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How Bitcoin can Win the Media War

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In March 2014 during the Newsweek-Nakamoto scoop (that wasn’t) and the following manhunt we experienced the ugly face of irresponsible journalism. The real problem, however, is lazy journalism.

If you are reading this article, you most probably are a Bitcoin user and have drunk the Kool-Aid already. However, when you first started your journey into the rabbit hole that is crypto currencies you were probably skeptical. Typically it takes weeks or months to fully grasp the entire concept.

In my first job as a financial journalist I had about 45 minutes to identify, research, summarize, write and publish a ‘story’. There is no way that a writer at a local newspaper or a news editor from a TV broadcaster can intelligibly write a Bitcoin article in between twenty other pieces on the same day.

This is why the knee-jerk reaction from most media is to always jump on the juicy stories that are easy to write with clear bad-guy, good-guy characters: The big scandals, the most recent arrests or legal action, the major thefts and scams, and isn’t it true that Bitcoin’s main use is drugs and gambling anyway?

As Matt Miller from Bloomberg Television recently told me in New York in an interview “These are the fun stories. We aren’t telling the stories that aren’t scandalous. That’s not what we do. No one would tune in.” Remember this is coming from a media company with a highly finance-savvy audience.

Now imagine how a regular journalist (without a background in economics, finance, cryptography, and technology) would embark on his or her research. The first Google result is the Wikipedia article.

After struggling to understand the concept of the blockchain, distributed trust, peer-to-peer, mining, etc. It is not long before you scroll down to the chapter about Criminal Activity – what a treasure trove of juicy stories.

It’s impossible to change the behavioral patterns of most journalists, so what can the Bitcoin community do to improve the image of the cryptocurrency?

1.Get people to use Bitcoin via faucets or projects like the MIT initiative.
2.Rather than trying to explain Bitcoin to friends in theory, create a wallet for them and send them 0.01 BTC on the spot instead. Then tell them “this could have been a penny or a billion dollars”
3.Find the use case that really appeals to the particular person or group you are explaining it to. For my mother its online shopping, for my client that has family in South America its remittances, for my Wall Street buddies its an investment, for my political freedom fighting peers its freedom ;)
4.Make easy-to-understand explanation videos or share the ones that are already out there
5.Have a sense of humor
6.For every drug trafficking and money laundering story, let’s spread one about organic farmers using Bitcoin
7.For every bank scandal, let’s publish news about how Bitcoin can help the poor
8.For every additional trillion dollars in money supply, expose the problems with central banking
9.Try to channel as much of our daily purchases through the Bitcoin ecosystem (via giftcards if need be) so that it makes sense for merchants to accept Bitcoin.
10.Start or attend a local meetup group
11.Support Bitcoin start-ups and charities that accept crypto
12.Ask merchants whether they accept Bitcoins. If this happens often enough, shop owners will notice
13.Start YouTube channels, publish a blog, make a film, start a podcast, write a song, create a meme
14.Keep a list of ELI5 Bitcoin articles ready and send them to friends who are curious

Creating this sort of social movement does prompt change, however small it may be. But let’s be realistic, it’s likely none of the above will entirely convince your parents and won’t bring your auntie into the ecosystem. So, what will?

I truly believe in the transformative effect of documentaries. They can spark a change in attitude and perspective, alter human behaviour, influence public opinion and even kickstart legislative change. Supersize Me has brought the health aspect of fast food to our attention just as An Inconvenient Truth has elevated the climate change discussion into the mainstream. Filmmakers have recently even directly influenced a policy revision within the U.S. military!

In order to achieve this type of impact a documentary’s production must meet some basic criteria. The documentary must have a level of credibility in both its interviewees and the team behind it. The choice of language is fundamental in capturing the attention of the audience.

No ‘geek speak’. Specifically for a Bitcoin documentary there must be an examination of the financial and technological context that Bitcoin has emerged from; the problems with fiat money, inflation and the legacy banking system. These issues must be fully explored to realise the vital role Bitcoin can play in our daily lives.

We hope that with our documentary we hit the right tones and balance between educational and entertaining in order to achieve global distribution. Please check out our trailer, the team, the interviewees and the rewards in our Kickstarter campaign and get in touch with any questions or comments.

