Making money in crypto is simple but if you come here with a get-rich-quick mindset, you’ll be disappointed.
It all depends on how much money, time, or effort you’re willing to invest and your risk tolerance.
In this post, I will share the 12 proven ways to make money with crypto that you can start exploring today.
12 proven ways to make money with crypto
- Buy and HODL for price appreciation
- Liquidity mining
- Yield farming
- Crypto airdrops
- Crypto contests
- Affiliate and referral programs
- Get a job or become a freelancer
- Start a crypto business
Each of the above ways to make money in crypto requires you to invest either money, time, or effort into it to get something out.
1. Buy and HODL for price appreciation
This is the safest and most popular way to make money in crypto. It requires you to buy coins with the potential for the price to increase over time and hold them in your wallet.
It’s a long-term crypto investment strategy that requires you to hold the token in your wallet for months or years, waiting for the price to go up before you sell.
How long you must HODL depends entirely on you and the profit target you hope to reach before selling.
What are the risks of HODLing?
HODLing may be the safest crypto investment strategy, but it also has risks.
- There’s no guarantee the price of the coin will increase, it may never reach your profit target, or it may take more time than you expected.
- The project may fail due to any reason, and you’ll lose all or a portion of your money. Like traditional businesses, not every crypto project will survive.
Whether you’re new to crypto or an experienced investor, HODL should be your primary investment strategy.
You should start with buying and holding BTC and ETH as the pillars of your crypto portfolio as they’re more reliable.
Then diversify into other coins with strong fundamentals as your portfolio size increases or you get comfortable with taking more risks.
2. Crypto trading
Trading is the fastest and riskiest way to make money in crypto. It refers to the act of buying and selling or swapping one crypto asset to another.
The idea behind trading is to buy a coin when the price is low and sell it when the price is higher within short periods of time (minutes, hours, days, weeks).
Buy low, sell high. Simple, right?
The crypto market is extremely volatile, highly unpredictable, and heavily manipulated due to its unregulated nature.
Also, it’s a zero-sum game.
Your profit is someone else’s loss and vice versa. And there are professional players with all the knowledge, skills, resources or tools to beat you at it.
Except you’re a professional yourself and know exactly what you’re doing, you’ll be wasting your time and money trading.
Furthermore, crypto trading can be stressful and dangerous to your mental and physical health as it demands constant attention in monitoring and analysing the charts.
3. Crypto lending
You can lend your crypto assets on crypto lending platforms to earn interest, which is usually paid in the same or a different coin.
This works just like your regular savings account with a traditional bank where you park your money and receive regular interest payouts.
There are centralised and decentralised crypto lending platforms where you can lend your BTC and ETH or any other coins and earn decent interest while also hoping for their price to increase.
Whether you decide to use a centralized or decentralized crypto lending platform depends on your risk and privacy preferences.
However, both work great, but centralised platforms seem to offer better interest rates but also greater risk.
The major risk with crypto lending is that the platform could be hacked, exploited, or rug and the funds drained.
Staking is the act of locking your crypto assets to earn rewards.
Some crypto projects require you to stake their native coin to secure the network or participate in governance and earn rewards.
These rewards can be paid in the same coin you deposited or in a different token. It can also be paid in a combination of the same plus a different token.
Whatever the reward scheme, the concept is the same. Lock your tokens, and earn rewards while also hoping for the price of both your original token and the reward token(s) to appreciate.
Some projects use staking as a way to distribute their native token to their most loyal users or investors.
For example, you can stake BSW on Biswap to earn more BSW, BSW plus other tokens, and enjoy other exclusive privileges.
5. Liquidity mining
Liquidity mining is when you deposit your crypto assets into a liquidity pool on a DeFi protocol to facilitate trading and earn a share of all fees generated from the pool.
In addition to the trading fees collected and distributed among the liquidity providers, the platform may also reward you with their native token.
New projects usually distribute their tokens to liquidity providers for free as an incentive for you to provide liquidity on the platform.
Impermanent loss (IL) is the primary risk of liquidity mining you must be aware of.
IL is a situation in which the dollar value of the crypto assets you deposited to the liquidity pool may be less than what it would have been if you had just held the tokens in your wallet.
6. Yield farming
Yield farming is an extension of liquidity mining which entails staking your liquidity provider (LP) tokens to earn even more rewards.
Your LP token is like a receipt indicating how much you have in a particular liquidity pool.
Several DeFi platforms operate “farms” where you can deposit your LP token and earn their native or any other supported asset in addition to your liquidity mining rewards.
With yield farming, you’re earning from almost 3 different sources with a single investment.
- from the (potential) price appreciation of your crypto assets.
- a share of all fees generated in the liquidity pool.
- more of the same or other tokens in the farms which could also appreciate in value.
