The Ultimate Guide to Building a Portfolio of Digital Assets Without Investing a Dime19th April 2019
Easy, Free, and Quick Gateways to the Land of Crypto
This article will teach you how to accumulate an assortment of cryptocurrencies, some of which are readily convertible to fiat (government-printed) money.
You’ll also discover free and simple crypto wallets, most of which you can operate from a smartphone.
Look for this page to grow as new opportunities present themselves. Leave a comment below if you know of one I missed, so long as activities don’t fall into ‘airdrop’ or ‘developer bounty’ categories.
You’ve heard of bitcoin and maybe even ethereum. You know about the crypto market’s wild volatility and life-changing wins and losses.
And now you’re a little more than curious. It’s time to do a little HODLing of your own. Ready to ride the rollercoaster? Hop aboard!
Yes, the technology powering cryptocurrencies — blockchain — is diverse and complex. The terminology runs deep, and certain concepts are mind-blowingly innovative.
But no, you don’t need a Ph.D. in Tokenomics to dive into the digital waters.
There are some easy — and free! — ways to get your feet wet and I’ll share them with you here.
As today’s crypto pioneers continue to lay the infrastructure of our digitized future — and more real-world use cases emerge — blockchain tech continues to confuse the uninitiated.
Well, my friend, the good news is that with just a little knowledge, you’ll find that cryptocurrencies aren’t so scary, after all.
Pause to think about it, and I think you’ll agree that digital stores of value are much more convenient than their physical counterparts. You don’t saddle yourself with dictionaries and encyclopedias, do you?
No, you don’t. That’s why we have smartphones.
Besides, I’ll be your crypto sherpa. Let’s lock our virtual hands together as I guide you towards creating the base layers of a digital stash.
Truth be told, holding crypto — essentially acting as your own bank — is a big responsibility. It’s possible for you to make a transactional mistake.
Make the wrong kind of error — transposing two digits or omitting a zero, for example — and you can kiss your crypto goodbye. In most instances, there’s no customer service to help out should things go awry.
That said, jumping into the crypto markets is possible using house money — the kind you’ll discover here.
However, it’s also easy to do things right. You’ll be just fine so long as you pay attention to what you’re doing.
And, to get started, you won’t need any super-complicated technical know-how.
Holding Apple stock doesn’t require understanding how iPhones differentiate WiFi and Bluetooth signals.
Don’t let your lack of crypto knowledge prevent you from enjoying its potential! If you can manage an email account, you can operate a crypto wallet.
Before we begin, however, let’s clear the air. I’ll be upfront with you and leave this here — rather than buried at the bottom for you to discover after reading an entire article…
Disclaimer: This is not investment or financial advice. Information within this article is primarily speculative opinion, and for entertainment purposes only.
Always conduct your own research before involving yourself with any project — in or out of the cryptocurrency market. I’ll provide resources for conducting independent investigations of every project mentioned here.
If you utilize certain services within the article — never at an additional cost to you — I might receive compensation. Thank you for supporting my efforts in creating free content. Did you make it this far? Congratulations!
Okay, now that you know where I stand, let’s get you all set up.
In addition to letting you know how to score free crypto, I’m also going to show you where to trade the assets — either for fiat or other cryptocurrencies.
Unsure how to trade crypto for fiat, or crypto for crypto? It’s easy when you know how! This article outlines the process:
How to Trade Fiat for Crypto, Crypto for Crypto, and Crypto for Fiat
Now, not every blockchain project mentioned here is tradeable on crypto exchanges — yet.
Some are ready now, while others are still building their network.
As we go along, I’ll indicate whether or not you can currently convert the project’s digital token into cash for withdrawal from your local ATM.
Break out your decoder pin and earmark these ‘usability’ letters:
C = Currently trading on major exchanges (can cashout today)
F = Future trading is a possibility
V = Verified payments (funds appeared in my wallet)
Also, I’ll assign difficulty levels and time consumption to every project:
G = Internet-surfing, smartphone-wielding Grandmas can handle it
PC = Minimal PC/Mac/Smartphone knowledge recommended
T1 = Takes mere seconds
T2 = Time spent is at your discretion
You may be asking yourself, “why isn’t every crypto tradeable, like, right now?” Because we’re the early adopters, that’s why!
