[Updated February 7th, 2014 - Added three new faucets—bringing the total to 14—and updated some the original descriptions with additional information. I also mentioned three faucets that I am testing that I'll add to the official list once I receive a payout. - Bryan]
[Updated January 17th, 2014 - Added three new faucets—bringing the total to 11—and updated some the original descriptions with additional information. - Bryan]
Bitcoins are all over the headlines, but did you know there are websites that pay out "free" Bitcoins for visiting them or doing tasks? They're called Bitcoin faucets, and they're a great way for you to get into Bitcoins without mining, wiring money to a Bitcoin exchange, or buying through LocalBitcoins.
Before we get to the faucets, Bitcoin is a virtual crypto currency—I penned a Bitcoin primer a while back if you're looking for more information. Bitcoin faucets aren't going to make you rich, but these are faucets that I can personally attest pay out when and how they say they will as I've collected 0.12 BTC from them.
This also seems like a good place to mention that I'm presenting a Bitcoin session at Macworld/iWorld 2014.
The first Bitcoin faucets were designed as promotional vehicles to get people interested and involved in Bitcoins back when a Bitcoin was worth a few pennies. A few people who had tons of Bitcoins that weren't worth much at the time thought that if they got them into the hands of more people, it would generate interest.
Today's so-called faucets are much more of a business model. Most of them work by paying out tiny fractions of a Bitcoin in exchange for loading a page full of ads or for watching videos. I also have one site to show you that's not a faucet, per se, but rather a site that pays Bitcoins in exchange for doing crowd-sourced tasks.
- µBTC/uBTC is a micro Bitcoin, or 0.000001BTC.
- A satoshi is currently the smallest fraction of a Bitcoin, or 0.00000001BTC.
You'll need a Bitcoin wallet, either a standalone client wallet or a wallet from a service like Blockchain.info.
If you don't need the full rundown on each site below, here are quick links in order of my preference.
- MMOClub.com Faucet
- Coinbox.me Trio
- Señor Bitcoin
- Can Has Bitcoin
- Bitcoiner.net and Litecoiner.net
Faucets I Am Testing (with a short description)
- Qoinpro - Register for free Bitcoins, Litecoins, and other alt-coins every day, automatically. More features coming. Make sure to activate your registration, too.
- GratisBitco.in - Free Bitcoins every hour by rolling virtual dice—payment based on the number you roll.
- DailyFreeBits - 200-1200 free satoshis every 6 hours.
- LandOfBitcoins.com - Automatic free Bitcoins every minute (renewable it every half hour)
- FreeCoins4.me - A small amount of free Bitcoins every 8 hours. The site is in alpha, with more features coming soon.
The Descriptions in Full
This is my favorite faucet because it has an element of gamble without any risk. First of all, click on the "Free Play" link at the top of the site. That's the faucet part of this site.
Once there, you can "roll" once per hour and a random number generator will toss back a number between 1 and 10,000. The higher the number, the bigger the payout, and the highest number pays out more than 0.2BTC. At 1 in 10,000, that makes every roll exciting.
In the screenshot below, you can see the payout table, but it changes frequently as the price of Bitcoin fluctuates. I have received many larger payouts, and in the screenshot below you can see my highest roll—9988—good enough for the 4th highest payout. I'm not sure that it's truly a random number generator, but even the lowest payout makes this the best faucet around.
Payouts happen once a week, and I've earned more than 0.002BTC in the last several weeks. There are all sorts of stats to look at, both personal and site-wide.
Update: I updated the screenshot below with my best roll to-date, 9988, good enough for 0.00021978BTC. w00t!
I can now verify that this faucet pays once a week after you've reached 100,000 satoshis, or 0.001BTC. They offer 1,000 satoshis once a day, but you can earn another 1,000 satoshis once per day by clicking over on the "Extras" tab. You used to have to watch through some offers to get the Extras bonus, but they removed that requirement.
That means it currently takes 50 visits if you hit both the Home page and the Extras page to get your free 0.001BTC, and it takes very little work per visit. The site also offers "Tasks," but these are largely surveys and offers from third party companies wanting your personal info. I don't recommend doing that sort of thing.
In the screenshot below, note my balance in the lower right corner.
This is the site that's paid me the most—I've earned 0.066BTC in the last several weeks—but it's also the site that has required the most effort. BitcoinGet pays for three things, crowd-sourced tasks, watching videos, and a category called "Special Offers" for filling out surveys and giving all your personal information to third-party companies. I don't recommend the last option, but the first two work just fine.
