won’t owe much, if any, taxes – but it does nothing for your wealth.
9. Crypto credit cards
If you already have regular cash-back credit cards, it can be easy to make the leap to crypto rewards cards and enjoy crypto in exchange for your purchases. These credit cards may offer rewards on purchases in the form of Bitcoin or other popular altcoins. And other spending bonuses may be available as well.
One option here is the credit card from Gemini.
Of course, the same caveats apply to these cards as they do other credit cards: Don’t run up a huge credit card bill trying to get the relatively modest rewards.
10. Take surveys
It sounds a bit like an old internet game with a new trick: Take a survey and get some cash. But this time, the cash is crypto. And that’s what some sites allow you to do these days.
One entrant here is Freecash, which offers up surveys, games or other paid offers every day. While you can get your payouts in cryptocurrency, you could also take them as dollars or even gift cards. The site may feel a bit too “bells and whistles,” but you can still earn free crypto.
11. Browse the web
Looking for a crypto that you earn while you browse the web? The Brave browser may be for you. You’ll earn the Basic Attention Token cryptocurrency for using the browser as long as you have the Brave Rewards program turned on.
Brave blocks the typical ads and cookies, but still gives you the option to see some ads in exchange for cryptocurrency. The program is available in most countries, and the company shares 70 percent of ad revenue with users, it says. Payouts are made once a month.
It’s something you’re doing anyway, so maybe it makes sense to get paid to browse.
Watch out for scams
The world of cryptocurrency is already rife with scams, and the tales of crypto scams have already been legion for years. That situation can even be worse in the world of free giveaways. That’s because scammers love to prey on those looking for a giveaway on the next big thing.
So it pays to be on your guard when you’re looking for free cryptocurrency. Some crypto scams such as airdrops or initial coin offerings (ICOs) have high potential to be total frauds. Run away from any promotion that asks for your login credentials or private keys to a crypto wallet. Meanwhile, ICOs may have you trade your legit coins for a coin of dubious value.
As usual, if the freebie sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you’re looking to earn free cryptocurrency, you have a number of options, from the usual suspects at brokerages and exchanges offering freebies to the unusual, such as airdrops and surveys. As you work through your free options, however, make sure you’re working with a reputable partner or it just may be them who gets your cryptocurrency for free.
Editorial Disclaimer: All investors are advised to conduct their own independent research into investment strategies before making an investment decision. In addition, investors are advised that past investment product performance is no guarantee of future price appreciation.