You see, some of these projects are still in beta mode. That gives us the chance to familiarize ourselves with their operations — and accumulate the project’s native cryptocurrency — before most of the world even knows they exist.
And you know what they say about ‘first mover’ advantage!
Projects run on what’s known as a ‘TestNet’ until they squash (hopefully) all of the network’s bugs.
Once they feel like their ecosystem is ready to fire on all cylinders, they launch a ‘MainNet’ while continuing to build and refine.
Alright, alright, enough explaining already! I’ll leave deeper dives up to you but will offer a brief overview of each crypto ecosystem mentioned here.
And to warm you up a bit here’s a fantastic use case for crypto in general — no more printed receipts!
Makes no sense to get so much ink and paper involved in everyday transactions. Most go directly into the trash.
Plus, receipts also contain phunky chemicals that leech into your skin. Now you know why Costco employees wear gloves while checking receipts at the exit. Eewww.
Mitch is right, and crypto lets us sidestep ink and paper altogether.
Whether it’s donuts or coffee or both, today’s smartphones are more than capable of not only conducting the monetary exchange but also — even though you may never need it — keeping a record of transactional proof.
Crypto Payment Apps
Smartphones and cryptocurrencies are a match made in digital paradise.
When’s the last time you saw someone at the store paying with a check? Who needs them anymore? That’s why we have debit and credit cards.
Although I will admit, it was nice to get those $5 birthday checks from Meema. I imagine her shuffling into 7–11, slowly opening her coin pouch, and paying with dimes and nickels. But I digress.
You’re already familiar with using apps on your phone — using a cryptocurrency-powered app is a natural transition.
But not all crypto apps fall into the same category. Let’s begin with the original intention of cryptocurrencies themselves — monetary transactions.
App-based payment portals — Google Pay, Venmo, Apple Pay, Square’s Cash app, to name a few — are already surging in popularity. And thankfully, this makes for a small jump from fiat-linked app over to crypto-powered app.
Leaving the house these days means bringing your keys + phone + physical wallet, and maybe a purse to tote it all.
And if crypto apps succeed in their mission to become simple, stable, everyday payment solutions, you can feel secure going out with only your keys + phone. That’s a 25–33% reduction in necessities!
Here are some simple crypto payment apps that incentivize users with the project’s native coin or token:
Electroneum — Smartphone Mining in the Cloud
Banking the unbanked is destined to be one of the most practical, globally beneficial applications for blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Certain parts of the world may lack some aspects of modern technology, but most of them have a healthy adoption rate of smartphones.
And the Electroneum project aims to provide the planet’s phone-wielding, unbanked (and banked, too!) citizens with a lightning-fast, low-cost payment solution.
So, what’s that got to do with free crypto? Well, app users gain access to free cloud mining of the network’s native token.
You see, cloud-based crypto mining is a big industry. You purchase remote mining hardware’s computational power — hashrate — in exchange for a cut of the cryptocurrency mined, per your cloud contract.
However, the Electroneum project doesn’t charge for mining.
Whenever 100 tokens accumulate within your cloud-based, app-controlled crypto-mining operation, your freshly minted digital assets automatically deposit into the app’s integrated wallet.
Pro tip: Be sure to check in once every 7 days — keep your cloud miner active by tapping ‘EXTEND’
The Electroneum app is available for Android & iOS.
Usability Codes: C | V | G | T1
Trade Ticker: ETN
Trades on KuCoin, Liquid & more
Pundi X — Digital Payments Made Easy on Your Mobile Device
The Pundi X project wants to give billions of global citizens the power to use crypto for everyday purchases.
To give everyone a head start, the team’s XWallet app issues daily rewards. And not just in the network’s native NPXS tokens, either.
