Most people enter the crypto world by buying a small amount of Bitcoin, holding on and waiting for the price to go up. If this sounds familiar, then you’re missing out on all the best ways to earn Bitcoin in 2020.
Rather than relying on the mercy of the markets, you should consider how your crypto can be put to work to generate a steady return. There are even ways you can generate crypto-based income starting from scratch. From lending to cashback, staking to affiliate earnings, our guide rounds up nine of the best crypto earning opportunities.
Ways to Earn Bitcoin From Existing Investments
If you’ve already invested in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, then one of the best ways to generate passive income is by lending it out to earn interest.
There are many lending platforms out there these days, but you should ensure you’re handing over your crypto to a reputable partner.
Cred is an established and well-funded company led by people experienced in the finance and payments sector. The company offers crypto users the opportunity to earn up to 10% APR returns on their holdings. That’s far more than the regular interest rate you’d get from a bank.
You can pledge any of 29 different cryptocurrencies for an initial term of six months, with no fixed minimum investment and no fees. Then just sit back and start watching your investment generate returns.
Cred is fully insured and works with leading custodial service providers to ensure the safety of all pledged assets.
If you’re more technically-minded, then mining is another way to earn Bitcoin.
To mine BTC, you’ll need specialist ASIC hardware. They don’t come cheap – even a mid-range Antminer device retails at over $1,000. With a single ASIC, you won’t generate much more than a few dollars per day.
More expensive devices offer greater hash power and, therefore, higher profit potential. Profitability will also depend on the cost of electricity, and you’ll also need a consistently reliable internet connection.
It’s worth pointing out that mining these days is highly competitive. If you really want to make an income from it, you’ll need to invest serious bucks in multiple ASICs, along with suitable storage space and cooling equipment.
The biggest attraction for the home miner is perhaps the ability to earn Bitcoin without going through KYC, as well as participating in the security of the Bitcoin network.
If you’re still interested, then make sure you do your homework before buying any of the kit.
Staking is another way to get actively involved in a blockchain network and earn crypto for doing so. You can’t earn Bitcoin for staking, as it’s a proof-of-work blockchain, but you can earn proof-of-stake coins such as Tezos, Cardano, Celo, or Algorand.
You can participate in staking directly with your chosen blockchain, or via one of the many staking pools. Many exchanges such as Binance or Bitfinex operate staking programs, meaning you could also put idle funds on an exchange account to work.
Rewards vary, but you could expect to earn anywhere between 1% and 5% APR on average.
Cashback and Rewards
Crypto cashback programs seem to be everywhere in 2020 and tend to offer far more generous rewards than their fiat equivalents.
One way to earn cashback is by using a crypto pre-paid debit card such as Wirex or Crypto.com’s MCO Visa card. They both offer the opportunity to increase cashback rewards if you stake their network tokens. Wirex pays cashback rewards in Bitcoin, whereas Crypto.com pays in its native MCO token.
StormX offers rewards to users for participating in “micro-tasks,” such as short surveys and gameplay. Earlier this year, the platform also expanded into crypto cashback rewards for shopping through its platform.
You can get rewarded for shopping with its retail partners, including Bloomingdales, Gamestop, and Agoda.
Trading cryptocurrencies isn’t for the risk-averse. You’ll need at least a basic understanding of the art of trading, and some skills in areas such as technical analysis.
Nevertheless, plenty of people use trading as a way to earn Bitcoin.
These days, trading goes way beyond buying low and selling high. With many exchanges, including OKEx, Huobi, and Binance offering derivatives and leverage, you can make money shorting BTC even during a bear market.
If you’re a newcomer, then it’s worth investing some time in educating yourself about the opportunities and risks before diving in.
Ways to Earn Bitcoin Starting from Scratch
Even if you don’t have any initial stake, there are still some ways you can earn Bitcoin.
If you have coding skills, bug bounties can be a great way to earn cryptocurrencies.
Every blockchain and crypto project is based on code, and companies are willing to pay anyone who can help weed out bugs and vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious parties.
Depending on how good you are, the rewards can be extremely generous. In 2018, one developer managed to reap $120k in a week from the EOS bug bounty program.
Working for BTC
One of the easiest ways to earn Bitcoin is to get paid in Bitcoin. Particularly if you work anywhere in the crypto sector, many companies actively prefer to pay in cryptocurrencies rather than fiat.
If you’re looking for work in the industry, then there are plenty of job boards such as Cryptocurrency Jobs or Crypto.Jobs where you can browse listings. You don’t need to be deeply technical or have a background in trading or finance. There are a wide variety of jobs that require other skills, such as community management, design, marketing, or content creation.
If you do get paid in crypto, then you’ll need to declare your income for tax purposes similar to how you get paid in fiat. Using one of the crypto tax providers can help you figure out your reporting obligations.
Affiliates and Referrals
Many crypto-related companies are willing to pay generously for referrals. For the average Joe, this may simply mean telling your friends about your favorite projects as a way to earn some cryptocurrencies.
However, if you run a website, YouTube channel, or are an influencer on social media, then you could also make money through affiliate programs by persuading your followers to use a particular service.
Paxful, Bybit, and Trezor all offer affiliate programs, for example.
If you don’t have a platform for affiliates, then programs like Coinbase Earn will reward you for learning about crypto projects and referring your friends to do the same. You can earn up to $50 for asking four people to watch a short video about projects such as EOS or Tezos.
Forks and Airdrops
Airdrops aren’t quite as common as they used to be during the 2017 crypto-mania, but many projects still run them from time to time. Most common is that you’ll be rewarded with a few dollars of crypto for undertaking particular activities such as following or retweeting on Twitter.
Airdrops can be more generous. Kava is currently running a giveaway worth millions for users who mint stablecoins on its platform.
Forks are more of a game of chance. If you’re holding a particular coin and its blockchain undergoes a hard fork to create a new cryptocurrency, then you’ll receive the equivalent value of the forked coin. Whether it retains the value of its predecessor is another matter.
Disclosure: This article was sponsored by our Lending & Borrowing partner, Cred.