We could all use a little extra Bitcoin in our wallets and if you’re already doing as much as you can to accumulate more every month, week, or even day, you may also want to consider looking into Bitcoin faucets. What is a Bitcoin faucet? How do they work? Are they worth my time? We want to arm our readers with the necessary tools and knowledge for navigating this exciting yet sometimes confusing space.
One way Bitcoin garnered attraction in the early days was from the efforts of tech-savvy volunteers and developers who would distribute Bitcoin for free on their websites. During Bitcoin’s juvenile years, faucets were one of the few ways at the time to obtain them. Buying and selling was very hard and required a lot of trust between third-parties to make sure both sides could meet their obligations. The only other option was to mine Bitcoin on a computer but the barrier to entry was also less straightforward than it is today. Gavin Andresen found it necessary to distribute Bitcoin to people through alternative means in the hopes of driving adoption. He created the first faucet in 2010 where it would allow site visitors to earn 5 Bitcoin per day when completing a captcha check. Bitcoin was not worth anything at the time, but this small sacrifice was well worth the spread of adoption by getting Bitcoin into the hands of those less confident in their computer skills. If you were lucky enough to visit the site at least once, that Bitcoin would now be worth about $55,000 dollars at the time of this writing. Not bad for spending 20 seconds on a website.
How do they work?
Usually this requires a bit of effort on the user’s part by completing a task or providing some form of information like a name, email address, and interests. Whether it was to gain more traffic for a person’s blog or they had a valid interest in spreading the word about Bitcoin, faucets were a legitimate way to incentivize users to share the site with their friends.
Please be aware that not all faucets are reliable and may not hold their end of the agreement to reward you with the promised Bitcoin. Below are a few that may be worth checking out:
MoonBitcoin is one of the most popular faucets on the market. Keep in mind that you must have a CoinPot account as well in order to receive payouts from MoonBitcoin. The process for set up on both websites is quick and will allow you to start harvesting sats within minutes. MoonBitcoin will allow you to receive up to 5 sats every 5 minutes. After completing a captcha test, the sats are then directly deposited into your CoinPot account. From there, you will be able to manage your balances. CoinPot also distributes their own token which may then be easily converted to more sats.
BTCsurveys will require an email and phone number for signing up along with a good amount of other personal information. If you’re the type who is very concerned about your privacy, this may not be the ideal faucet for you. BTCsurveys is exactly what the name says it is. The site will first want you to provide basic information about yourself and then match your profile to catered surveys from advertisers. Payouts are awarded immediately and can be withdrawn once your account balance is around $10.
A classic PTC (pay-to-click) site that may take months for you to withdraw an eligible balance. If you are committed and have the fortitude to click through ads and stare at each one for a certain amount of time (determined by a clock on screen), then this is the site for you. The interface is straightforward and provides exactly what you would expect. The site has been around since 2013 so it is certainly an established faucet and the perfect one to start on.
Are faucets worth my time?
Honestly, probably not. You would have to do some math on your end to figure out if it is actually worth your time grinding through mindless tasks. But let’s say you are still interested in earning from faucets and you live in the US making a hefty $15 per hour from your line of work. Most faucets usually payout less than 100 satoshis per task and at the time of this writing, that is worth about $0.01. It depends on the task but we can use an average of 15 seconds per completion. That’s about 240 tasks every 60 minutes so that would come out to about $2.40 per hour.
It is much more productive to buy from an exchange directly if you already have a job. Rather than sit at a computer clicking referral links and advertisements during your off-hours, your time is much better spent learning skills that pay more, hanging out with friends, taking on a hobby, traveling, or exercising. The only way to justify participating in a Bitcoin faucet, is if you are also listening to a podcast (preferably a Bitcoin podcast) or watching documentaries on subjects you are interested in.
Faucets are implemented on sites to pay visitors as little as possible for their time and information. Your time is the most valuable resource you have. The few lucky people who were able to participate in getting 5 free Bitcoin from Andresen’s faucet, likely lost their coins or sold them really early. Don’t feel like you missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime or have to recreate that through spending hours watching random advertisements. Keep in mind that a lot of faucet sites have a minimum amount of sats required for the withdrawal process, this “feature” forces users to leave that Bitcoin on the site for a while. The more time that Bitcoin is left on a third-party platform, the higher the chances of losing it are.
It is also important to remember the impact that faucets have had on the adoption of Bitcoin. By attracting the interest of people who would not have been otherwise, Bitcoin may not be where it is today. However, at this stage in Bitcoin, faucets are very high time preference tools. Enjoy the time you have and think critically with how you spend it.