Every 24 hours, you can log in to the app and claim triple rewards — drops of bitcoin, ethereum, and NPXS — with a single click.
First, tap on the ‘Extra’ tab in the top-right corner of the app. Then, scroll down to the ‘Daily sign-in’ section and tap the ‘Claim’ button.
Here’s what a daily claim looks like:
Now, these amounts may not seem like very much right now. Remember, I’m not dishing out any financial advice — I’m not licensed to do so — but an upswing crypto market cycle is inevitable.
It may be next month, it may be in 2025, but eventually, the ‘every day mints green candles’ period returns. The cheaper your free crypto is now, the more volume you receive every day.
Here’s how you withdraw funds:
1) Accumulate enough free crypto
Before moving on to the next step, at least one of your in-app repositories must swell to minimum levels:
Bitcoin = 0.0002 (1st instance. 2nd instance = 0.0015)
Ethereum = 0.005 (1st instance. 2nd instance = 0.03)
NPXS = 1,500 (1st instance. 2nd instance = 15,000)
When your accounts reach any of these levels — NPXS should occur first — you’re ready to move on.
Now, when I reached the ethereum threshold, I ran into a snag when trying to withdraw to an external wallet. 0.005 is the minimum you can send, but you’ll need 0.0015 to transmit funds.
So if you’re trying to withdraw your ethereum out of the XWallet app, wait until you gather 0.0065 at a minimum.
2) Transfer your stash to your in-app virtual card
Funds held in reward wallets are for accumulation only. Before you can use them, send them over to your virtual card.
Access to your rewards accounts appears across the top row of the app. Each crypto displays a progress meter and a gigantic ‘Withdraw’ button.
Withdrawing from your rewards account sends crypto over to your virtual card and awakens its spending power. You now have a couple of options:
Spending is the intent of Pundi X. Your app interacts with the XPOS point-of-sale terminals the project is placing in retails stores all across the globe.
Your virtual card is where you activate payment QR codes for XPOS machines to read. Yes, in certain areas, you can buy a donut with bitcoin.
Within your virtual card is a ‘Transfer’ button. Use it to send funds out of the app — perhaps over to an exchange.
The XWallet app is available for Android & iOS.
Usability Codes: C | V | G | T1
Referral Code for App Setup (free for you; valuable to me): ULMB
Trade Ticker: NPXS
Trades on Binance, KuCoin & more
Advertisements, especially online, are increasingly intrusive. From retargeting ads to interruptions while you’re just trying to watch YouTube, the buggers are diverse.
All of us have exposure to ads, every single day. And several blockchain startups aim to make fighting back a seamless process.
BLADE Chrome Extension by adbank — The Crypto-powered Ad Swapper
The adbank team takes a unique approach in the battle against spammy ads.
The first step is installing their extension in your Chrome browser — link below.
Create an account — KYC alert! — and then merely surf the web as usual.
No interruptions here — BLADE runs in the background without you having to think about anything.
Visit any site you wish, and as you surf, ads you would have seen transform into ads created by adbank sponsors — the type that you get paid to see.
The software automatically tracks the number of advertisements you view and sends deposits into your ethereum wallet.
[Don’t have an ethereum wallet? Here’s one that’s free and secure — the MetaMask extension brings ETH to your browser]
So, how much can you expect to earn with BLADE? Well, making assumptions based on the average number of ads and the average value of ADB tokens, the team came up with a guesstimate.
By the team’s calculations — not mine! — the average user will pocket $500+ in ADB tokens per year.
Since the software launched less than a week ago, I can’t accurately vouch for its payout performance. The setup process was simple and straightforward, and I’m looking forward to seeing more publishers use the platform.
Get the BLADE Chrome extension in the Chrome Store.
One step of the signup process involves entering an optional referral code. If you don’t mind, here’s one to use: 608159eb-121a-47ea-95a0-f909d8a1e7ce
Get more info about BLADE at blade.software
Usability Codes: C | PC | T2
Trade Ticker: ADB
Trades on KuCoin
BIGtoken — The Platform to Own, Verify, and Sell Your Data
This app’s a little different in the sense that rewards are tokenized but paid in fiat.
