Giving away free bitcoins can be a common scam — as notorious as the Nigerian prince. Just take a quick look at Bitcoin’s price, and it’ll become crystal clear why you should never put much hope in Bitcoin rewards. At least, not on those that promise a full coin.
Admittedly, Bitcoin is still prone to abrupt price movements but volatility doesn’t stop it from enjoying the status of digital gold — as you can see on charts, no other virtual coin has gotten even close to BTC market value.
So, we can’t tell you in what direction the BTC price will move tomorrow, but we can assure you that there are only two ways to acquire Bitcoin: to buy BTC from a cryptocurrency exchange or to mine it. Crypto rewards are not even an option, not because there aren’t any legit giveaway offers, but because the rewards are insignificantly small.
Interestingly, mining was initially the way to free bitcoins but in this competitive landscape, it’s perhaps easier to collect “Bitcoin drops” than to make a gain from mining without a heavy investment.
Now, let’s see when crypto mining ceased to be a free source of new bitcoins. At the same time, we’ll be digging around for no-cost options, even if the reward is as tiny as the smallest BTC fraction.
How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?
In the common crypto jargon, Bitcoin mining is a process of minting new coins. This definition isn’t wrong, but it’s incomplete — Bitcoin mining is a process of verifying Bitcoin transactions that results in producing new crypto coins. This means that from the moment you click Send up to the moment you receive the Transaction Confirmed signal, someone in the back takes care of the transaction legitimacy and earn bitcoins for their contribution. Those lucky fellows are popularly known as miners, represented by their computers (nodes).
Another popular definition related to Bitcoin mining is that miners solve complex math equations to get free coins. This expression can also be a source of confusion, so let’s re-construct it a bit by giving a closer look at the Bitcoin transaction flow.
When you submit your transaction request, your transaction enters a mempool, which is something like a blockchain waitlist. This stage is important to mention because, at this point, the blockchain system organizes transactions into blocks. Each block gets labelled with unique data, which gets converted into a hashed SHA-256 string.
The complexity of the math task lies in un-converting the SHA-256 function into its initial format. Since SHA-256 is irreversible in nature, the only way to solve the math problem is by guessing. Ultimately, the lucky miner who gets the correct result (golden nonce) first is the one that attaches the transaction block to the blockchain and receives brand-new bitcoins in return.
Is Bitcoin Mining Free?
The mining process, as described above, is technically advanced, but since the computer does all the guessing attempts job for you, miners don’t feel like solving any maths problems. Moreover, the blockchain doesn’t impose any eligibility requirements, so, theoretically, everyone with access to a desktop can become a miner. So it was — before the Bitcoin price started getting global traction.
The catch is that the Bitcoin system is designed with a self-protecting mechanism against inflation. The total supply of Bitcoin units is set to an upper cap of 21 million BTC, and the process of minting new coins isn’t triggered by users’ demand. This means that when Bitcoin is sought after, the blockchain doesn’t increase production but increases the criteria for production.
More precisely, the blockchain increases the difficulty level of the previously discussed math equations. For miners, this means that they need to make more guessing attempts for a better result. Each attempt, or what we call a hash, requires a certain amount of computing power, i.e. electricity.
How Much Does Bitcoin Mining Cost?
Unfortunately, neither computers with regular CPUs nor GPU-enhanced devices are longer able to provide the amount of energy necessary to keep a competitive edge in the mining arena. Today’s Bitcoin miners connect their mining software with sophisticated ASIC rigs that require hefty cash investment, industry-level maintenance, and electricity consumption, none of which is free.
For illustration, one of the most advanced ASIC models, WhatsMiner M30S++, costs nearly $4,000 and can produce 112TH/s (112 terra hashes or 112, 000 000 000 000 hashes per second). To mine a single Bitcoin, you need to make around 2.5 quadrillion hashes per second (note that this amount varies due to different electricity costs across different countries and the current demand).
