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How does Bitcoin make money?

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 10:50
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Vera Yurina
How to earn money with the help of Bitcoin and grow your cryptocurrency riches? Here are all possible options
How does Bitcoin make money?
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In 1999, Professor Milton Friedman, a Nobel Prize winner in economics said:

I think the internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government. The one thing that’s missing but that will soon be developed is a reliable e-cash.

Nine years after that, Bitcoin was created.

Upon its appearance on the horizon, Bitcoin has turned the tables in favor of digital investment. Only a lazy trader didn’t try to make riches with crypto. Indeed, there’s a myriad of ways Bitcoin can generate income for you – both humble or grandiose. So, how exactly does Bitcoin make money? We will observe the most common ways of earning the asset.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the first decentralized currency in the world – it means that there’s no central authority controlling it (for instance, a bank or a government). The idea behind Bitcoin was explosive: it was the first financial asset that couldn’t be harnessed by any organization or person. Besides, the Bitcoin blockchain, the fundamental technology underlying it, ensures transparency of transactions – operations are impossible to manipulate. That makes data fraud simply impossible.

Thanks to the blockchain, every transaction can be verified without a central bank involved: it is processed with the help of computing power donated by the users. They help to process transactions and generate blocks that form the ‘blockchain’ and get rewarded for that in BTC token.

Where did it come from? The cryptocurrency’s father is the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – up to date, no one knows who this person, or group of persons, really is. Anyway, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency itself have become a revolutionary way of making investments and performing transactions – digital money has the potential to change the global economic landscape seriously and irreversibly.

Here’s what Peter Diamandis, Founder, and Chairman of the X Prize Foundation, stated about Bitcoin:

At its core, Bitcoin is a smart currency, designed by very forward-thinking engineers. It eliminates the need for banks, gets rid of credit card fees, currency exchange fees, money transfer fees, and reduces the need for lawyers in transitions… all good things.

Why does Bitcoin have value?

Okay, if Bitcoin is a digital currency that has appeared out of nowhere, how come it has any value? Many ponder this very question. The lynchpin of Bitcoin’s success is the blockchain technology and the possibilities it provides us with. Here are a few points to consider:

  1. Bitcoin can be used as both medium of exchange, and a store of value (the second depends on the first).

  2. The Bitcoin supply is limited: it’s restricted by 21 million, and not all coins are emitted yet. As we know, deficiency adds to the price. So when all Bitcoins get mined, its value will only grow.

  3. Even though volatile, Bitcoin contains legitimacy, investors, and wide adoption – the more people get involved, the more Bitcoin’s hype drives its price.

  4. It should also be mentioned that Bitcoin’s current value is impacted by speculative interest. Although some believe it’s a bubble, price ups and downs don’t discourage traders.

  5. Bitcoin will never use fractional reserve banking – that means that Bitcoin money is backed by Bitcoin money only.

All in all, it’s us, people, making a fuss around Bitcoin and raising its price. In 2017, the crypto community has driven hype through the roof – that’s why prices edged lower.

As the value goes up, heads start to swivel and skeptics begin to soften. Starting a new currency is easy, anyone can do it. The trick is getting people to accept it because it is their use that gives the “money” value. Adam B. Levine

Now that the stage is set, let’s figure out how you can reap financial benefits from Bitcoin yourself.

1000 and 1 model of making money with Bitcoin cryptocurrency

Digital currency is a stomping ground awashed with opportunities and people seeking them. We will discuss the most widespread ways of generating Bitcoin profit or earning fiat with the help of crypto assets.

1. Crypto trading

One of the fastest, simplest, and riskiest ways to make BTC is trading on an exchange. In other words, you buy Bitcoin when its price is low, and sell it when the price rises. This works the same way as with fiat currencies.

However, if you do it by relying on luck or guesswork, your efforts are doomed from the start. Professional traders dedicate a lot of time to learning how to avoid risks and predict the pricing trends. Truly successful investors know that they might lose money in the short term but win in the long term as they invest into their experience and education.

So be sure that you keep improving your trading skills – don’t just buy money blindly believing in ‘signals’ and predictions.

Binance exchange interface
Image by Binance

2. Investment in ICOs/IEOs

This is a lengthy and relatively risky way that won’t necessarily make you rich. We all know that cryptocurrency taps into untouched markets; the number of projects driven by blockchain is enormous. Some focus on healthcare and genetics, while others leverage crypto payments to pay for lawyers’ and financial consultants’ services.

Every project develops its own token and launches an ICO or IEO – a crowdfunding campaign for early contributors to donate fiat/BTC/ETH and other currencies to invest in development of the project. Using their money, contributors buy the proprietary tokens. If the project becomes successful and makes its way to the crypto exchange market, you can sell those tokens for Bitcoin. Besides, the value of the coins can increase exponentially.

