The ultimate list of ways to earn free crypto

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Learn Crypto Blog Learn Crypto Blog
Learn Crypto Jul 23 · 12 min read
  • No such thing as a free lunch
  • Learn & Earn
  • Crypto Cashback & Retail Rewards
  • Airdrops

There’s no getting away from the fact that investing in crypto involves a lot of risk, which is enough to put many people off. There are ways, however, of getting a foot on the first rung of the crypto ladder without risking your own money. This article will provide the ultimate list of ways to earn free crypto, balancing the effort required, against the potential rewards.

Before we dive into our ultimate list of ways to earn free crypto, it is worth just providing a bit of perspective on what free in this context means, because Learn Crypto’s philosophy is to be clear and transparent - just like crypto.

There is no such thing in life as a free lunch, so you would be naive to think that any business or individual is going to give away free crypto without strings attached. That kind of thinking can expose you to scammers, who offer opportunities that are simply too good to be true. The best example being ‘Send me some X amount of Bitcoin and I’ll send you double back.’

The opportunities listed below are included because, to the best of our knowledge, they are legitimate; where extra caution is required, we’ll indicate that. They are genuine opportunities to earn crypto, but in all cases the term free with the assumption that you will always be providing something of value in return for the crypto reward, it is just that you may not normally recognise that.

Time is money, so watching a video or advert, clicking a simple captcha, or engaging with social media have implied value. So does providing personal information, such as an email address or proof of identity or residence. This is what is known as the attention economy. It seeks to monetise your attention, but to get it, a reward is dangled like a carrot. It is always worth keeping that in mind which is why we indicate the effort and reward involved in each of the opportunities in our ultimate list of ways to earn free crypto.

Learn & Earn

One of the most progressive ways to earn free crypto is in return for learning about a new cryptocurrency. It is a win-win because you are increasing your knowledge as well as your crypto stack, but as mentioned above, there is a trade-off.

A new cryptocurrency wants to gain exposure so will set aside a portion of funds for anyone willing to watch short videos explaining their use case, then answer a simple quiz to earn some of that currency.

Coinbase Learn & Earn

Coinbase provides the best known example of this approach, regularly offering the opportunity to earn a small amount of newly listed cryptocurrencies, simply by watching videos of under 2 minutes and answering a simply quiz.

What you’ll need:

  • A verified Coinbase account

Effort - Moderate

To participate in Coinbase Learn and Earn you need a verified account, which means providing proof of identity and residence. That takes a bit of time and has an implied cost, as in the wrong hands, that information could be used to commit fraud against you.

The process isn’t immediate because Coinbase operates waiting lists, and given its popularity, can take time to process documents. Bear that in mind, and make sure your country isn’t on their exclusion list.

Once you are verified the actual process of watching the videos, answering the quiz and receiving funds is very slick and easy.

Reward - Moderate

Once you have cleared the verification process there are no additional hurdles to pass, other than possible waiting lists, so the marginal value of each free crypto opportunity increases. 

You also have the added benefit that coins listed on Coinbase tend to experience a surge in price as a result. This means that over time the Coinbase earn rewards have provided significant value. If you had completed every quiz you could have earned over $400 worth of free crypto.

$400

How much you would have earned from participating in every Coinbase Learn & Earn free crypto promo

Coinmarketcap Earn

Coinmarketcap has essentially copied the Coinbase model with Coinmarketcap Earn. The site was bought by Binance in 2020, and the majority of advertising - a huge source of revenue - removed, in favour of promoting awareness of Binance, which is integral to this particular opportunity of earning free crypto.

What you’ll need:

  • A verified Binance account
  • A Coinmarketcap account

Effort - High

The effort required for Coinmarketcap Earn is higher that Coinbase simply because you need to create two separate accounts. One with Coinmarketcap for the quiz, and one with Binance to provide the address of the cryptocurrency you are earning.

The process isn’t seamless, as unlike Coinbase you don’t get immediate confirmation that your answers were correct, or that you’ve actually earned anything.

Reward - Low

By comparison to Coinbase the amounts you can earn are very modest, and the process is quite opaque, so there is no certainty of whether you have earned anything, and when it will arrive.

Crypto Cashback Cards

One of the most popular ways to earn free crypto is via cashback on cards that either let you spend a crypto balance, or from spending your local currency. The beauty of this approach to earning free crypto is that you aren’t changing your behaviour, rather maximising the potential reward for an expenditure that would happen regardless.

What you’ll need:

  • Verify your identity/residence
  • To apply for a physical or virtual card
  • Install a Mobile App

You may need:

  • To Stake funds
  • Regularly top-up a pre-paid card to maintain a spendable balance.

The market for crypto cashback is expanding all the time, with different providers taking a slightly different approach. We aim to list as many as possible here, and summarise the overall effort/reward. of crypto cashback in general

Effort - Moderate

The effort with earn from crypto cashback is mostly frontloaded. You’ll have to complete an application process and often experience a lengthy wait simply because this type of reward is becoming so popular.

