Cryptocurrency faucets are marketed as a way to get small amounts of crypto without needing to spend money, but are they worth spending time on?
Everyone wants a piece of crypto, but not everyone has the money to invest. It’s these people that often consider using crypto faucets. These are hailed as a way for people to access cryptocurrency without needing to put up any cash, which should make them a no-brainer.
However, detractors argue that the amounts of money involved are so small that they don’t make sense. This begs the question: Are crypto faucets worth your time?
What Is a Crypto Faucet?
Crypto faucet is a term that covers a broad range of websites and apps which provide users with a small amount of cryptocurrency in exchange for doing some kind of activity. This might be answering a quiz, clicking a button, or completing some sort of task.
This reward is then deposited into an online wallet on the site or app, and once the user reaches a minimum balance threshold, they can then withdraw that crypto into their private wallet.
Legitimate faucets were created as a way to give people easy access to cryptocurrency so that they could learn how it worked without needing to spend money or set up an account on an exchange.
How Do They Work?
Typically, once a user finds a crypto faucet, they will need to enter some basic details, including their wallet address. Whenever the user completes a task, a small amount of money, typically a Satoshi (a fraction of a Bitcoin), is transferred to a micro wallet, which is a crypto wallet only capable of collecting small amounts of cryptocurrency at any time. This crypto is then typically automatically transferred to the user’s wallet after some time.
The amount of rewards — and whether they are time-locked or not — varies significantly from faucet to faucet. As a rule, the more complex the task a user needs to complete, the bigger the reward.
Most Binance and Coinbase users will be familiar with crypto faucets, as those exchanges offer free cryptocurrency in exchange for completing quizzes.
How Do Crypto Faucets Make Money?
While not all crypto faucets are set up to make a profit, some do attempt to monetize the system. One of the most common methods is to use ads on the page and monetize their users that way.
Other faucets set up a lottery or gambling system that allows users to risk their meager gains in the hopes of striking it rich. However, as with casinos, the house always wins and most users will simply send their cryptocurrency back to the site owner.
A third variety of crypto faucets will quietly hijack a computer’s CPU as a captcha form is completed in an attempt to mine the cryptocurrency. The rewards on offer will typically be worth less than the electricity your computer soaks up trying to mine crypto, so these are rarely worth it.
Finally, not all sites are legitimate, and some faucet owners turn to outright fraud to make a quick profit.
Are Crypto Faucets Safe?
Not all crypto faucets are equal. While many legitimate sites offer small amounts of crypto, where there is crypto, there are also scammers.
These scams range from painfully obvious to downright nefarious. On the “Nigerian Prince” level, there are faucets that will attempt to convince you to deposit funds into the faucet before you can use it, but once you send your tokens into the faucet, they are impossible to retrieve.
More sophisticated scams will install malware into a user’s browser. This can be something like a hidden cryptocurrency miner, a keylogger, or even malware that will copy and paste the scammer’s wallet address into your clipboard!
Thankfully, these are easy to avoid if you don’t click dodgy links.
Are Crypto Faucets Worth Your Time?
This is the big question. Assuming that you find a good faucet, surely a few seconds here and there is worth it to get some extra Bitcoin, right? It might be, but in practice, the rewards are generally too low to justify the time spent attempting to “earn” Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. This is even true of relatively popular sites, like freebitcoin.io.
There are exceptions to this rule. Crypto faucets that are part of an educational program are usually worth your time. Not so much because of the potential to earn cryptocurrency, but because they typically provide valuable information about cryptocurrency that you might not otherwise seek out.
Additionally, faucets can be a useful way to introduce newcomers to the cryptocurrency world. Legitimate faucets eliminate the need to set up an exchange account and can be a useful tool to help orientate newcomers to the cryptocurrency world.
The question of which faucet to use depends on your preference. Personally, I would avoid sites with gambling mechanics, like freebitcoin.io. However, sites like DailyFreeBits are relatively safe, even if the overall payout is very low. If you’re truly masochistic, you can also check out Coinpayu, which allows users to earn Bitcoin by watching adverts.
Generally, crypto faucets are too unprofitable to be worth spending too much time on, but a potentially useful way to ease your friends into cryptocurrency — and maybe help them understand that you don’t need to own a whole Bitcoin when Satoshis will do the job just fine.