For many people, buying large amounts of Bitcoin is not a financially-viable investment strategy. But the good news is that there are now more alternatives than ever that make it easy for people to earn bitcoin.
And believe it or not, in some cases, you have to do almost nothing to start earning.
Let’s explore what all your options are, from accepting bitcoin from your employer to depositing it in an interest-earning crypto account. Depending on your short, medium, and long-term goals, each option has different benefits for your preferred method of earning Bitcoin.
1. Earn Bitcoin with a Crypto Interest Account
In the same way that people used to (and, let’s be honest, still do) store their money in bank accounts and receive interest on their deposits, crypto interest accounts are a new and exciting model for the blockchain industry. This model is often done to in different ways, including interest-earning accounts. Some people also refer to this simply as lending out your Bitcoin. In the end, the result is the same—by transferring your Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to the financial service provider, you will earn interest paid in that crypto-denominated currency over time.
How do crypto interest accounts work?
A number of companies now offer the ability to earn interest on your crypto holdings. The basic structure is that you send your crypto to your wallet service provider’s website and over time you will earn interest. This provides a new way for crypto HODLers to store and earn on their cryptoasset holdings.
In recent years the interest rates offered by banks have lowered, making the returns less than ideal. Individuals have been forced to find other money-making solutions. To date, there have been almost no options for crypto holders.
Crypto holders are now turning to the alternative financial service providers for these services. Clients can earn annual interest on their crypto. The interest clients earn also compounds, maximizing their annual returns. For example (this does not reflect current rates), with compound interest, users’ effective annual interest after 12 months at up to 6% would be up to 6.2%, adding even more long-term growth opportunities.
2. Earn Bitcoin With Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a popular way to earn money for bloggers, news sites, social media influencers, and every day people. Companies provide unique URLs or Promo Codes for affiliate marketers to send out to their audiences. If someone who clicks on that link makes a purchase on your affiliate link, you will receive a reward.
How much can I earn with affiliate rewards?
Every company structures their affiliate program differently. For a lot of e-commerce brands, you will earn a percentage of the total order amount of the customer you referred to them. For other companies, you may get a set fee for every person who signs up for a service using your promo code.
For example, Coinbase will pay you $10 for every customer who signs up and deposits at least $100. Another popular exchange, Binance, offers up to 40% of the transaction fees of your referrals. For people with big audiences, that can add up to thousands of dollars per month.
Another alternative is BlockFi’s affiliate program, which offers referral bonuses when someone signs up through your link and funds their BlockFi Interest Account. Learn more about how to become an affiliate.
3. Get Cash-Back in Bitcoin When You Shop Online
Ebates, a popular Google Chrome Extension, offers customers cash-back for their purchases from thousands of websites. They work with almost all major online retailers, including everything from Best Buy, to Groupon, to Nike. Once you install the extension and create an account, Ebates will notify you if there are discounts available while you browse a retailer’s website. In one click you can activate the discounts. At the end of every quarter, you get a check from Ebates with your cash back balance. It’s that simple.
In crypto, a company called Lolli is offering similar services. Make purchases on websites like Sephora, Macys, or CVS and get cash-back in Bitcoin. Every store has a different incentive amount. Some offer as much as 9% cash-back. Others will offer a set amount of BTC. This is a very easy way to earn free Bitcoin while making your everyday purchases.
4. Get Paid in Bitcoin
A lot of people have started accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment for their work. This is an especially attractive option for people want to earn bitcoin from home or as a freelancer. Whether you’re an editor, musician, social media manager, or artist, you can make money with cryptocurrency in exchange for your services now.
Some of the more popular crypto freelance platforms include:
- r/Jobs4Bitcoin – a popular Reddit job board for tasks paid in Bitcoin
- Bitwage – payroll and HR services for getting paid in Bitcoin
- Angel’s List – Job board site where many crypto projects are hiring
- Earn.com – Earn Bitcoin for completing tasks and answering emails
- CryptoGrind – A place to buy and sell freelance services using Bitcoin
- CryptoJobs – Job board for freelancers that want to earn crypto for their work
- Coinality – Job board for projects looking to pay in crypto
- Bitfortip – Earn Bitcoin for helping people
How are crypto wages taxed?
People who earn Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as wages have very specific needs when it comes to accounting and paying taxes. Bitcoin taxes are one of the more confusing parts of owning cryptocurrency. You need to be able to track all of your trades and have the up-to-the-minute fiat conversion value, as well as the crypto amount.
According to TurboTax, employees getting paid in crypto must report their W-2 wages in dollars, when if they are earned in Bitcoin or another digital asset. For freelancers, gains or losses from services rendered must also be converted from crypto to dollars as of the day received. Those figured need to be reported on your tax returns.
There are a number of companies specializing in crypto taxes that make this whole process simple, and affordable. Many also provide expert customer service to support you with your individualized questions and need. Their software can help you with anything from collecting and evaluating your crypto trades to crunching the numbers on the Bitcoin your earned from your job. Some of these providers include:
5. Earn Bitcoin by Trading or Mining
For some people, trading crypto is the easiest way for them to earn more Bitcoin. There are numerous trading strategies and every trader has their preferred way to increase their crypto holdings through trading. However, an increasingly popular way to trade is by leverage trading. In this scenario, traders will borrow funds to bolster their trading. In crypto, these leveraged loans are called crypto-backed loans.
What is a crypto-backed loan?
Crypto-backed loans are structured like collateralized loans, where the borrower provides the lender with collateral in order to get access to more funds. More specifically, the borrower gives the lender their cryptocurrency in order to get USD. Once the loan is paid off, the borrower gets their crypto back. This is a safe and easy way to get access to USD or stablecoins.
A benefit to crypto loans is that they don’t require a hard or soft pull of a potential borrower’s credit score. Because the loan is secured by an asset as collateral, there is no risk to either side. If the borrower decides to not pay back the loan, the lender can just sell the borrower’s collateral to recoup the funds.
Additionally, crypto-backed loans don’t trigger taxable events. Transfering your funds to a crypto lender does not constitute a selling action, so there are no capital gains implications involved.
What is crypto mining?
Another way to earn Bitcoin is through crypto mining. Mining in the context of cryptocurrency is what powers the blockchain. Miners use computers to calculate complex cryptographic algorithms to uncrack code. This process confirms all crypto transactions and adds them to the blockchain for the public record.
Crypto miners are incentivized to complete the computer processes with what are called “block rewards,” which give miners free Bitcoin or other crypto in exchange for their efforts. The difficulty of crypto mining can go up or down depending on how many people are mining that blockchain or how congested the transaction network is.
How much does crypto mining cost?
Crypto mines can be an expensive operation. Antminer, a popular miner hardware manufacturer, sells their S7 ASIC Bitcoin Miner for around $199.99 each. A crypto mining rig can have anywhere between four to tens of thousands of these devices. Additionally, the cost of the hardware’s upkeep and electricity costs can be substantial. Bitmain’s SanShangLiang industrial mining complex in Mongolia has over 25,000 machines that process $250k of Bitcoin every day as of May 2018.
To fund their operations, some miners will turns to crypto loan companies to fund their operations. Learn more about funding a mining operation with your cryptoassets.