Over the past year many millionaires have been made through bitcoin, but the digital currency is not like any other investment. Investing in bitcoin or any other of the 900 or so cryptocurrencies which now exist is seen by many as a gamble rather than a currency, share, or financial product purchase.
Exchanging sterling for bitcoin is not the only route to owning a few of the bull market digital coins, we take a look at a few ways to earn bitcoin in the UK.
Before we do, a word of warning, cryptocurrencies are not owned, or regulated, by governments or financial institutions. They are decentralised, and for the most part their owners can remain anonymous through the blockchain technology that the digital currencies are based upon.
The value of bitcoin is reliant on the activity of owners, developers of bitcoin, and investors. Bitcoins are quickly stepping into the mainstream, it’s likely they will soon be adopted in one way or another by global stock exchanges, financial institutions, and major retailers.
Even rich list investment tycoons are transferring large proportions of their wealth to bitcoin, but the value is by no means guaranteed.
There are two precautions to take, firstly take some time to thoroughly understand digital currencies. Secondly, if you cannot afford to lose time or money on bitcoin, it’s not the money maker for you. If you have a little cash free to take a gamble, it might be worth it.
1. Buy bitcoin directly from a UK exchange
There are good, reputable, digital currency exchanges online and you can buy smaller denominations. A single bitcoin today is valued at just over £6000.
2. Buy an alternative coin and trade it for bitcoin
There are other “altcoins” available on exchanges, some of these coins are accumulating value too. If you’ve done your research you could buy an alternative coin that accumulates value, then sell or trade it at a higher price in return for bitcoin.
3. Invest in an ICO
An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is the blockchain technology version of crowdfunding. You can invest in a technology start-up which is raising capital for their projects by offering their own type of coin.
If their project is successful, and their coin becomes traded on exchange, you have the option to trade your digital coins into their equivalent bitcoin value.
4. Become a cryptocurrency miner
You need to be reasonably technologically savvy to become a “miner” of digital currencies.
Miners use software, and in the past, their home PC’s, to solve complex mathematical problems, and to verify transactions on the blockchain ledger which forms the backbone of each currency.
It’s become exceedingly difficult to mine bitcoin, but the increased value has helped people to take another look into this.
In return they earn some for themselves.
5. Work and get paid in bitcoin
The global cryptocurrency market is valued at $150 billion plus. Blockchain technologies are being adopted across many industries, not just for digital currency trading and services.
Jobs in the sector can be paid in bitcoin and range from full time to freelance.
6. Complete tasks online for bitcoins
There are websites popping up every day which allow you to earn a tiny amount of bitcoin by completing certain tasks online. This could be searching the web with a certain search engine, watching an advert, or completing a survey.
7. Lend your bitcoins and earn interest
If you already own bitcoins, there are websites which let you lend your coins to borrowers, and earn interest during the repayment period. Be very careful here that any website or borrower comes well vetted, and recommended.
You could just be throwing money away here.
8. Earn bitcoins from gambling or game playing
There are games online where you can earn bitcoins for playing, and many gambling websites where you can wager and win bitcoins. Though we’d never recommend gambling, if you already gamble online you could switch to a reputable site.
9. Sell your possessions for bitcoin
Selling your possessions on the bitcoin equivalent of eBay is possible but has yet to gain real traction in the UK.
However, you can sell your old games or electronic items for bitcoin on CEX.
10. Accept payments for goods or services in bitcoin
If you have a physical or online shop, or offer a service, you can easily accept bitcoin payments in store, or through your website.
In Japan paying in bitcoin is quite normal, over 260,000 stores accept the digital currency. It’s a growing trend but not quite so quick to be adopted in other countries.
There are only three major online retailers accepting bitcoin, the first adopter being overstock.com. Amazon has been rumoured to be taking the leap a number of times, but any steps in this direction by the retail giant have yet to be confirmed.
Are there any recommended websites for earning bitcoins?
We won’t recommend any specific websites, sadly there are many sites that are unsecure, poorly reviewed, or downright fraudulent.
The most important consideration if you wish to own digital currencies is thorough research and understanding.
It is safe to say that blockchain technology, the backbone of bitcoin and other currencies, is likely to be the next digital revolution.
Comparable to the emergence and growth of the internet which now makes serious money for hundreds of thousands of individuals, and quite probably millions.