The short answer is that yes, you can earn bitcoin playing games. The longer answer is that earning bitcoin by playing games is not as easy as logging in and getting rich. In fact, it's not even as easy as getting good at a game and taking all the prize money.
To realistically earn any decent amount of money from playing games online you have to find a specific game you like to play, get good at it, and play consistently over a period of time. Even then, the caveat that the best money is going to be random prize money, not monthly cash income. If you want to earn any kind of consistent money playing games, it's going to be very little money that you are going to have to diligently save over time.
There are plenty of legitimate games paying out bitcoin, but many “games” are actually casino games where 99% players with less bitcoin as a result. I guess it's not my place to lecture anyone about gambling, but for the n00bs out there reading this, my advice is to just avoid that shit altogether.
So let's dig into what works and how much bitcoin you can actually earn.
Earn Bitcoin Playing Mobile Games
There are number of bitcoin-focused gaming companies (or gaming -focused bitcoin companies?) that are developing ways to earn small amounts of bitcoin for tinkering around simple mobile games. Some of these games are standard titles like chess, trivia, solitaire, sudoku, and candy crush-style games. Others are actual unique titles, but with familiar formats like side scrollers, and racing games.
The trouble with any game that pays out bitcoin consistently is that there's a weird balance of attracting an audience through fun gameplay, versus attracting an audience simply looking to exploit the game to earn sats. Any kind of system you can think of to consistently earn good money is going to be noticed by developers and tweaked to not be so effective. They can't just pay everyone money to play the game, since the point of them creating the game is to make money themselves! So far, nobody has come up with the perfect balance.
What this ends up being is that the games pay out very little bitcoin most of the time. Only the most die-hard users can master the games enough to earn just a tiny bit of money. Sats saved over time can add up, but it's still quite small if we're being honest here.
Any productive adult would have to ask themselves, “Should I spend 2 hours a day earning 30 cents in bitcoin, or just put in an extra hour at work and earn $20+ USD that I can then exchange for bitcoin?” Even if you live in a developing country, I regularly pay people $15-$50 per hour to do writing and other technical work on my blog, so no matter where you are in the world, if you have any kind of skillset, you can probably make more money at your current job.
Playing games for bitcoin will not replace anyones job at this point, unlike playing video games on YouTube which can make you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars per month with a big enough audience.
Even for someone willing to grind out a few hours a day for a couple bucks, it's not really a long term strategy. An intelligent person would have to ask themselves, “How could I use my time more wisely to make money more efficiently?”.
As much as I love bitcoin and think it's cool that there are companies trying to merge bitcoin and gaming, it's just not realistic at this point to earn any significant amount of bitcoin playing mobile games in your spare time. If you enjoy the games, then play them and take the sats when you get them, but out side of that, you should focus on earning sats through more reliable means.
Earn Bitcoin Playing Competitive Games
There are two types of competitive games I think are worth talking about. The first is the competitive desktop game that pays out bitcoin. These types of games are very much still in beta, and should not be considered a consistent source of stacking large amounts of bitcoin.
A couple of great examples are Zebedee Kart and CS:GO. Both games work, and are very cool ideas. The first one is a Mario Kart style game where you can earn bitcoin by performing well in the races, but this it's a very small community of participants, to the point where you have to jump on their discord and ask around to find someone to race with. It's not like you can just hop on at any point, race someone, and earn bitcoin as a result.
CS:GO seems to be further along in development, and have a slightly more robust bitcoin rewards system in place for players, but I'm not sure exactly how big the community is. You'd think that a competitive shooting game paying out free bitcoin to top players would be extremely popular, but there's hardly any information on competition and people talking about how much bitcoin they're earning.
It seems simple enough. Download the Zebedee app, log in with your Steam account, and join a server. Some servers have small fees to enter, but they can be sponsored by companies so the fee may be waived. Some servers have higher fees, but you may have a higher chance of earning a decent amount of sats while playing, as well as playing with a higher caliber of player.
As you earn points in the game you get paid sats, and you can withdraw you bitcoin when you're done playing.
You can see the whole process in the video below. He earns about 丰500 from his session, which was less than $1, but he played for just 10 minutes, so maybe playing for a couple hours could earn a couple dollars
Video: CS:GO + Zebedee Infuse
Why is nobody talking about this? I'm not really sure. Maybe it doesn't pay enough. Or maybe there aren't enough competitive servers just yet? Or maybe it's too competitive and only the best players are earning? It's hard to say.
What I will say is that CS:GO is probably the only legitimate desktop game worth looking into if you want to earn bitcoin playing games. You won't earn a ton, but since the games are sponsored rather than funded by ads, I think you'll be earning more sats playing CS:GO than something like Lightning Crush or Trivia.
Social Gaming on Thndr & Nostr
Very recently, Thndr games has been pushing forward the social media aspect of their gaming platform through games like Bitcoin Solitaire and Bitcoin Blocks. With the added layer of social competition in the world of bitcoin games, these two games in particular have been quite popular among bitcoiners. Not only are they a way to kill time with other bitcoiners, but you can also earn bitcoin playing.
What's cool about attaching a gaming profile the new social media protocol Nostr is that you can carry your gaming badges with you from the game to display on your profile for bragging rights or verification of achievements unlocked.
Esports Gaming Tournaments
At many levels of competitive tournament gaming, there is also the possibility of earning bitcoin. One of the best examples of this was in 2013 when some of the winners of a Starcraft tournament earned 25 bitcoin, now worth around $500,000 USD (but then worth less than $100 USD).
However, there is no single competition that exclusively pays in bitcoin, and no specific game that's normally associated with bitcoin payouts at tournaments. It really just depends on what game you play and which tournaments you compete in. Other than Starcraft, another great option to look for would be Dota2 and other MMORPGs.
The trouble with this strategy is that you need to be playing the most popular games, at the highest level of skill, for a chance to earn bitcoin playing the game.
Earn Bitcoin Playing Casino Games
Earlier in the post I mentioned that you should probably stay away from casino games. Look, I've been to Vegas a number of times and have lost at least a few hundred dollars playing the craps tables with friends. It was fun, and I appreciated it for what it was. I went in expecting to lose money. When you start playing casino games to win bitcoin, you are setting yourself up for a hard time.
Whether it's dice games, slot games, or table games, it's all a game of chance. Unless you are playing poker in a reputable poker tournament that specifically offers bitcoin as prize money bitcoin casino games are going to be game of chance, and you're going to lose most of the time. There are plenty of poker sites where you can earn bitcoin, but you have to be good at poker, and again, you run the risk of losing more money than you earn.
What you'll also find is that many so called bitcoin gambling sites are actually sources for malware and spam, since most people going to these sites are idiots looking for easy money, so are easily tricked into downloading stuff like that.
I'm not going to link to any sources because I don't want to be the cause of any bitcoiners losing any bitcoin, but I just wanted to get my own two cents out on the topic.
Yes, you can really earn bitcoin playing games, but when you dig into the details of how much you earn and what you need to do to earn it, for the vast majority of people, it's just not practical to do it. Games are for fun. Bitcoin is for work. If you want to earn bitcoin, you should be doing something useful.
Even if you are stuck in the fiat mines, cranking out your local currency for day's labor, buying bitcoin with your savings and dollar cost averaging over time is going to be a more effective strategy for stacking sats. In bitcoin, everything relates back to the idea of low time preference, meaning you need to take the long view.
Are you going to build a life for yourself rummaging around in the couch cushions for spare change? No. Are you going to earn decent bitcoin playing games? No. Figure out what you want to be good at, then get better at it, and earn more money. Earn it in bitcoin. Earn it in fiat. Whatever works.
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