Answer simple questions within the app to earn points. Example actions include checking into locations and revealing shopping habits at a host of online and brick-and-mortar retailers.
You then decide who can buy your data, as opposed to Facebook and Google and the gang, who just steal it from you.
BIGtoken is intuitive and straightforward to operate. And the payouts are real, too:
Unless you really want that boujee coffee — triple vanilla mocha-chipiato with caramelized hemp seed husks — use your BIGtoken payouts to grow your digital holdings.
But hey, it’s not my place to tell you what to do with your $5 bumps — just my strategy.
The BIGtoken app is available for Android & iOS.
Referral Code for App Setup (free for you; valuable to me): BLOCKCHAIN
Usability Codes: V | G | T1
Some networks reward you for producing content, while others pay for consumption. Specific topics are crypto-heavy while some revolve around music or art or pop culture.
The following platforms have ‘casual’ and ‘crypto enthusiast’ classifications. We’ll start easy. On P-0x, everyone earns rewards.
Publish0x — Earn Crypto for Writing and Reading Blogs
I’m a big fan of how this platform operates. Every post creates a win/win situation for authors as well as readers.
You see, so long as you’re logged in as an official member, writing and merely reading blogs both qualify as a tip-earning event.
Read for tips, write for tips. Or do both — your choice.
I wrote an in-depth article on this one; it’s rare for tips within any economy to flow in both directions:
Angelic Blockchain Content Platform Rewards All Free Participants with Crypto
Publish0x is currently experiencing tremendous growth, leading to a bump in post diversity. What started as 100% crypto blossomed into something far more artistic and eclectic.
Plus, the project recently expanded their sponsorship program and today’s tips come via BNTY tokens as well as HYDRO, with more slated for the future.
Usability Codes: C | V | G | T2
Trade Ticker: BNTY
Trades on KuCoin & more
Permission.io — Earn Crypto for Watching Permission-based Ads
One of blockchain tech’s highest aspirations is to remove intermediaries from everyday transactions. Transparency is the beating heart of the industry.
And advertising may be one of the most significant sectors in need of a shakeup. You know those creepy ads that follow you everywhere on the Internet? I don’t like them, either.
Permission.io aims to remove the forcefulness of ads. Rather than being involuntarily bombarded with ads, you can view them at your convenience and earn yourself crypto in the process.
This is a consumption-only platform. Unless you’re the likes of Apple/ Audi/ Dell/ Disney/ Expedia/ Fox/ Intel/ LG/ NASA/ Netflix/ Nike/ Samsung/ Sony — and many more — you don’t create videos, you watch them.
Shortly, ASK tokens are supposed to transition to a MainNet — as opposed to the TestNet currently running. Once the network migrates, they’ll seek crypto exchange listings.
Plus, this isn’t one of those platforms that makes you wait weeks on end before offering another chance to earn. Fresh videos hit the network almost daily.
Usability Codes: F | G | T2
Trade Ticker: ASK
Bounty0x — Earn Crypto Rewards for Helping to Promote Blockchain Startups
Know your way around Twitter? Congratulations, you can call yourself an official crypto Bounty Hunter.
Perform some retweeting, like some FB pages, and post on Reddit, and you might earn yourself a few tokens.
But write a well-received article or create a popular YouTube video, and reward payouts soar into the thousands of tokens.
Pro tip: Stake (deposit) 40k BNTY tokens to trim bounty payout fees from 20% down to 5%
The Bounty0x platform is unique in that it empowers the non-coding type to work for crypto. You see, in the cryptoverse, the highest paying bounties go to developers that discover network vulnerabilities.
But on B-0x, those bounty types are infrequent, and the majority are social in nature. And if you’d like, you can become a Sheriff and be in charge of reviewing hunters’ bounty submissions.
Keep in mind that some listed projects end up being scams, never issue tokens, or continually delay their main sale — although the B-0x team is getting more stringent with their listing requirements. You win some; you lose some.