Unfortunately, the practice shows that 90% of projects don’t make it to the exchange market even after successful ICOs. Therefore, monitor your potential investment opportunities closely. Look at the following aspects:

  1. The team behind the project: their experience, previous projects.

  2. Advisors and sponsors.

  3. The idea and its technical implementation. It should be something outstanding and useful for the community.

  4. Roadmap and plans for the nearest and long-term future.

Do your homework before buying some new coins. Otherwise, your money will disappear with the company.

3. Lend your Bitcoins for interest

If you already have a few extra Bitcoins to spare, grow your wealth through Bitcoin lending platforms. These websites connect crypto owners and lenders for an interest rate. However, this is a risky venture: although borrowing seems to be a sure-fire way of earning money, there is a danger that you won’t get your coins back.  Since there’s no collateral that makes the borrower liable for the loan, sometimes lenders are left with nothing in the result.

4. Organize a Signature campaign on Bitcoin Talk

BitcoinTalk is a website that unites content creators and their potential readers. You can use your account signature to advertise campaigns and get paid for the content you create. The list of signatures is present on the website. 

Seems easy-breezy? Don't rush into making conclusions. To start earning money, you should become a full member of the website (because those who are not get paid less, if not paid at all). Full members are those who have at least 120 articles posted. Besides, there's a large number of limitations on a post, such as length, original content, and so on. There's also a minimal weekly post number limitation, that's why such method of earning isn't the simplest one. An average full member of BitcoinTalk gets about $5 per hour depending on how much is written and the membership level. 

5. Be a cryptocurrency writer

You've got journalistic talent? Love writing? Then why not try creating posts, interviews, and analytic articles dedicated to Bitcoin and crypto? Find a company to work for – there’s a myriad of offers on Upwork and platforms alike, and some of them can reward you with Bitcoins instead of the usual fiat currency. Forums are nothing to sneeze at, too: find specialized Bitcoin forums and offer your services.

Alternatively, you can write for ICOs and crypto-related startups for Bitcoins. Note that regular work is different from participation in bounty programs – in the second case, you will be rewarded by other tokens.

6. Sell a product or service

If you aren’t into copywriting, perhaps there’s another service you can offer. The above-mentioned BitcoinTalk features a wide range of services you can render in exchange for Bitcoin:

  • development of websites;

  • online marketing;

  • escrow agents for BTC transactions;

  • and so much more.

P.S.: Since Bitcoin allows for anonymous transactions, digital payments have become widely adopted by eCommerce stores. But, on the flip side, anonymous Bitcoin payments started being accepted as payment for drugs, weapons, and other illicit goods – the operations are done on the so-called ‘darknet’ – the Internet where users’ activity cannot be so easily tracked. We do NOT recommend selling illegal stuff and services via the darknet for at least two reasons: it’s risky and unethical.

7. Alternative: Introduce Bitcoin payments in your business

If you have a well-established business but want to invest in Bitcoins, why not try introducing Bitcoin payments for users? Some eCommerce stores and websites have already added such options, so stay ahead of tech curve and reinforce the exclusivity of your business, too.

It doesn’t matter what you specialize in: food delivery (remember the Papa John’s pizzas bought for 10,000 Bitcoins eight years ago?), clothes, consulting services, or real estate – potential Bitcoin users are everywhere, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to attract them.

8. Paid-to-Click websites

As you may guess, these websites pay users BTC for visiting some websites or viewing advertisements. There’s a myriad of PTC websites, and Ads4BTC is probably the most popular one. You may choose between 5, 10, or 20 second videos and be rewarded for watching them. However, if you calculate your revenue, even if you watch 20 second ads on Ads4BTC all day long, you will make less than $10 a day, so it’s not a profitable option and is not worth your time, and, probably, even the electricity costs.

9. Owning a faucet

While working for faucets is a pointless venture (you can spend an hour clicking on different ads and earn some 5-40 cents), having your own faucet is a different story. You can build your own cryptocurrency faucet without supernatural efforts and start earning money soon. Such a website can earn you Bitcoins worth $1,000 and more. However, you will need to maintain the website, protect it against attacks and malware, and manage users. It requires a lot of time and effort, not to mention technical knowledge and initial capital.

FaucetHub interface
Image by FaucetHub

10. Micro Jobs

This option is similar to PTC websites, but in this case, you can complete small tasks for a few satoshis. Such websites as Coinworker offer a large variety of such tasks: they can start from simply testing a plugin to check whether it works correctly, or retweeting a post. It’s little money, but there is potential to earn more than faucets and PTCs can offer.

Coinworker interface
Image by Coinworker

11. Promotion of Bitcoin affiliate programs

This method is often overlooked, which is a mistake, as affiliate Bitcoin programs are a great chance to create your riches. Affiliates pay users some certain commission for attracting paying customers to their service. 

A lot of Bitcoin exchanges, startups and companies have affiliate programs. You can enroll and get a personal link for people to click and get involved. 

There are many ways you can share your affiliate link:

  • make posts on Facebook;

  • leave it in the comments on forums;

  • run your own campaigns;

  • create your website where you will share links.

Being a successful affiliate marketer is a hard task: you need to have some experience and knowledge of how marketing works.

