Back in 2018, the most popular way to earn bitcoin seemed to be through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Over $6 billion was raised in Q1 2018 for crypto projects — many with just a white paper and a website. Business was good for founders and investors until the end of 2018 when scammers were the only ones laughing. Most investors lost money. Capital investments into ICOs dropped 97%. Companies like TruStory even launched whose sole mission was to prevent ICO scams.
By Q1 2019, less than $900 million was raised through ICOs —with regulation being the coup de gras. The crypto IPO was effectively dead.
So where has all the momentum shifted? The second wave of crypto projects will undoubtedly reward profits over potential. This article examines the top ways you can earn bitcoin in 2020 — from faucets and bitcoin mining to crypto savings accounts. The biggest winners of 2020 will likely fall into one of the following 10 categories. The strategy that is right for you will depend on your skills, network, access to capital, location, risk tolerance and investment timeline.
#1 - Holding
Arguably the best way to make money on Bitcoin is to buy it and hold it for many years. Smart investors rely on a strategy called Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) to reduce market volatility. This works by investing a fixed amount on a regular schedule, ie $100 once a week for 10 weeks, which helps offset the crypto market volatility. The hard part is being patient with the investment and resisting the urge to daytrade or sell too quickly.
#2 - Lending
A number of fintech companies like BlockFi and BitBond now offer the ability to earn interest on your crypto holdings. Interest rates range start around 8% and can go as high as 20% for trusted lenders. The interest clients earn typically compounds monthly, although these returns mimic that of the S&P 500 so this is considered a low risk/reward option.
#3 - Day Trading
A common way to earn Bitcoin trading is through trading cryptocurrencies on exchanges using 1X to as high as 100X leverage. Traders can also bet on the index of any crypto on sites like eToro or Robinhood. Daytraders will trade based on charts and trends, and try to grow their portfolio.
Another much safer form of arbitrage is dropshipping. You can source products on Amazon or from sites like Oberlo who will help you find the right products to buy. You can build an e-commerce store using Shopify or just sell on eBay. If you have a store and supply chain already, it's easy to start accepting Bitcoin using a payment gateway like CoinPayments or BitPay.
Gambling with Bitcoin is highly addictive, risky, largely unregulated, and offers the biggest and fastest financial volatility. Some popular crypto gambling sites include CloudBet, BetOnline, FortuneJack, Bovada, BetUS and hundreds of others. For more rankings, click here.
#5 - Mining
Despite the fact that over 80% of Bitcoin has already been mined, bitcoin mining is still a $4 billion annual industry. Since mining was intentionally developed to require advanced hardware, it's an expensive process that requires large mining facilities to be profitable. For this reason, most large-scale mining operations are located in China where electricity is cheap.
To be successful, individual miners are forced to join collective mining pools like MinerGate or simply mine as a fun hobby with Coinmine or Homeyminer and not worry about the ROI. To learn more, click here.
#6 - Faucets
A faucet is just a website that gives free coins to every visitor for staying on the site or engaging with content. Some examples are Cointiply, FreeBitcoin, SatoshiQuiz and others. Keep in mind, a satoshi represents roughly 0.00000001 bitcoin, so 100 satoshi is about 1 penny. It would take 100 correct trivia answers on SatoshiQuiz to make $1 USD. It's far more profitable to own a Bitcoin faucet and make money on advertisements.
#7 - Services
There are dozens of job boards online where you can earn bitcoin for a variety of independent contractor services. Many clients on Upwork, Freelancer and other non-crypto platforms will gladly 15% discounts or more if they can pay their freelancers in bitcoin and avoid the costs of the marketplace. Other more dedicated sites are listed below.
r/Jobs4Bitcoin — Reddit job board for bitcoin tasks
AngelList — Job board for crypto companies and projects
Earn.com — Earn bitcoin while learning about crypto
CryptoGrind — Escrow for bitcoin freelancers
CryptoJobs — Job board for bitcoin freelancers
Coinality —Job board for crypto freelancers
Bitfortip — Earn bitcoin for helping people
Indeed — Job board for crypto companies
BitWage — HR services for paying in crypto
XBTFreelancer — Freelancers get paid in bitcoin
#8 - Exchanges
The simplest and lowest-cost exchange is a Bitcoin ATM. As of January 2019, there were 4,213 Bitcoin or cryptocurrency ATMs worldwide. With many countries like Venezuela, Argentina and Nigeria experiencing hyperinflation, the world's 2.3 billion unbanked people will continue to demand bitcoin and stablecoins as hedges against inflation. The estimated startup costs for a Bitcoin ATM is about $25,000 per location, according to CoinATMRadar.
Building a crypto exchange or peer-to-peer trading platform will be a more expensive way to earn bitcoin as an exchange. This requires building a website, hosting wallets on the blockchain, building security protocols, creating KYC/AML policies, accepting crypto payments, building two sides of a marketplace, and a little marketing, branding and legal work. Some examples of successful P2P trading platforms are Paxful, Purse and Redeeem.
The fiat to crypto exchanges like Gemini, Coinbase and Kraken usually require venture funding, large engineering teams and banking partnerships for proper custody of the funds. Fiat exchanges also have to register as a Money Services Business (MSB). For a full list of fiat exchanges, click here.
#9 - Affiliate Rewards
Affiliate programs in crypto are endless, and they can come in many different shapes and sizes. Products like Lolli and Pei will reward you with bitcoin cashback everywhere you shop. Exchanges like Changelly will give you a percentage of their fee revenue for referring clients. Wallets like Abra will give you $25 for each signup. The optimal strategy is picking a familiar product that you know and love. For a list of affiliate programs, click here.
#10 - Content
Bitcoin is King. Content is King. So Bitcoin Content must be God. The ability to research, write and publish high-quality content on Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrencies will be a highly coveted asset in 2020. It's free to start a Medium blog, video blog or podcast and share your ideas to passionate audiences on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or Quora. Try to build an audience first then turn on AdSense or activate other partnerships to start collecting passive revenue.