Written by Torsten Hoffmann, Media Entrepreneur and Producer of Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It. Torsten has licensed documentaries to global customers including Netflix, CCTV in China (800 million TV households), Samsung, Virgin Media, LG Electronics, Sky Italia, Orange (France), Canal+ (Poland), Deutsche Telekom, NBC Universal and several DVD labels and smaller broadcasters in 20 countries. Part of the unedited interviews are published on YouTube

The best way to get free bitcoins

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If you’re looking for simple ways to get free bitcoins, you’ve got tons of options.

Whether you’re a new bitcoin user looking to get your hands dirty with your first bitcoin wallet, or just looking for additional ways to earn free bitcoin for performing simple tasks, this site contains an up-to-date list of the best free bitcoin websites.

Each of the sites below allows you to earn free bitcoin: some by viewing ads, some by answering captcha challenges, and some by doing crowdsourced work. If you’re looking to earn some free bitcoin, you came to the right place.

Not sure how to use bitcoin?

If you’ve never actually used bitcoin before, you won’t be able to take advantage of the sites listed below since you don’t yet have a bitcoin wallet (think of a bitcoin wallet as a debit card). If you’d like to sign up for a bitcoin wallet, you can do so through Coinbase (the most reputable and reliable bitcoin bank).

Creating a Coinbase account allows you to receive and store your bitcoin safely (just like a real bank), as well as send and transfer bitcoin when you need to. You can also use Coinbase to buy and sell bitcoin for US dollars.

Top Sites


BitVisitor pays you bitcoin for visiting websites. BitVisitor shows you each website for 5 minutes (during which time you can check out the site), and pays you for each site you visit. Between sites, you’re required to enter a captcha.

Coin Tube

CoinTube is a simple service where you can earn free bitcoin by watching videos and entering captcha checks.

Bitcoin Get

Bitcoin Get is a crowdsourced bitcoin site. What this means is that once you’ve created an account, you can complete a variety of tasks (perform web tasks, watch videos, etc.), and get paid in bitcoin for doing so. One of the best free bitcoin sites around.

I Want Free Bitcoins

I Want Free Bitcoins is a site that pays you bitcoin for completing various offers. These tend to include things like: playing a simple web game for a few minutes, filling out a Facebook survey, etc. There are a mix of offers the site supports, so there’s quite a lot of variety.


CoinVisitor pays you bitcoin for viewing websites and solving captcha challenges. What’s great about this service is that you only need to view the sites for 10 seconds at a time, so it’s a quick process.

Earn Free Bitcoins

Like BitVisitor, Earn Free Bitcoins pays you bitcoin for visiting websites.


A really neat site. BitImg lets you host images for sharing (think Reddit, Digg, etc.) and pays you from any generated Ad revenue in bitcoin. A really simple (and nice) way to generate free bitcoin by sharing your images through their site.

Bitcoin 4 You

This is another site viewing service, through which you visit sites for 3 minutes at a time, and receive a small amount of bitcoin for each website view.


BitBin is a pastebin service which allows you to share snippets of text (usually programming code) publicly, and shares the site’s ad revenue with you (in Bitcoin) based on the amount of views your snippets get.

Free BTC

Once you’ve created an account, Free BTC allows you to watch videos in your browser and earn bitcoin for each video watched. The site has a lot of content, which makes it easy to earn some free bitcoin.

Free Digital Money

This service allows you to complete various tasks in exchange for bitcoin. They have an enormous variety of tasks, so you have plenty of options to choose from.


Rugatu is a question and answer site, which awards bitcoin to the person whose answer has been chosen.

Bitcoin Services

Bitcoin Services is another free bitcoin site which allows you to complete offers (some free, some paid), answer surveys, and download software to earn bitcoin. You can also watch videos to earn bitcoin (although, they seem to have a limited quantity).

BTC Free Game

BTC Free Game is a neat site: you register an account, play some games, and get paid a small amount of Bitcoin. Right now you can play one game per hour.

Half Hourly Sites

Can Has Bitcoin?

A funny looking free bitcoin site. Much like many of the other sites listed, enter your bitcoin address, solve the captcha, and get some free bitcoin.

Bitcoin Jackpot

Bitcoin Jackpot is a simple giveaway site — you simply enter your Bitcoin address, complete a captcha check, and bam — you’ll get some free Bitcoin.

