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Earn Free Bitcoin Games, What is the Catch

22 Feb


As the popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies continues to rise more and more new services appear, including various ones that offer you to earn Bitcoins by playing them for free. Initially this may sound like a good idea, to spends some time playing a simple game for example and earn some Bitcoins in return, but things are actually not that easy and of course there is a catch. The developers of games and apps that seem to give out free Bitcoins to people playing them are not running a charity here, it is a business that runs on a very simple and proven model that works and in the end they end up making profit by “giving BTC for free”. How is that possible and what is the catch and can you actually make some Bitcoins for free? We are going to answer these questions using the free Bitcoin game BTC Flow as a real world example to demonstrate how things work.


The general idea here is that we have a simple web-based game where you need to only enter your Bitcoin wallet address to start playing and collecting Bitcoins by operating a virtual business. The game is designed in a way that you need to wait a certain period of time for a fraction of coins to collect and then to claim them and you need to keep claiming them over and over again until you reach a certain limit before you can actually withdraw them. By default you have an earning rate of 0.0000015 BTC per minute and you need to keep claiming the accumulated satoshi’s each time they reach a maximum of 0.000012 BTC or before that. When they reach that amount you stop getting new coins until you claim them and in order to do that you need to click on a button and enter a captcha and then you start collecting more. The idea here is that you will not just leave your computer running with the browser open and earn Bitcoins just from that, you need to be active pretty much all the time. The catch here is that you need to reach 0.01 BTC collected before you can request the BTC you have collected in the game to be sent to you and that is actually not an easy task, so lets do some math to see why:

You are earning: 0.00000150 BTC per minute
The maximum collected before claiming manually: 0.00001200 BTC
Interval needed to manually claim to continue earning: 8 minutes
Number of times you need to collect accumulated coins to reach 0.01 BTC: ~833
Time needed to reach 0.01000000 BTC to get paid your earned coins: ~111 hours
What you would actually have earned in USD in almost 5 days of non-stop play: ~$2.5 USD
Total BTC you can earn playing non-stop for one full month (impossible): about 0.06 BTC

So after doing the math you see there is no much point to spend almost 5 days 24/7 non-stop earning free Bitcoins playing a game that will reward you with just about $2.5 USD for the time spent. In the end this seems to be really a waste of time for nothing, and if you don’t calculate things you may start playing just to give up some minutes or hours after that in which case the game operator does not loose anything as you will not be able to withdraw any coins. If you don’t give up easily and are very persistent and continue and spend 2-3 weeks just to get a single payout out of the game as playing non-stop for 5 days is not something that would do you will realize that this time was literally wasted seeing what is the actual return.


Here however we get an attractive option that makes the game no longer free – the ability to upgrade your business earning you free Bitcoins by spending some actual BTC that you already own with the idea to earn back more. This is the catch that actually brings the profit to the service operator as unless you do that the game is not earning anything, but it is hardly loosing any Bitcoins that are given for free either. When you get discouraged by the calculations above or after playing for a bit and you want to actually earn something you see that the only way is to deposit some coins to speedup your earning level. You get multiple levels of upgrade that cost you between 0.05 BTC to 100 BTC that supposedly make it easy not only to get back your investment, but earn much more, or at least that is what it may seem at first sight. So let us see what happens with the math after you decide to pay 0.05 BTC for an upgrade:

You are earning: 0.00000600 BTC per minute
The maximum collected before claiming manually: 0.00018000 BTC
Interval needed to manually claim to continue earning: 30 minutes
Number of times you need to collect accumulated coins to reach 0.01 BTC: ~56
Time needed to reach 0.01000000 BTC to get paid your earned coins: ~28 hours
What you would actually have earned in USD in 1 day plus of non-stop play: ~$2.5 USD
Total BTC you can earn playing non-stop for one full month (impossible): about 0.26 BTC

Things do seem to look a bit better now, but in reality the situation is not much different. You need over 1 day of non-stop playing just to reach the minimum withdraw limit, and close to 6 days of non-stop playing just to cover what you have invested in the form of the 0.5 BTC to actually increase your earning rate. You also need to claim your earnings every 30 minutes instead of every 8, so it is not much more convenient as your attention is required every half an hour. And the upgrades do come with another catch, they are not indefinite, but only last for a certain period of time and that changes things. If after an upgrade you might earn in theory maximum 0.26 BTC playing non-stop for 1 month, something that is hardly even possible, but the theoretical maximum earnings will be close to 0.17 BTC instead as you only get the upgrade for a bit less than 20 days. That is possible only if you play non-stop and do not waste any time for sleeping or other things, and if you spend 8 hours a day (a more reasonable and actually doable thing) carefully monitoring the game and playing it in about 20 days you would barely be able to get back your 0.05 BTC that you invested and maybe a bit less than another BTC cent on top.

Is it worth to spend so much time and effort just to end up with $2 USD actually earned? In fact a lot of people that would spend some Bitcoins for upgrades to try to earn more will easily give up or will play in a way that they will not be even able to earn back what they have spent as a deposit. And even if some that are very determined and strong willed players do end up earning some BTC the number of people that will just give up and have spent some coins for upgrades will be higher. So in the end it is simple math and human psychology that makes such games and services offering free Bitcoins profitable for their operators and not for the users that are trying to earn something from them. You don’t believe us, why don’t you give it a try and see for yourself?

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4 Responses to Earn Free Bitcoin Games, What is the Catch


February 22nd, 2015 at 21:52

Very nice analysis :)


February 23rd, 2015 at 01:04

BTC-FLOW has not paid my withdrawals into my account, I sent messages and they have not responded. Currently they offline!


February 23rd, 2015 at 12:07

u’re a little late with this one, its already scammed people, as all ponzis do


February 24th, 2015 at 01:50

I can’t help think that as a result of your story this site decided to close. I think we all knew what we were getting. I just wish I had been able to withdrawal what I had been working on all weekend before they skipped town.

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