Watching videos hasn't worked for me lately, and I suspect that it's a Mac support issue. This doesn't pay well enough for me to hassle with digging into why—µ6BTC per video—but in that the videos can play in the background, it is essentially free money if it works on your system (advertisers are essentially paying to boost their YouTube view count).
Performing tasks is the thing that some people will find interesting. These range from doing Google searches, recording search result ranking and offering feedback on web design, to determining the meaning of a passage of text, to trying different CAPTCHA methods, to flagging adult images, to checking for expiration dates on deals.
The key here is to only do tasks that are worth your time. If a task pays µ6BTC and takes 10 minutes, you're wasting your time. That said, with today's BTC value in the US$700-$800 range, some tasks pay as much as µ180BTC and take very little time. They still might not be worth your time on an hourly basis, but if your goal is to get Bitcoins without paying cash, free is free.
Please note that the tasks are refreshed throughout the day. If you find a task you like doing, come back tomorrow at the same time and you'll probably find it again.
Lastly, note that prices paid float up and down as the price of Bitcoin changes. They pay once a day when you accumulate more than µ100BTC, and it's regular as clockwork.
I like BitVisitor for two reasons. The first is that it pays, and the second is that I've been exposed to some new things from their advertisers. BitVisitor pays from µ0.8BTC to µ4BTC for loading up a webpage. You have to leave it up for five minutes, and you don't get credit until you click a green "Next" button that appears after the five minutes have elapsed.
The amounts vary as the price of BTC rises and falls. The prizes above are the most current, as January 17th.
You can earn a maximum of µ100BTC per day, and BitVisitor won't always have pages for you to load. I've earned more than 0.02BTC there over the last several weeks. You don't have to pay attention to the webpages, of course, but I tend to notice new ones as they come in, so I'd say it works for the advertisers.
This is what it looks like:
This faucet is a side project for a company that buys and sells online game currency. I've never done any business with that part of the company and am not endorsing it one way or another, but their faucet works and they pay. The page is loaded up with ads, but that's what's paying for the faucet.
It's an hourly faucet that pays between 1 and 500 satoshis (see the terms above for how much that is). You can trigger a manual payout once you've accumulated 10,000 (or more) satoshis, or 0.00001BTC. Payouts are sometimes instant and sometimes take a few hours.
Update: The average payout on MMOClub.com has been reduced to 156 satoshis with the addition of smaller increments. Accordingly, I moved it lower on my list, but it's still a good faucet that pays.
Tip: the faucet tells you exactly how many satoshis are loaded up at any given moment. Only trigger a manual payout when the faucet has enough satoshis loaded to cover your payout.
MMOClub.com Faucet Screenshots
I have a trio of sites to tell you about at the same time, Señor Bitcoin, Can Has Bitcoin, and FaucetBTC. All three sites are operated by the same company, and they all pay out together.
Firstly, they are 30 minute faucets, meaning you can return to them every half hour and get some free Bitcoins. They pay out very small amounts, however, either 0.0000002BTC or 0.0000006BTC, for a cumulative total of 0.000001BTC if you visit all three sites at the same time—and you can do that twice an hour if you're motivated.
They payout to your BTC address, but they send it to a holding service called CoinBox.me. That site then holds your winnings from all three sites until you reach a total of 0.000055BTC. I can confirm that they pay out to your wallet once you reach that amount.
These sites are quirky, and Can Has Bitcoin is intentionally a throw-back eyesore, but they make it easy to get some free Bitcoins.
Señor Bitcoin, Can Has Bitcoin, and FaucetBTC Screenshots
This site is closer to a straight faucet. Once an hour you can load the page, enter your Bitcoin wallet address, enter the CAPTCHA, and get µ0.5BTC. Done and done. But, DailyBitcoins ups the ante a bit by including roughly 1,000 larger rewards every day, up to 0.01BTC at a time.
There's even a schedule of those prizes—they're metered out every few minutes—so you can optimize your obsessive refreshing along with everyone else. This might not be worth it on an absolute hourly basis, but if you want to get free Bitcoins, it works.
Update: The number of extra prizes has been adjusted to 1,000 per day. This makes it much harder to get the larger prizes. In addition, the smallest payment has been halved to 0.0000005BTC. That makes it harder to accumulate BTC, but it's still free BTC.
DailyBitcoins pays will pay out within 24 hours once you reach a balance of 0.0001BTC. If you're going to use this site regularly, take the time to register so that it will remember your Bitcoin wallet address.