And, patience is a virtue. Because most of the startups listed on the platform are in the pre-funding stage, payouts are slow.
First, you wait for the bounty period to end. Next, you hope for a successful token sale. The Bounty0x Sheriffs then review the bounty’s submissions and issue tokens.
And if you’re lucky, the project’s crypto hits an exchange you already use.
But with risk comes reward. If the crypto stars align and you’ve published an article on Forbes or Wall Street Journal or CoinDesk, and your potential payout runs north of $1,000.
Usability Codes: C | G | PC | T2
Trade Ticker: BNTY
Trades on KuCoin & more
Datafund — Earn Crypto for Reclaiming Your Privacy
Individuals — as in every human on the planet — amass loads of data on a daily basis.
The Datafund project’s overall goal is to create a balanced, ethical data-trade ecosystem in which all participants receive proper compensation for the data they rightfully create and own.
The problem lies in the tactics of mega-corps like Google and FB that repeatedly prove themselves unworthy of handling our data.
Not only do they leak it, but they also sell our data behind our backs. But to their credit, we willingly opt-in by using their free services.
And Datafund wants to end those shenanigans. Join in Datafund’s mission by helping them out on social media — or writing articles — and they’ll reward you with their native DEX token.
Enroll in the Privacy Action Campain to begin scoring crypto.
The team’s been working since 2017 and still going strong. And if you’d like to read more about the project and its PAC, I’ve written a pair of Datafund articles:
- Datafund ICO Review: Degreasing Big Data
- Ring Freedom’s Bell to Score Free Crypto
I appreciate the efforts Datafund is bringing to the blockchain space and am looking forward to seeing their platform in full operation.
Usability Codes: F | PC | T2
Trade Ticker: DEX
Crypto News Apps
Keeping tabs on the breakneck speed of the cryptoverse is hard work.
Every hour of every day, multiple newsworthy events occur. That’s because crypto never sleeps, and trades 24/7.
But one specific app makes it easy to keep pace while earning crypto in the process.
Berminal — Read Less, Know More
The Berminal app dishes out live crypto news and research, all day long.
While reading the news, you can assign your own bullish or bearish sentiment to articles.
Every time you vote — up to 10 times every 24 hours — you’re awarded 1 BERM token.
Remember to come back every day and, little by little, your balance swells.
The app also contains a free ‘Crypto Psychic’ game that offers daily chances to win even more tokens.
Use this code after signup to make your account grow by $5 (100 BERM): bdaa29c5
You can also use the Berminal app to keep tabs on market prices. Within the span of a few minutes, you can get all caught up on the day’s pertinent crypto info.
While it’s an engaging and handy app, BERM tokens don’t trade on the open market just yet.
The Berminal app is available for Android & iOS
Usability Codes: F | G | T2
Trade Ticker: BERM
Traditional bitcoin mining involves expensive, power-hungry machinery. By crunching some serious math equations, mining rigs receive a random reward — the right to mint new coins.
But rather than dedicating new resources — along with the need to be technically inclined — blockchain projects make it easy to mine from a laptop.
Now, you’ll find dozens of ‘mining’ apps in your favorite app store. However, the ‘mining’ you do is merely bitcoin in exchange for watching tiresome ads for silly apps you probably won’t play.
While I do enjoy the content of Permission.io and their video-based platform, ad-based mining platforms drain lots of time for minimal rewards.
Although the rewards are much smaller than dedicated hardware mining, it’s cheap and easy, and you may be reading this article on a device already equipped to mine.
Honeyminer — Get Your Free Satoshis
Yet another program that quietly runs in the background.
Every time you boot your computer, the Honeyminer app boots up, too.
Except for the XWallet from Pundi X, every project listed within this article pays rewards in its native currency.
But Honeyminer payouts are offered in the world’s original cryptocurrency — bitcoin itself.
Visit Honeyminer.com and set yourself up with an account. And if you use the link I just offered, you’ll get a 1,000 satoshi bonus upon sign up.