Some farms allow manual or auto-compounding to help you increase your tokens faster. If it’s available, always go for auto-compounding.
So, to maximise your earnings, add your crypto assets into liquidity pools that allow you to stake your LP token to farm other tokens.
7. Crypto airdrops and giveaways
Crypto airdrops and giveaways are the most popular ways to make money in crypto without investing cash.
It’s a strategy that crypto projects use to attract new users and investors by rewarding them for performing simple tasks.
They could ask you to interact with a social media post, join their communities, use their platform, or do other simple tasks in order to be eligible for the airdrops.
However, some airdrops can be retroactive, rewarding users who have interacted with a platform or performed specific tasks in the past.
For example, the Uniswap (UNI), Optimism (OP), and Arbitrum (ARB) airdrops were all retroactively distributed to people who used the projects or networks and satisfied some specific requirements.
So, whereas some airdrops require you to follow specific instructions to be eligible, you’ll have to be at the right place at the right time and doing the right thing(s) to qualify for others.
8. Crypto mining
Similar to staking, cryptocurrency mining is a way to secure a blockchain network and validate transactions to earn rewards.
However, unlike staking, mining does not require buying and staking a token.
Rather, you mine with special machines or computers designed to solve very complex mathematical problems.
Cryptocurrency miners compete among themselves to be the first to solve these complex mathematical puzzles and earn the attending mining rewards.
Mining is no longer as popular or profitable as it used to be when crypto was still very niche, especially among retail investors.
Now, it takes a lot of money to invest in and be profitable with crypto mining. So, it’s not a simple or easy way to make money with cryptocurrency anymore.
Only technocrats and well-funded individuals or companies can make meaningful money from crypto mining now.
So, this is probably not for you.
9. Crypto contests
Every now and then you’ll see a crypto writing, meme, video, or other contests you can participate in to win crypto prizes.
Similar to airdrops and giveaways, crypto contests are a way to make money in crypto without investing any cash.
All you need is the skill and experience required to compete in the contests and win some crypto.
I have participated in several writing contests, especially on Publish0x and earned some reasonable amounts from them.
So, watch out for crypto memes, videos, writing, and hacking contests on social media you can participate in and earn free tokens.
10. Referral and affiliate programs
Depending on the size of your audience and influence, you can make a lot of money in crypto by promoting your favourite platforms.
If you know about or have used some really great platforms that are relevant and useful to your audience, tell them about it and include your referral link.
When they decide to visit and use the platform through your link, you earn a referral commission paid by the project from their revenue.
This way, you create a win win win scenario where your audience gets useful information, the project gains new users, and you earn some crypto.
This blog for example depends on referral commissions to earn some revenue, and we push only the best projects.
All you need to get started with affiliate marketing:
- Register on the platform you want to promote and generate your affiliate link.
- Promote the platform via articles, videos, podcasts, etc, and include your affiliate link in them.
- Earn a commission for every sale the project generates through your affiliate link.
Your referrals or friends don’t have to pay anything extra for you to earn a commission.
In fact, in some cases, they will get a sizeable discount for using your referral link.
Most crypto projects will pay your referral rewards in their native token or the same token your referrals spend on the platform.
Either way, you’re earning some crypto that you didn’t have to buy with cash.
11. Get a job or become a freelancer
Get a job at a crypto company that pays you in cryptocurrency or request your current employer to pay all or part of your salary in crypto.
If you can’t get a salary-paying job, become a freelancer and get paid in crypto for your services.
Regardless of what your profession is, you can become a freelancer, and get paid in crypto for your services.
For a list of freelancing platforms that pay you in crypto, click here. Get to work and start earning crypto daily.
12. Start a crypto business
Become a cryptocurrency entrepreneur by starting your own crypto company or project where you get paid by clients in crypto.
There are several cryptocurrency business ideas you can explore.
For example, you can
- Become a local crypto merchant or dealer who buys and sells crypto from others.
- Build your own centralised or decentralised cryptocurrency exchange, if you have the money to hire developers or you have the skill.
- Start a crypto marketing agency where you help different projects with branding, marketing, etc, and get paid in crypto.
- Buy and install Bitcoin Automated Teller Machines (bATM) and start earning a share of all purchases and withdrawals through your bATM in fees.
- Create your own crypto project with a token and get a share of the founders or team allocation.
There are so many businesses you can start and make money with cryptocurrency if you think about it.
Better still, you can start accepting crypto in your existing local or online store and make money with crypto with that.
But note that you’ll be exposing yourself to the volatility of the crypto market, which can work for or against you.
In this article, we’ve discussed the top 12 solid and legitimate ways to make money with cryptocurrency and their associated risks.
You can choose to focus on one or more of these ways to make money in crypto and leverage them to grow your portfolio accordingly.
Which is your favourite way of making money in crypto?