12. Playing in a Bitcoin casino

Gambling has always been a risky way of earning, and it’s not an exception when it comes to Bitcoin. But in this case, blockchain will be the warranty of a fair game.

Find reliable Bitcoin gambling websites. As a rule, such casinos give players the opportunity to check the results and make sure they were random. Decent Bitcoin casinos have enough "house edge" and are ready to show players that they don't manipulate the results.

Although it's the simplest way of making money, everything depends on your luck which, as you know, is an unstable thing.

13. Mining is the matter of the past

If several years ago ‘mine and hodl’ was the easiest and sure-fire strategy of becoming a millionaire (you could mine coins even with your smartphone), today the situation has changed completely. The difficulty of mathematical calculations required for mining continues growing with the time and number of miners involved. The truth is that now Bitcoin mining requires such sophisticated mathematical computations that usual crypto miners stand no chance – home mining rigs cannot do it. There’s a 99% chance that your hardware investments won’t be covered, even if you join a mining rig.

So if you have a few GPUs and ASICs at your disposal, it’s better to switch to another cryptocurrency.

As an alternative to classic mining, today there is a cloudy one. Its essence lies in the fact that you do not need to buy expensive equipment, set up and maintain it. It all comes down to the purchase of computing power, and the equipment will be located in the data center of the cloud mining company. Your budget directly determines the computing power, and hence the estimated daily profit. As an example, it is possible to get acquainted with the prices and special offers of the cloud mining company IQMining.

IQMining contracts
Image by IQMining

14. Grow your Bitcoins through HYIPs and coin doublers

This is a highly risky way of earning. What is a High Yield Investment Program? Those are the sites that promise to double your coins in a few days or give you some very high interest rates. What they really do is take money from new subscribers and pay off the old ones. Due to the growing buzz, a website starts off seeming legit. Besides, HYIPs always have referral programs – users are rewarded for attracting their friends.

The truth is that HYIPs deploy typical Ponzi schemes. They exist for some 3-4 months before suddenly going offline with the users’ money disappearing. No more payments are made, and people understand they have been scammed. At the moment, there’s no such website that would be called reliable – 100% of them appear to be only a cover for criminals to steal coins. If you still want to hop on the investment train and give it a try, read reviews and use Bitcoin scam test tools to check out websites.

15. Claiming Bitcoin forks and airdrops

Since 2017, Bitcoin started forming ‘forks’, or other coins. In layman’s terms, a fork is a ‘coin clone’ that emerges from the existing cryptocurrency. Every person who used to have Bitcoin before the form can also claim a new coin. The first successful Bitcoin’s fork was Bitcoin Cash, but soon Bitcoin Diamond, Bitcoin Gold, and other forks were introduced.

The process of claiming forked coins is pretty common, but you need to have some basic understanding of how Bitcoin works. Without technical knowledge, this method isn’t likely to work. Alternatively, you can work with companies that claim coins for you and take some certain commission. However, there’s a threat that they can just take your money and disappear. As soon as you claimed a forkcoin, you can sell it in exchange for Bitcoin.

All in all, airdrops and forks can bring you the highest value in the short term but are too risky. We would recommend using these methods only after learning the nooks and crannies of the claiming process.

Also, watch this 99bitcoins review before you start:

Tips for getting the biggest bang for your buck

Mind these aspects before you start your investment experience and try to get Bitcoins:

  1. Do your homework. Be prepared to make any purchases and trading steps. Find information about the project/ICO/website, read online reviews and join groups to ask questions.

  2. Focus on security. Like physical cash, Bitcoin should be thoroughly protected. That means you should keep your wallet backed up, use anti-virus solutions and 2-step authorization. Ideally, you should have an official wallet of the cryptocurrency you’re going to earn.

  3. Keep tabs on fluctuations. Since Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are still at their infancy, investing money doesn’t guarantee you success because the price is ever-fluctuating. While crypto is at the early stage of its development, it’s volatile. Therefore, you should be prepared for more gambling than investing.  

  4. Bet on the fundamentals. At the end of the day, the winners will be the cryptocurrencies that have the most superb underlying technologies. So even if you don’t buy Bitcoin directly, choose the altcoins that are likely to get to the top. Look at the fundamentals, ideas, and technological implementation of blockchains.

Bottom Line

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are being introduced in different spheres of our life, steadily replacing fiat currencies and traditional investment ways – this is a spiral of development with no way to reverse the trend. While digital money creates a new era for the global economy, you should keep up with the time. Find suitable ways of earning Bitcoins, and you will enjoy financial stability in the long term.

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About the author

Crypto writer, blockchain geek & Bitcoin holder with a strong belief in the power of cryptocurrency. Veronika combines in-depth analytical approach with creative writing to deliver the texts that both inform and entertain. With hundreds of reviews, SEO articles and marketing texts under the belt, she has experience of working for blockchain Medium channels, Cryptodiffer site and ICOs. Part of U.Today team since 2018, she focuses on crypto price predictions and monitors the market to provide the most relevant info & opinions, can be contacted at