BTC 4 You

Free bitcoin after passing a captcha check.

Faucet BTC

Another simple free bitcoin site.

Free Bitcoins

One of the better looking free bitcoin sites: enter your bitcoin address and pass the captcha check, and earn some bitcoin.

The Free Bitcoins

Identical to the site above, but with a different colorscheme.

Virtual Faucet

Yet another simple free bitcoin site, similar to the above.

Free BTC 4 All

Fill out the captch and enter your bitcoin address to receive a small amount of free bitcoin.

Hourly Sites

This is a great site. Once you register, you’re able to ‘play the game’ every hour, which gives you a shot to win free bitcoin. Playing the game consists of entering a captcha check, which rolls the dice, and wins you either a small (or large) amount of bitcoin. It seems as though most of the time when you roll, you win a small amount of bitcoin.

Bitcoins 4 Me

Enter your bitcoin address and pass a captcha check, and you’ll get a small amount of bitcoin.


Another simple free bitcoin site that requires passing a captcha check.

Daily Bitcoins

Despite the name ‘Daily Bitcoins’, this service gives you a small amount of bitcoin for free every hour.

Free BTC Net

A simple hourly Bitcoin payout site. Like some of the other sites listed here, all you need to do is fill out a simple captcha check to claim a reward.

Free Bitcoin Faucet

Another simple hourly bitcoin site. You can earn 40 microbitcoin per hour after completing the captcha check.

Half Daily Sites


After passing a simple captcha check BitcoinAR will send you a small amount of free bitcoin.


Like many of the other free bitcoin sites, freecoins4me gives you a small amount of bitcoin once you pass a captcha check. Right now you can come back once every 8 hours to get a small amount of bicoin.

Daily Sites


NetLookup is a simple free bitcoin site. Just enter your bitcoin address and they’ll send you some free bitcoin — no captcha required.


BitHits gives you a small amount of bitcoin — no captcha required.


DrawBTC is one of my favorite sites — you enter your Bitcoin wallet address, and have a chance to win a certin amount of Bitcoin every day. You’re not guaranteed to win, but the odds aren’t bad!

Bitcoin Addict

Enter your bitcoin address and solve a captcha, and you might win the daily jackpot.


Enter your bitcoin address and solve a captcha to get a small amount of bitcoin. The payout varies by the hour.

Bunny Run

This site lets you pick a bunny in a virtual race, and pays you a small amount of bitcoin depending on which place your bunny comes in.

Coin Ticket

Receive a small amount of bitcoin by entering your bitcoin address and solving a captcha.

Bitcoin Tree

Like some of the sites above, Bitcoin Tree gives you a small amount of bitcoin after you pass a captcha check.


Vote for your favorite wallpaper and receive a small amount of free bitcoin.

Infrequent Sites

Bitcoin Dispenser

Bitcoin Dispenser is a free bitcoin lottery. Enter your bitcoin address, and every so often a random winner will be selected, and all the donated funds will be given to the winner. Although the lottery is infrequent, you can win a decent amount of bitcoin.


BitCrate is a small bitcoin game where you break a crate and win some bitcoin. The site is updated frequently, but they run out of bitcoin quickly, which is why it’s listed under the Infrequent Sites category.

The Bitcoin Faucet

The Bitcoin Faucet is an interesting game. The way it works is that people donate bitcoin into the pot, and once the pot is full a single lucky user will get an entire bitcoin. Worth playing, since the payout is extremely high.

Bitcoin AdSmart

The way Bitcoin AdSmart works is that once every 150 users enter their bitcoin addresses, a single user is chosen at random to win some free bitcoin.

One Time Sites

Bitcoin Faucet

This service sends you SMS messages (no more than 2 per month) advertising bitcoin related services, and, in turn, gives you free bitcoin.


This service pays you a small amount of bitcoin for answering a captcha check.


This service pays you a small amount of bitcoin for answering a captcha check. (Almost idential to the service above.)


Send this bot a message on Twitter with your bitcoin address, and it’ll send you some bitcoin :)


This service sends you .0005 BTC after you’ve verified an email address with them. They won’t use your email for anything other than verification, so don’t worry about spam! This is currently one of the best free bitcoin sites out there
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