Update: BitcoinFaucet.tk has cut each dispense sharply. It's still free Bitcoins (yay!), but it will take a while to earn enough to get a payout.
When I first posted this guide, this was a new faucet, but I can now confirm that it pays. It's a 6-hour faucet, I've accumulated 0.00016BTC over several weeks.
It's pretty straight forward. Load the page, enter your Bitcoin wallet address, enter the CAPTCHA, and come back in six hours.
Bitcoiner.net is a daily faucet, and as such you won't accumulate Bitcoins very fast. In a few weeks, I've earned 0.0003BTC. It's also ad-supported, and as such requires little more than a few seconds a day.
There's a random element and a long-term reward program, too. The amount offered is reset every hour (the 24-hour cycle begins at midnight GMT), so if the amount being offered in any particular hour is too low, come back later.
There's also a "prize multiplier." It's a little weird, so let me explain. When you check that you want an "automatic payout," the site pays out once you reach 0.00013BTC. But, every day that you check that box (when submitting), you get a cumulative prize multiplier of 0.05x per day, starting at 1x and going up to a maximum of 2x cumulative.
The thing is you get a message that says, "you've checked the 'I want a payout today', but you haven't accumulated [the] required 0.00013 BTC." It sounds like you did something wrong, but you didn't. Just do it every time, and whatever amount is on the screen gets multiplied before being added to your total.
Tip: Payout amounts currently range from a low of 0.0000022BTC to 0.00000500BTC (that I've seen). I pull the trigger any time I see a payout above 0.00000440BTC. As noted above, that amount is then multiplied by the multiplier before being added to your balance.
Bitcoiner.net - Make sure you check that "I want a payout today" checkbox each time!
It has a sister site called Litecoiner.net that pays out in Litecoins. Litecoin, or LTC, is the biggest so-called "alt-coin," the catch-all name for Bitcoin copycats. LTC tends to be worth from 1 percent to 3 percent of a Bitcoin. You'll need a separate Litecoin wallet and address to use that site.
I have another trio of sites that all pay out to an intermediary wallet, just like the Coinbox.me-related sites above. Unlike the Coinbox.me sites, however, I don't think these three sites are run by the same folks.
It doesn't matter, though, because if you use the same Bitcoin address for your payments on all three sites, you'll get your payments from Microwallet.org that much quicker. Microwallet.org's automatic payout level is 0.000058BTC.
As with all of the sites in my list, I can confirm that all three of these sites pay out just as they say they will.
PayFaucet is a 30-minute faucet, meaning you can hit it twice an hour. Each time, it pays between 20 and 200 satoshis, which is easily the best of the 30-minute faucets, but still not as good as the best hourly faucets above. Note, however, that PayFaucet frequently redirects to AdFly, an advertising site, and it also uses AdFly to pop up windows on your browser. If you use this faucet, pay attention, and if you don't like popup windows, avoid it entirely.
Bitcoin Tap is a daily faucet, meaning you can use it once every 24 hours. As such, you should put it in with your other daily faucets so you can do all of them at one time. It pays either 400, 800, 1,200, 1,600, or 2,000 satoshis.
Fibbonacci Faucet is a curious little beast. You can get a dispense every 2-hours, and it pays out a very small amount, between 1 and 144 satoshis, with an average payout of only 34 satoshis. It would hardly be worth the effort if it wasn't also feeding into your Microwallet.org account.
PayFaucet, Bitcoin Tap, Fibbonacci Faucet, and Microwallet.org Screenshots
Sites I Am Currently Testing
I am currently testing several other faucets. I'll add them to the official list once I've received a payout:
- GratisBitco.in - an hourly faucet
- FreeBitcoinFaucet.net - an hourly faucet
- FreeCoins4.met - an 8-hour faucet
If you have fiat cash (i.e. dollars or euros) you want to invest in Bitcoins, just buy them. None of these faucets pay out enough to warrant the time you spend. In other words, hitting these faucets is not a job replacement.
But, it's fun and it's easy, and if it's sitting there in the background and you hit them when you're taking a break from work or futzing around on your iPad, it's essentially free bitcoins. Today's 0.01BTC is worth about US$8.00. But if Bitcoin hits $40,000 like the Winkelvoss Twins think it will, that same 0.01BTC would be worth $400, and I've personally earned .14BTC from these faucets over the last couple of months.
That would retroactively make the time you spend loading a page and entering some CAPTCHA information a different equation.
And in the meanwhile, you could even use these free Bitcoins to play some online poker.