Experienced crypto traders know that bull markets are for selling and bear markets are for accumulation, but the latter can be difficult amid a backdrop of surging inflation that saps the purchasing power of fiat currencies.
As the crypto market heads deeper into crypto winter, with prices in the gutter and developers focused on creating the next popular protocol or breakout token, some crypto fans have begun to explore new ways of increasing their stack in preparation for the next bull market.
Here’s a look at the top five ways hodlers can increase the size of their crypto portfolio without breaking the bank so that the money they earn can go toward combating the rising cost of living.
Staking is perhaps the most tested and proven way to increase the number of tokens held, as the vast majority of proof-of-stake (PoS) networks offer a steady yield for locking up coins.
In addition to helping with transaction validation and network security, staking tokens in a smart contract reduces the available circulating supply, which, in turn, can help boost the price of the underlying crypto asset.
Care should be taken as to which token is staked, however, as crypto winters are known for leading to the demise of most protocols that lack solid fundamentals or significant backing.
Projects with an established track record, healthy trading volume and an active and growing community of users are some of the keys to look at when choosing a good PoS network. Some of the top options in the current market include Ethereum, Cosmos, Fantom, Solana, Avalanche, Polygon and Polkadot.
GameFi and play-to-earn
2021 saw the emergence of GameFi and play-to-earn (P2E) protocols, which offer gamers the ability to do what they have always loved — and earn a living in the process.
While token prices for the most popular games like Axie Infinity (AXS) have plummeted, which, in turn, hurt the earning ability of players, the sector remains one of the most active in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and is likely to continue to thrive in the future.
Some games do require an upfront investment, which may price out many who are looking for no-cost ways to earn crypto. But, protocols like Yield Guild Games and Merit Circle offer these users the option to rent or borrow the required assets in exchange for a small commission that is taken out of any rewards that are earned.
Crypto side gigs
The past decade saw the rise of the gig economy as ride-sharing apps and food delivery services exploded in popularity and workers shunned the traditional 9–5 workday routine.
As remote working and the nomad lifestyle have grown in prominence, the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies has opened the door to a multitude of opportunities for people to help contribute to the ecosystem while also earning crypto in the process.
Despite the onset of crypto winter, which has led to some of the biggest companies in the industry laying off large percentages of their workforce, new jobs in the sector are posted daily as projects launch and established companies bridge over from the legacy system.
From part-time gigs and contract jobs to bounty assignments and community outreach, there are a variety of side gig opportunities for hodlers to earn crypto while their day job pays the bills.
Cryptocurrency airdrops have become a mainstay in the crypto community as they offer one of the best ways to maximize marketing efforts and bring new users into the community.
As flash-in-the-pan projects that quickly rose and fell during the bull market begin to fold and fade into the rearview mirror, new projects representing the next generation of blockchain protocols are beginning to launch and need to attract users to their ecosystems.
While tokens for these projects typically start out with little to no value, individuals with patience can sometimes be rewarded with a nice payday down the road once bullish momentum returns to the market.
Another option is for crypto degens to explore airdrops that have already taken place with the goal of finding ones that they qualified for but have yet to claim. Some more recent examples include the Optimism (OP) and Evmos (EVMOS) airdrops, which came at the tail end of the bull market and might have gotten lost in the chaos of the past few months.
Once claimed, users have the option of selling these tokens for a stablecoin or other preferred crypto, or they can hold these tokens with the hope that they will see nice gains once crypto spring rolls around.
Spreading the crypto gospel (for referral bonuses)
One of the oldest ways for crypto enthusiasts to earn a few Satoshis on the side is by earning referral bonuses when they refer users to cryptocurrency exchanges or newly launched decentralized finance protocols that are looking to attract users and liquidity.
While the crypto contagion sparked by the collapses of Terra (LUNA) — now called Terra Classic (LUNC) — and Three Arrows Captial has led to firms like Coinbase needing to tighten their belts and discontinue referral bonuses, there are still ample opportunities for evangelists to spread the word and earn a reward.
This can also aid in the process of attracting no-coiners to the crypto community as those with extra motivation search outside the available pool of traders in pursuit of higher bonuses.
It’s important to note that those interested in earning extra crypto through referrals should do the proper due diligence in vetting a platform before directing others there, as folks are likely to look unkindly on someone who refers them to a scam or rug pull.
Want more information about trading and investing in crypto markets?
- Play-to-earn vs. move-to-earn explained
- GameFi continues to grow despite crypto winter: DappRadar report
- What are crypto faucets and how do they work?
- DeFi’s downturn deepens, but protocols with revenue and fee sharing could thrive
- Time to accumulate? 5 sectors to watch during crypto winter
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.