Maybe these 15-digit numbers make you dizzy, but the math here is pretty simple. Profitable mining pools and farms need to accommodate and fuel tens of thousands of ASIC rigs before they get to their “free bitcoins.”
Legit Ways to Earn Free Bitcoins
On the other hand, many companies use Bitcoin’s popularity as an efficient marketing trick to promote their products and services. As we already said, Bitcoin giveaways are more likely to be a scam.
Yet, you can find a number of legit online services that pay with Bitcoin if you agree to participate in their survey, play games, share their ad, or something similar. So, if you run across a free cryptocurrency offer and feel tempted to embark on such an action, double-check the following:
- The sum of the Bitcoin award — if you see “we give 2 BTC for free”, just run away off the website;
- The company background from a perspective of real users’ experiences, the company’s official website, and non-biased reviews.
To help your way towards non-scam Bitcoin rewards, we combined these factors with detailed market research and listed the most popular methods and sites for free Bitcoin rewards.
Coinbase Learn and Earn
Coinbase is one of the most secure crypto destinations with an established user base of over 98 million verified users across 100 countries worldwide. This crypto exchange offers beginners a unique way to earn symbolic amounts of altcoins as a reward for successfully completing tutorials and short crypto courses.
After watching a video, you need to pass a quick quiz or do another task. Apart from Learn and Earn, Coinbase will reward you with a $5 sign-up bonus in Bitcoin when you register on the exchange, and $10 if you recommend the platform to a friend (after their first 100+ USD trade).
Bitcoin Faucets and Other Micro Tasks
Some websites and mobile apps will allow you to earn a small portion of BTC by completing tasks that may include Bitcoin faucets, airdrops, cashback deals, completing surveys, participating in lotteries, playing mundane games, and watching ads and other promotional videos. The range of possibilities is unlimited, but after the Bitcoin price boom, no service gives more than a couple of satoshi — the smallest Bitcoin denomination worth 0.00000001 BTC.
Bitcoin faucets and other to-do websites have that scammy note because all fraudulent and phishing types of cybercrime are packed in the form of such entertaining activities. However, there are few legit web destinations where you can have fun and earn BTC at the same time:
- Freebitcoin — multi-functional website with numerous Bitcoin-earning activities (lottery, quizzes, referral programs and affiliate programs);
- Satoshi Hero — a platform with an impressive list of online games with BTC as a reward;
- BTCBux — a popular site with a large choice of faucets and ads, which features an exceptionally transparent and fast payout system.
- CoinPayU — a website similar to Freebitcoin that claims you can earn up to 0.1 BTC per month.
- Cointiply is another popular faucet site where you can earn rewards in the form of Bitcoin and other dominant cryptocurrencies. Among other rewarding options, Cointiply offers one of the best Bitcoin plans for low-scale interest payments.
Use a Crypto Browser
Unlike traditional browsers, crypto browsers such as Brave, Lolli, Opera Web3, and Osiris can reward their loyal users with free digital currency for using their systems. All you have to do is install the browser, and each time you visit a platform or website, you’ll get a reward portion deposited directly to your Bitcoin wallet by sharing your wallet address or QR code.
A Few Words Before You Go…
Given the vast number of websites and platforms with Bitcoin reward systems, it’s perhaps too harsh to say that there is no such thing as free Bitcoin. As long as you’re sure these virtual “fun houses” won’t outfox you, they can be a great entertainment and a profitable hobby. Moreover, it can be a very effective plan to follow all market promotions, discounts, and referral programs on social media channels.
However, if we talk about Bitcoin as serious trading material, you’ll need something more than the 65-satoshi reward from Satoshi Hero. It’s wiser to buy Bitcoin on a regulated marketplace like Binance or Bitbuy in exchange for your native fiat currency, using a payment method that is close to your purchasing style (wire transfer, credit card, or PayPal).
Then you can spend some quality time studying crypto trading strategies rather than waiting for a Bitcoin “charity” miracle. It’s much easier to make money when you already have a certain amount of bitcoins or other digital assets (Ethereum or Litecoin, for example) in your possession.