What’s a satoshi, you might be asking? A satoshi — named after bitcoin’s pseudo-anonymous inventor — is the smallest unit of bitcoin measurement.
Contrary to the misconceptions of many crypto newcomers, you don’t need to own a full bitcoin just to put some in your wallet. One satoshi = 0.00000001 bitcoin, and you can start there.
Once your hands-off miner accumulates enough satoshis, you can withdraw funds to an external bitcoin wallet. Navigate to ‘Money -> Withdraw’ in your Honeyminer dashboard.
But to transmit funds, you’ll first need to assign a wallet address.
If you don’t yet have an account with a crypto exchange, there are plenty of apps that hold loads of coins and tokens.
Here’s where you can find a free & simple bitcoin wallet for your smartphone: Monarch
And if you’re interested in learning how to turn an old phone into a ‘cold’ storage solution — the most secure type — this article will teach you how:
How to Easily Make Your Own Crypto Hardware Wallet | CLOAK
The beautiful thing about accumulating bitcoin is that if you want to trade for just about any other coin or token in all of crypto, you need only to find an exchange with a BTC trading pair.
Usability Codes: C | PC | T1
Trade Ticker: BTC
Trades on Binance, KuCoin, Liquid, IDAX & most crypto exchanges
This concept is just as old as cryptocurrencies. Back in the fledgling days of bitcoin, one of the developers created a faucet to spark interest.
Those who were lucky enough to know of this faucet claimed 50 free BTC!
And luckier still were those who held onto their coins for 7–8 years. Those practically worthless bitcoins rose in value to nearly $20k apiece in Dec. of 2017.
And if you do a little math, you’ll see that 50 x 20k = $1M! I doubt any crypto enthusiasts knew the value of their free claim back then. So, unless you’re a day trader, it often pays to play the long game when it comes to cryptocurrencies.
Yes, bitcoin faucets still exist. But no, you won’t get anywhere near even one bitcoin. Try 0.00000015, maybe. And that’s if you suffer through some ads.
But faucets these days go far beyond bitcoin.
Horizen — Claim Free, Privacy-focused Crypto Without Viewing Ads
Now we’re getting to the highest difficulty level, which is still somewhat simple.
To claim free ZEN coins, you’ll first need a dedicated wallet. Visit the Horizen website to download yours. During the wallet setup process, you’ll get a set of private keys. These keys act as a backup.
Should something happen to your wallet — stolen or lost laptop for example — you can download another wallet to a new device and use the private keys to access funds.
Keep your private keys private and safe!
Make backups and don’t take crypto account security lightly — that’s a great way to lose your funds.
Now that you have a wallet let’s put some coins in it. So long as the faucet has a balance, which it usually does, you can make a free claim.
Every 20 hours, anyone with a ZEN address can claim free ZEN here.
Why Horizen out of all the other faucets out there? Although nobody can predict the future, this privacy-focused project is expected to do very well over the next few years.
And by downloading a dedicated, genuine crypto wallet, you become one step closer to becoming a real crypto pro.
Usability Codes: C | V | PC | T1
Trade Ticker: ZEN
Trades on Binance & more
From simple apps to (slightly) complicated desktop wallets, collecting crypto can be free and easy.
And, most activities take only a few moments of your time — something you may complete in line at the grocery store. Or maybe forgo a few minutes of social media and instead build your digital stash.
While some payouts are small now, my crystal ball tells me they won’t stay that way forever. You see, we’re in the very early stages of a long game.
Enjoy your fortunate timing because I have a feeling that once the next actual bull run occurs, the prices of multiple cryptocurrencies will smash right through their previous all-time highs.
Preparing yourself now may put a huge smile on your face — months or years into your journey down the long and winding crypto road.
If you enjoyed what you just read and would like help getting your crypto message to the masses, I’d love to hear about your project.
Even if you only want to chat about crypto or your favorite blockchain innovations, you can find me here: blockchainauthor at Gmail
And, you can always reach out on Crypto Twitter
The Ultimate Guide to Building a Portfolio of Digital Assets Without Investing a Dime was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.