As a general rule, people and institutions don't pass along their Bitcoin (BTC -0.07%), Ethereum, or Dogecoin for nothing. This is why mining and staking are so popular, as crypto fans seek to create some, or more, of their favorite coins and tokens.
However, mining and staking can be resource-intensive, and the yields are often thin. That said, other opportunities to grab some cost-free digital currency are out there -- it's just a matter of finding the right rock to look under. Here are a few ways to nab some free cryptocurrency.
Learn and earn
There's nothing like getting paid to be educated; becoming slightly wealthier and more knowledgeable is always an attractive combination. In that spirit, from time to time popular crypto exchange operator Coinbase (COIN 0.09%) offers opportunities to get free cryptocurrency for learning about certain tokens and coins.
I've taken advantage of these myself since opening a Coinbase account earlier this year. The learning takes the form of watching a series of short (two-minute or so) explanatory videos, some of which require correct answers to fairly easy multiple-choice quizzes based on the knowledge imparted.
In this way, I clocked $10 worth of Stellar (CRYPTO: XLM), $3 of both Fetch.ai (CRYPTO: FET) and Amp (CRYPTO: AMP), and a $4 taste of The Graph (CRYPTO: GRT). Now, this isn't going to be enough to fund my retirement nest egg or fund a down payment for a sleek new car, but it's a neat way to get a few anchor crypto positions. It's also a fine opportunity to learn the basics of some of the less-famous coins.
Snag some with a signup
Coinbase also offers something that's quite common with crypto trading and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms -- a signup bonus in the form of free cryptocurrency. There are a lot of exchange operators in the cybersphere just now, and to compete many are compelled to provide such incentives.
The caveat is that a minimum initial funding deposit is typically required (after all, they want to get you trading -- and generating fees -- as soon as possible). Several of these operators also mandate a minimum spend on top of that.
One that doesn't require a minimum spend is BlockFi, which awards free Bitcoin once a new user funds their account. The bonus depends on the amount deposited; for example, $100 to $1,499 earns $15 worth of Bitcoin, while $100,000 or more will generate $250 in the cryptocurrency.
Exchange operators don't only want you as a client, they'd like you to bring along your friends and colleagues too. That's why many of them offer referral bonuses that pay you free cryptocurrency when such an acquaintance signs up to the platform and makes their first crypto buy.
A good example of this is Gemini, which is happy to dispense $10 worth of Bitcoin to users who refer friends who then go on to buy or sell at least $100 worth of assets through the platform. As a sweetener, your now actively crypto-transacting friend will also receive the same amount of Bitcoin. Like other such promotions, though, this is a one-time bonus per successfully referred user.
Gemini also has another product that can earn free Bitcoin, Stellar, Amp, or any other coin currently traded through its platform: It recently rolled out the Gemini Credit Card, a Mastercard-branded payment instrument that earns up to 3% back on all purchases, which is currently on a waitlist. Almost needless to say by now, users can receive that cash back in the form of their chosen cryptocurrency or token.
There are numerous other methods to earn free cryptocurrency concocted by ambitious developers hoping to make a name for their coin or their platform.
One intriguing bunch is the group behind the Brave web browser. They claim their product is three times faster than Alphabet's Chrome, and has stronger privacy protection. Users who opt in to the Brave Rewards Program and view certain ads the browser serves up are paid a small amount of Brave's native Basic Attention Token (CRYPTO: BAT).
Cryptocurrency is still a very youthful field, and it's growing and expanding into as-yet unexplored areas. Doubtless this will result in even more opportunities to grab free coins and tokens. Keep an eye on our cryptocurrency coverage for updates and developments.