What is passive income?
Trading or investing in projects is one way to make money in the blockchain industry. However, that typically requires detailed research and a substantial investment of time – but it still won’t guarantee a reliable source of income.
Even the best investors can experience prolonged periods of loss, and one of the ways to survive them is to have alternative sources of income.
There are other methods than trading or investing that can help you increase your cryptocurrency holdings. These can pay ongoing income similar to earning interest, but only require some effort to set up and little or no effort to maintain.
This way, you can have several streams of income that, in combination with each other, can add up to a significant amount.
This article will go through some of the ways that you can earn a passive income with crypto.
What are the ways you can earn passive income with crypto?
The ASIC industry is very competitive and dominated by corporations with significant resources available to deploy on research and development. By the time these chips arrive on the retail market, they are likely already outdated and would take a considerable amount of mining time to break-even.
As such, Bitcoin mining has mostly become a corporate business rather than a viable source of passive income for an average individual.
On the other hand, mining lower hash rate Proof of Work coins can still be a profitable venture for some. On these networks, using GPUs can still be viable. Mining lesser-known coins carries a higher potential reward, but comes with higher risk. The mined coins might become worthless overnight, carry little liquidity, experience a bug, or see themselves hindered by many other factors.
It is worth noting that setting up and maintaining mining equipment requires an initial investment and some technical expertise.
Staking can be an excellent way to increase your cryptocurrency holdings with minimal effort. However, some staking projects employ tactics that artificially inflate the projected staking returns rate. It is essential to investigate token economics models as they can effectively mitigate promising staking reward projections.
Some exchanges with margin trading have this feature implemented natively on their platform.
This method is ideal for long-term holders who want to increase their holdings with little effort required. It is worth noting that locking funds in a smart contract always carries the risk of bugs.
Running a Lightning node
Typical transactions on the Bitcoin network are one-directional, meaning that if Alice sends a bitcoin to Bob, Bob cannot use the same payment channel to send that coin back to Alice. The Lightning Network, however, uses bidirectional channels that require the two participants to agree on the terms of the transaction beforehand.
Lightning nodes provide liquidity and increase the capacity of the Lightning Network by locking up bitcoin into payment channels. They then collect the fees of the payments running through their channels.
Running a Lightning node can be a challenge for a non-technical bitcoin holder, and the rewards heavily depend on the overall adoption of the Lightning Network.
Some crypto businesses will reward you for getting more users onto their platform. These include affiliate links, referrals, or some other discount offered to new users that are introduced to the platform by you.
If you have a larger social media following, affiliate programs can be an excellent way to earn some side income. However, to avoid spreading the word on low-quality projects, it is always worth doing some research on the services beforehand.
Token projects tend to give out special privileges only to actors who have a high incentive in maintaining network stability. Masternodes typically require a sizable upfront investment and a considerable amount of technical expertise to set up.
Forks and airdrops
Blockchain-based content creation platforms
The advent of distributed ledger technologies has enabled many new types of content platforms. These allow content creators to monetize their content in several unique ways and without the inclusion of intrusive ads.
In such a system, content creators maintain ownership of their creations and usually monetize attention in some way. This can require a lot of work initially but can provide a steady source of income once a more substantial backlog of content is ready.
What are the risks of earning passive income with crypto?
- Buying a low-quality asset: Artificially inflated or misleading return rates can lure investors into purchasing an asset that otherwise holds very little value. Some staking networks adopt a multi-token system where the rewards are paid in a second token, which creates constant sell pressure for the reward token.
- User error: As the blockchain industry is still in its infancy, setting up and maintaining these sources of income requires technical expertise and an investigative mindset. For some holders, it might be best to wait until these services become more user-friendly, or only use ones that require minimal technical competence.
- Lockup periods: Some lending or staking methods require you to lock up your funds for a set amount of time. This makes your holdings effectively illiquid for that time, leaving you vulnerable for any event that may negatively impact the price of your asset.
- Risk of bugs: Locking up your tokens in a staking wallet or a smart contract always carries the risk of bugs. Usually, there are multiple choices available with various degrees of quality. It is imperative to research these choices before committing to one. Open-source software might be a good starting point, as those options are at the very least audited by the community.
Ways to generate passive income in the blockchain industry are growing and gaining popularity. Blockchain businesses have also been adopting some of these methods, providing services commonly referred to as generalized mining.
As the products are getting more reliable and secure, they might soon become a valid option for a steady source of income.