You’ may also need to deposit a Stake - generally in a native token. The amount of cashback you can earn will depend on the Staking Tier you fall into. 

Once, however, you have a card and have set your stake, the process is simple. Just migrate as much spending as is convenient to the card and watch the rewards roll-in.

Rewards - Variable

The rewards for cashback can only be described as variable because it depends on the staking requirement. By providing a stake you are risking your own capital - remember nothing is ever free - and generally those funds are locked with a minimum period, so could experience a significant drop in value that wipes out any cashback earned.

Conversely, the value of your stake may rise significantly, providing an additional benefit in addition to the cashback reward, and any other perks that come with the card. This can often be:

  • access to VIP lounges at airports
  • rebates on services like Amazon and Netflix
  • merchant discount

Crypto Cashback On Shopping

One of the biggest changes to retail in the latest decade is the huge growth in voucher and coupon related sites. Retailers have shifted their acquisition costs to reward hunters rather than traditional marketing channels such as direct advertising. Crypto is following a similar pattern so there are a number of opportunities to earn free crypto on your online shopping.

Cashback at Lolli

Lolli is. a large US focused online retailer that enables you to get crypto cashback when shop at any of the retailers within their network. 

What you’ll need:

  1. Download the Lolli browser extension for Chrome/Firefox
  2. Set-up a Lolli wallet so they can credit your crypto rewards
  3. Have an existing exchange account in order to cash back to fiat
  4. Wait for the rewards to be allocated, which allow for refunds/cancellations
  5. Be a US resident or join the waiting list as they expand

Cashback at Pei

Pei takes a similar approach to Lolli, offering US residents the opportunity to earn cashack in Bitcoin or USD on purchases from over 8,000 online retailers. You can cash out to Paypal or Gift Cards, and even share your referral links to earn cashback from any spending via your shared links.

What you’ll need:

  1. Download the Pei app & link debit/credit cards
  2. Alternatively, download the Chrome extension
  3. Wait for the rewards to be allocated, which allow for refunds/cancellations
  4. Have a Paypal account to withdraw Bitcoin rewards or use Gift Cards
  5. Be a US resident

Effort - Low

The effort required for earning free crypto via Lolli or Pei is actually quite low. Downloading the browser extension is fairly trivial and works in the background as you shop as normal.

If you have no previous crypto experience you may need to set-up an exchange account in order to have some way to sell your crypto earned for fiat - should you choose to - otherwise you can take Bitcoin gift cards or connect an existing Paypal account.

Rewards - Moderate

The level of free crypto you can earn from Lolli will depend on how much you shop within their network of supported retailers. It could provide a nice return around Christmas for example, on items you would have bought regardless, so the effort/reward ratio is fairly low.

If you really want to ramp your earnings, share your referral links to friends and family, though they are more likely to want to enjoy the benefits themselves.

Exchanging Amazon Gift Cards for Crypto

Crypto is a very innovative space, and one of the most interesting approaches to earning free crypto is by providing an Amazon fulfilment service at a discount using unwanted gift cards, and getting crypto in return.

This service is provided by a platform by Purse.io who act as the intermediary so you don’t have to deal directly with the buyer. They enable crypto holders to request specific Amazon products at a specific discount on the listed price.

If you have an Amazon Gift card you don’t want or need, you can choose to fulfil the request, paying the full listed price, sending the item to the buyer’s address but pocketing the crypto. 

What you'll need:

  • An Amazon Account
  • An account with Purse.io

Effort - High

Given you are acting as an unofficial fulfilment service, there is no avoiding the fact that you are going to have put in a significant amount of effort. You’ll have to place the order and make sure you get all the details correct: address, colour, size, availability etc. Not forgetting the complexities of any potential returns.

Reward - Moderate

The return from this approach to earning free crypto is moderate simply because you have to be in possession of a Gift Card already, and have no actual use for it. It might be an unwanted birthday or Christmas gift, in which case you are essentially exchanging something of low utility, for something you regard as having much higher utility.

You do, however, have to place a value on the time taken as what Purse call an ‘Earner’ to see the process through, along with the opportunity cost of spend the card at full value.

Airdrops

By their name Airdrops give the impression of being truly free crypto. Money dropped from on-high for anyone below to collect. The truth isn’t quite as simple. Airdrops cover both:

  1. free distributions of tokens
  2. distributions based on specific eligibility criteria

Open Airdrops

This form of free crypto is aimed at generating interest based on what is essentially a free lottery, but still requires some minimal effort.. Coinmarketcap’s free airdrop calendar is a great resource for this, and shows that most airdrops offer a similar chance of success of around 1%. Though the value of the coins/tokens you’ll earn will vary significantly.

