When people ask me about Bitcoin, one of the first questions to come up is how and if they can get their hands on free Bitcoins in some way. My answer is usually no, but there are ways to start earning them such as signature campaigns on BitcoinTalk, which do not involve too much effort from the user. Furthermore, that way you learn more about Bitcoin, the protocol and everything else you need.
However, there still are a ton of Bitcoin faucets in existence, and more and more are being added on a weekly basis it seems. So why would you need recommend those to your friends? For the same reason I don’t believe in coin giveaways : people who want to get involved in Bitcoin need to put in some effort before we hand them digital currency.
Giving Out “Free” Money
While you can have a debate about my stance until we are 100+ years old, there is no right or wrong approach to Bitcoin faucets. Bitcoin faucets do have their use and value, as they allow users to slowly gather some free coins by entering their Bitcoin address. Some sites even require you to click some links, or enter an email address. Micro tasks for micro rewards, the way it should be done.
But you have to ask yourself : what do these people do with the free Satoshi they are obtaining from Bitcoin faucets? These amounts are so small and represent nearly no or very little fiat currency value. The way I see it, and once again, this is up for great debate, most people will lose interest in Bitcoin again shortly after, because there is very little to gain from faucets.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Bitcoin faucets should give out even more money for getting next to nothing in return. But Bitcoin has a very limited supply cap, and as such, we should make people work a bit before giving them a small chunk of a Bitcoin. Therefor, signature campaigns are just one of the many examples where users can start earning their cryptocurrency.
Granted, we have to try to get Bitcoin into the hands of as many people as possible, and faucets might seem like a good idea in that regard. But let’s be honest, you can’t keep giving out free money to people who are most likely not going to use it for the right reasons. Even if the amount of fee money is insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Learning & Earning At The Same Time
Let’s be honest for a moment, dear reader. When you got involved in Bitcoin, were you passionate enough about it to read up on things and learn more, or was it just from a monetary point of view? If the answer if the first option, then you and I are more alike than you might think. I never even made money other than from mining Bitcoin until 2012.
The first two years were spent browsing the various news sites and forums, to learn more about the concept of Bitcoin. My mind wasn’t even considering the fact I could try and earn some money, or usr a faucet for my first chunk of a Bitcoin. And even though it may have earned me slightly more money if I had considered that option, I don’t regret taking the other path.
Even though I didn’t make money from reading up on Bitcoin, it did help me to set up my Nvidia GPU to mine some Bitcoin on a mining pool. Do keep in mind, this took place during the period when Nvidia GPU’s were somewhat decent to mine Bitcoin with, and you could get up to 0.01 Bitcoin per 24 hours. The whole process fascinated me, and seeing so many mining pools just made me want to dive right in.
In order to start with Bitcoin mining, I had to spend a lot of time reading up on things, downloading software, tweaking settings to get the most out of my video card, et cetera. I was earning because I was learning, and that’s the approach we should market towards novice users and general enthusiasts alike.
After all, what is the point in giving people access to free chunks of Bitcoin is they still don’t know the basics of Bitcoin, or why they should invest some of their time into learning more about it?