If you’ve turned on the news lately, you likely have heard about cryptocurrency. But do you know what it is? Or any of the terminology around them? The answer is likely no, and yet it’s somehow creating millionaires and even billionaires due to the skyrocketing values lately. Recently, the Winklevoss twins – Tyler and Cameron – became the first Bitcoin billionaires. Well, the creators of Bitcoin likely made it there first. Back to the Winklevoss twins – you might remember them as the Harvard alumni who went to battle with Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. The Winklevosses reportedly bought $11 million worth of BTC in 2013, using the $65 million proceeds they got from their Facebook settlement. At the time, the price of Bitcoin was $120, and now it’s almost $15,000. Which is a 12,400% growth on their investment. Insane, right?
Cryptocurrencies were designed mainly for value exchange not investment. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of blockchains for monetary gains. Here are a few ways to get you started:
Accomplish Micro-Tasks in Exchange for Cryptocurrency
You may recall the “Mechanical Turk” concept introduced by Amazon in 2005 as a crowdsourced marketplace for tasks. The concept is simple: Tasks can be easily done if these are broken down into smaller tasks and distributed to several workers. While limited to mostly tedious and repetitive tasks, there is value in this system, wherein users could earn micro-payments by doing small tasks, while the client is able to accomplish bigger projects faster. The same concept could perhaps be applied with small-project freelancing sites like Fiverr, which started out as a freelancing site for tasks that are paid at least $5 each to accomplish.
Storm Token is the blockchain equivalent of these micro-task platforms. It is a gamified platform for micro-tasks that enables anyone to earn from virtually anywhere and using any device. For instance, users can earn cryptocurrency from doing certain tasks, which may include QA testing, data entry, and other peer-to-peer freelancing tasks.
Participate in Social Curation
The internet is filled with fake news and that’s no different on social media. The idea of confirmation bias could be amplified due to social networks where users see topics they are interested in, and comment on them, even if they are fake sources.The problem with social networks by far is that most are free, and it can be difficult for good content to stand out from the crowd if we are bombarded by sentiments from just about anyone. The blockchain can solve this by implementing a reward mechanism for active participation. Steemit a project that resembles a Blockchain Reddit, has launched a social network that lets users curate user submissions, thus pushing up only those that they deem to have valid or interesting content.
This is done by sending small amounts of crypto tokens to posts that they deem good — somewhat similar to sending a micropayment for every “like”. This is in contrast to the free “likes” on social networks like Facebook. These can be cheap, but if there is some monetary aspect to voting up a social media post, then each upvote will have some real value attached to it. The creators of Steemit believe this can help solve the fake news and noise issue on social networks. Meanwhile, content creators get rewarded by the crypto value of the “likes” equivalent.
Buy and “hodl” on
This is perhaps the most straightforward means of participating in cryptocurrency growth without having to be too active about it. If you’ve been watching the price of Bitcoin, it has grown significantly in almost a decade of existence. Thus, people who have bought and held on to their cryptocurrency see themselves reaping the rewards of an upsurge in value. Here, the term “hodl” is a running joke, of course – it stemmed from a forum thread wherein the original poster misspelled “hold” with “hodl”. The term has since made its way into common usage, usually referring to how Bitcoin “traders” or “investors” would hold on to the cryptocurrency on a long-term basis to profit from its rise in value, even amid popular opinion that one should sell once the value has peaked.
This is in stark contrast to active “trading” wherein a trader would buy low and sell high, and buy again when there is a dip. In hindsight, those who have held on to their BTC when it was still priced at around $200 each would probably be worth millions today. But an added worry today would be the naysayers, who would warn against trusting the system too much because we might be in a cryptocurrency bubble that could burst at any time.