What you'll need:

  • An account with Coinmarketcap
  • Social Media accounts - Twitter, Telegram, Discord

Effort - Low

The effort involved in trying to claim these free distribution Airdrops is low. The requirements is mostly around following, retweeting and tagging on Twitter, or joining Telegram groups. The Airdrops hosted by Coinmarketcap make it easier, in that they manage the process, with the additional task of adding the token to their Watchlist.

Reward - Low

The effort is low for this type of lottery airdrop because so is the reward. You have to factor in your chances of success - which as pointed out is roughly around 1% -  alongside what you might gain, which is generally negligible to start with, but might, at some point in the future, be worth something significant. 

In that sense it is worth trying to pick those airdrops that represent the best chance of future success/adoption as that is where the payoff is.

Airdrops Based on Eligibility

Airdrops that require you to meet some specific criteria can’t be described as free. They are more like dividends or loyalty rewards for the active users of a specific crypto service. Shapeshift have recently announced what they describe as the biggest Airdrop ever dropping Fox tokens to over 1million qualifying addresses who previously used Shapeshift, or from among a specific list of DEX communities.

The Flare/XRP Airdrop is another good example, rewarding holders of XRP up to December 12, 2021 with an equivalent amount of Spark tokens. This is a reward based on the previous decision to invest in XRP, so though feels like it is free, because it wasn’t why people bought XRP, it is still conditional.

As such, it’s hard to actively plan to receive this kind of airdrop, though you should retrospectively check for eligibility within a specified timeframe.

What you'll need:

  • Meeting eligibility criteria
  • Following a claim process

Effort - High

The effort for eligibility based is high, in the sense that it requires proactive involvement in crypto projects, and the foresight to realise that there is a significant chance of future Airdrop. 

Once the Airdrop is confirmed, the effort of actually claiming is very low, as you generally just need to provide any qualifying addresses, and will then be told whether you meet the criteria. 

Where coins were held on an Exchange or Custodial Wallet, you may be reliant on them participating in the Airdrop on your behalf, which is, unfortunately, outside of your control.

Reward - High

The rewards for this kind of airdrop are potentially very high, because these are established projects with significant volume and number of users, but will be in proportion to prior usage or investment.

There is also the potential future value to consider, as airdrops from Sushiswap or 1inch have already increased significantly in value, with a lot more potential upside. The key there is to see general trends coming - such as Defi and NFTs - and invest/engage accordingly.

Microtasking for bitcoin

As the name suggests microtasking means completing very small tasks and earning a bitcoin reward (or in another cryptocurrency). The task could be as simple as watching a video, completing a survey or engaging with specific social media account.

Time Bucks

Time Bucks is a good example of a microtasking site where you can watch videos, Install Free Apps, follow people on Instagram, complete Surveys, VotePolls, referrals and more, all in return for bitcoin.

What you'll need:

  1. A Time Bucks account
  2. Hit the weekly $10 threshold for automatic payout
  3. Spare time

Effort - Low

Microtasking is really the low-hanging fruit of earning free crypto. The majority of the tasks are short and low-effort, though completing surveys requires some mental focus and can get a little tedious. You'll need to set up your account, and withdraw funds when available, but that process happens once, then it should be fairly straightforward.

Reward - Low

It should be no surprise that the rewards you can earn for watching videos, or liking Instagram posts are going to match the effort, but you if you get to the $10 threshold each week, it can fund Dollar Cost Averaging which may eventually turn into something more meaningful. Note, that if you don't hit the $10 requirement, funds rollover to the next week and are not wiped.

Play & Earn Crypto

One of the biggest trends of the last few years has been the intersection of crypto with collectibles and gaming. The ease with which collectible digital items (NFTs) can be minted and traded has seen a huge surge in gaming experiences with in-built economies where you acquire and grow virtual land, in-game items or characters that have tradable value in the real world.

As already pointed out, time is money, so you will have to put in the hours, but if you would naturally be playing traditional console games, it might worth considering switching to a decentralised metaverse where you can own land or items with tradable value.

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is a good example. Their tagline is 'Battle, Collect, Earn' which neatly sums up their proposition, but don't be thinking that this is just for fun. You need to purchase Axies - the game characters - to start playing, and invest time to understand how things work, and build your chances of winning battles.

What you'll need:

  • A Metamask wallet
  • ETH
  • A Ronin Wallet
  • At least three Axies

Effort - Moderate/High

There is a moderate amount of effort in setting up a Metamask Wallet (if you don't have one), getting hold of ETH, then downloading a wallet specific to the application and connecting two. The real commitment comes in mastering the game and strategy, where what you get out will depend on what you put in.

Reward - High

If games are your thing, and you're willing to put in the effort these kinds of games represent a significant opportunity to earn crypto. There is a specific marketplace for trading Axies, so you'll both need to understand the game and the dynamics of the market.