What is a Faucet: Get Coins for (almost) Free
Faucets are a way to get a small amount of tokens for testing wallets and learning the ropes without joining an exchange. They are also a source of small amounts of income- if you have spare time on your hands.
You want to try out several cryptocoins at once, but buying may prove difficult. So while you wait for your exchange verifications to pass through, you may build up a few coins and tokens to test wallets and learn how cryptocoins work.
For this, you may join one or more faucets. There are multiple sites which offer a reward of tokens, usually a fraction, building up in your account. And the first thing those sites will ask is to disable your ad blocker- so be ready to see some ads when you use a faucet.
Your Wallet Address and Faucets
To use a faucet, you would need a storage for your reward. And the regular wallet is not a good choice for that.
Sending a wallet address, or public key, means your public receive address becomes open to at least one site. Choose well and preferably use a separate wallet for your faucet activities. Until recently, a microwallet service was available at Microwallet.org, but it closed down this August. CoinPot is an alternative to consolidate faucet payouts without revealing your Bitcoin address to many sites. You can claim Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin in this wallet.
Other sites such as FaucetHub offer a microwallet service. Pick the one that appeals to you and then select the faucets themselves. Some will accept your CoinPot address as a means to send your tokens.
Transfer into a microwallet is instant and carries no fees. The only claim is on your time- you need to revisit the faucet after the estimated time elapses. Faucets vary in time between claims, ranging from a minute to an hour. Most sites will allow you to set the alarm and be able to revisit immediately after the period elapses.
And if this is not enough, games and ad viewings may add to the pile.
But you will need a lot of clicks before saving up enough coins to send to a proper wallet. You may choose to rotate various faucets manually or choose a special service that will rotate faucets for you. CoinPot is a user-friendly way to rotate between Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin.
For beginners, this is a small and convenient selection of coins and may teach the basics before moving on to other sites and games. Running a faucet may be a small de-stressor during the day, as the small rewards pile up. And the CoinPot selection of faucets allows you to wait as much as you want, if it is more than five minutes- so you may forget about the faucet for a while and let the rewards trickle in.
But captchas will get more complex and more numerous to solve as you go along. Rewards may also go up as you log in regularly, but filling up the faucet may slow down.
How Faucets Work
Faucet sites are creative, and some are downright annoying. The most common way to claim Bitcoin or altcoins is to solve a captcha to claim a few satoshis.
How much? That would depend on the faucet, on market prices, bonuses, and loyalty programs. Some faucets even run lotteries. There are multi-coin faucets, although most are built around Bitcoin and a few other tokens. Some will offer a reward, but disable the claim button if you are not fast enough.
Faucets are what paid click sites become after they meet cryptocurrencies. The available technology for friction-free small payments allows most faucets to be scam-free, in comparison to paid click sites. And the best thing is they expose more users to cryptocurrencies.
Faucets teach the idea of a wallet and serve another important function- link cryptocurrencies to existing web infrastructure, to replace cash payments. Where paid clicks were becoming boring, faucets offer a new way to lead clicks and eyeballs to ads- using the hot trend of Bitcoin and other tokens.
The higher the payout, the more a site will make you work for your reward by sending more involved captcha images and tasks, but also demanding to click on bot-proof ads in a certain order.
And some sites will be plain impossible to figure out, flooding you with ads or redirecting to ICO pages, or other services. Avoid sending away your Litecoin address to each of them- always use microwallet addresses.
Most faucets are linked to Bitcoin, as it is the most famous token. Dogecoin also uses its internet fame to attract users, although it's a very low-priced token that has not changed in price for a while.
Litecoin is also popular, giving away rather generous rewards in "litoshi" - a millionth of a Litecoin. One would need roughly 500 hours to build up to 1 Litecoin. In an hour, a Bitcoin faucet would build up enough to buy only a fraction of a cup of coffee.
The Verdict on Faucets
With faucets, the game gets old soon. If you like Dogecoin, faucets are perfect. If you find several appealing faucets, you may work a small amount of Bitcoin and even make a transaction to a real wallet. The plus is that there are no entrance fees and no transaction fees. It's also a training ground for learning about cryptocurrencies. And in our next guide, we will look at ways to join some of the more convenient faucets.