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Perhaps the easiest way to earn bitcoins is to work online or in real life for bitcoins. Because of the huge size of the bitcoin eco-system, a number of such opportunities and jobs are available. With Billions of dollars invested in Bitcoin by tens of thousands of people, there is a real market in Bitcoin, where you can find jobs for freelancers, software developers, writers, and others who get paid in bitcoins for their services.
Software development, writing, design, making websites or apps, audio transcription, are some of the most active types of jobs. You can easily discover the types of jobs by going over the more popular job boards for bitcoin related work. The following job boards or forums are some of the best places to look for such jobs or gigs.
Also, check BitcoinGames for ideas on earning bitcoin and blockchain game assets.
You can also get Bitcoin by selling your old laptops, phones or other items for Bitcoins. Such types of transactions are happening more and more, and a lot of buyers are already buying anything from iPhones to even cars by paying with Bitcoins. For Americans, Craigslist.com is your best bet when you want to find such buyers. You can mention in your ad that you are willing to take payment in Bitcoin. This way if anyone wants to buy the item for you for Bitcoin, they can contact you and make an offer. The same principle applies to other online marketplaces such as gumtree for UK, kijiji for canda etc.
Affiliate programs allow a promoter of a business or product to earn money or bitcoins by refering new clients to such businesses or products. For example, amazon.com has a popular affiliate program, where you can earn commission ranging from 2% to 20% for refering clients to products listed on amazon.com. Amazon normally pays in dollars, but there are a number of other sites and businesses which pay you in bitcoin for acting as their affiliate.
Some of the more popular affiliate programs that pay out in Bitcoin are by the sites: cex.io, coinbase.com, okcoin.com and namecheap.com, among others. You can find a larger list of such affiliate programs on the bitcoin wiki page for Affiliates.
We do not recommend gambling for every player or every user; we find that gambling is only suitable for people who know how to win at it. However, if you are one of such lucky users who have some tricks up their sleeves, and can manage to win at games such as poker, then you will find that earning bitcoins is not that hard.
One of the many applications of bitcoin since the very beginning have been in betting games or gambling. Because of the relative anonymity of bitcoin, and the lower fees, it is very suitable for gambling related applications. Indeed, one such game, satoshiDICE, has been running since 2012, and has paid out a huge number of bitcoins in innumerable transactions to its winners. There are many such games, which you can find be googling.
If you want to gamble totally anonymously, you can play gambling or betting games that are available only on darknet or .onion sites. Such sites allow you to browse them anonymous by operating on the tor network, which is a secure network that allows users to browse .onion websites without exposing their own IP address.
For each block that is added to the Bitcoin Blockchain, a number of bitcoins are rewarded to the creater of that block. This reward is currently, as of June 2016, 25 bitcoins per block, and it halves every four years. The next halving will be in July 2016. Creating or finding the new blocks, and therefore winning the reward of 25 bitcoins for each block you create, is called bitcoin mining. To do bitcoin mining successfully, you need very powerful computers, which compete with other computers to find the next block. The speed or power of computer that do bitcoin mining is calculated in hashes calculated per second.
There are two ways to do bitcoin mining: one is to own hardware or computers that do the mining, and second is to hire the hardware from a third party, usually online, and do the mining on the cloud. Let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both in next two sections.
When you own the hardware that does the calculations and mining of bitcoins, its called hardware mining. Hardware mining is the more popular or prevalent of the two types of mining we mentioned. One of the biggest factors which comes into play when doing bitcoin mining using your own hardware is the price of electricity. If you pay top price for electricity, then bitcoin mining may not be your cup of tea. Another related factor is infrastructure needed to cool the hardware; since every cpu generates some amount of heat, you may need to cool the hardware in case they become too heated. No wonder that some of the most successful miners work from China, specially Tibet, where they can get cheap electricity, and their cooling costs are low due to high altitude which reduces the ambient temperature for them.
For a more in-depth information on how to setup your hardware mining equipment, have a look at the Antminer setup page.