How To Get Paid Just For Using Blockchain Apps

Ever heard of SMSChain, the newest and hottest addition to the family of decentralized sharing economy apps? In this article, we have taken a closer look at both SMSChain and similar apps that enable you to earn money, basically for free.

We hope you’ll enjoy our in-depth guide – and profit!

How to start earning tokens with Blockchain apps

A number of new apps are currently pioneers in what is known as the crypto economy – an economy based on Blockchain tokens. These tokens come in all shapes and sizes, but the most popular kinds of tokens are the so-called ERC-20 compatible tokens. These tokens can be stored in any ordinary Ether wallet, and can be traded on multiple exchanges. Thus, token owners can sell them for other cryptocurrencies – for example the highly popular Ether and Bitcoin – and they can even convert them to fiat currency if they want to.

So why is this interesting? Many startup founders currently want to leverage the opportunities that a native token offers – in particular, gain traction for the respective startup and app. Using a native token inside an app can serve many purposes: Users can pay or reward each other, token ownership can be attached to voting rights, or token owners can receive a share of the startup’s profits. All of this contributes to the establishment of a loyal and lively community inside the app ecosystem.

A lot of startup teams have recognized the value of native tokens for their system. However, a critical mass of token owners and participants need to be reached in order for the community effects to come into play. Startups have quickly noticed that there are certain measures that can speed up the path to a functional community. In the early days of their businesses, they would award their tokens to early adopters in exchange for a little participation – or sometimes just for free.

How can you profit? As we have seen above, you can either trade your new tokens inside the app ecosystem, for example, buy products or services. Sometimes, there will also be affiliated stores that accept an app’s currency, even though they are not part of that app – see STEEM (Steemit’s token) for an example; this can be spent on Peerhub.

Or you can exchange your tokens for “cash,” be it in the form of Bitcoin or Ether, and from there even fiat currency. And then you can go and buy all kinds of stuff in the world that will make your life better (but we don’t have to tell you that)…

To start earning tokens, you basically need two things: A laptop and a wallet. If the token is ERC-20 compatible, the wallet can be your ordinary Ether wallet (for example at MyEtherWallet). For non-compatible tokens, such as STEEM, you need a dedicated wallet. And of course, you will need an app that will pay you in these tokens. Let’s now take a look at the options you have.

Top 3 apps to earn tokens

To demonstrate the possibilities you have for earning tokens with Blockchain apps, we have selected three apps in which earning tokens is relatively

Let’s start with the hardest one: Steemit.

Steemit Guide

Steemit, or as the founders say, ”Come for the rewards. Stay for the community,” is a Reddit-like portal which supports posting content as well as up and down-voting.

Steemit is based on a Blockchain that runs on a native coin called STEEM. Steemit’s developers say that their Blockchain, in contrast to Bitcoin’s proof-of-work, is based upon “proof-of-brain.” That is to say, cryptocurrency is generated by participants creating intelligent content. This works as follows: A certain pool of STEEM tokens is dedicated to incentivizing content creation and curation. And how exactly these tokens are distributed for certain pieces of content is determined by “crowd wisdom” – the participant community assesses the value of the content and its token reward.

If you sign up for Steemit, you will receive a wallet that does not only hold the main token, STEEM, but that also holds the so-called Steem-backed Dollar or SBD. This is a different token, loosely pegged to the US Dollar. Its purpose is the trading against an intermediary currency, such as Bitcoin, on the exchanges, so that Steemit participants can ultimately earn fiat money (if they wish) from their STEEM shares.

The reward distribution system in Steemit is rather complex. We will sum it up concisely: As the author of a post, you will be rewarded in STEEM if your post is upvoted (liked) by other participants. If you upvote someone else’s post, you get a reward – especially if the post is older than a few minutes – but in STEEM Power only (see below). This upvoting or recommendation of older content is known as curating.

Finally, how much the upvote of a random participant is “worth” in STEEM depends on this user’s STEEM Power. This is a measure of having STEEM in escrow in one’s wallet. Users with very little STEEM Power are known as plankton, those with a lot are known as whales (in allusion to the “Bitcoin whales,” owners of large amounts of Bitcoin).

Thus, what you need to do to earn STEEM is write posts that will be popular with whales. Good formatting and high-quality content are paramount, and you should use any relevant tags – see this guide. “How to” posts seem to be held in especially high regarded. As these take a significant effort on the part of the writer, we come to the conclusion with which we started this section: Earning money on Steemit is hard. If all goes (extremely) well, you can expect a few US dollars per article. Also, you need to keep in mind that Steemit requires you to put half of your earned STEEM into escrow as STEEM Power. So, the sum of 114 SBD will in the end amount to less than 50 USD in cash, as shown here.

SBD can be exchanged for Bitcoin as an intermediary currency on the usual exchanges – Poloniex, Bitwala, Bittrex, and others.

LBRY Guide

LBRY is an open-source and decentralized platform for video content sharing which rewards you for content consumption. Yes, you read that right. Not only are you rewarded for content creation, but for content consumption.

Why is that? Of course, in the long run, the main point of LBRY’s economy will be the remuneration of content creators, namely with tips from content users in the app’s native LBC token (short for LBRY Credit). The app comes with a dedicated LBC wallet. Other ways to obtain LBC’s are contributions to the LBRY project and mining – see here for all the ways of earning LBC. However, to encourage widespread adoption of the LBRY app, the LBRY team is currently providing in-app rewards for early adopters. They can be earned simply by surfing the video channels and watching videos.

In order to take part in LBRY’s ecosystem, you need to download the app (available for Linux, macOS, Windows, as well as iOS and Android).

LBC, too, can be exchanged for Bitcoin at one of several large exchanges: Poloniex, Bitwala, Bittrex, and several others.

SMSChain Guide


Are you tired yet? Hold on. Here comes the best part…

There’s another app currently entering the market that will reward you solely for your mere existence – something that is not usually done except by your own mother, am I right? The app that does just this is called SMSChain. Its founders call SMSChain a decentralized SMS gateway, and that is essentially what it is. It is based upon one of the most classical sharing economy concepts: Take a resource that someone has paid for, but isn’t using, and enable that person to share this resource with others, thereby earning back some of the money that has been paid for by the resource in the first place (or even make a profit).

In the case of SMSChain, this resource is contingent on user’s mobile phone plans when sending SMS, but SMS is not used that much anymore since most people have moved on to use instant messaging applications via wifi or mobile internet (WhatsApp, Threema, Signal, and the like).

However, there is one case that is actually gaining significance for SMS: The communication between automated systems and humans, for example, for notification and verification purposes. This is known as application-to-person (A2P) SMS. Although it is not 100% bullet-proof, SMS has become, a popular tool to implement two-factor authentication for smartphones. Other applications of A2P, according to Zion Research, include:

  • Alerts and notifications
  • Promotional messages
  • News
  • Polling contests
  • Banking updates
  • Flight alerts
  • And others

These messages largely consist of standard templates, not individualized content. These templates will be defined in SMSChain nodes, and participants can choose in advance which types of content they wish to permit to go through their SIM card.

Thus, both individuals and companies can profit from an efficient marketplace in which the unused capacities of SMS in personal accounts are sold off to companies who need them for A2P messaging.

SMSChain offers exactly this marketplace, and the marketplace’s currency is their native token SMSTO. You can earn SMSTO simply by signing up for an account on the SMSChain website, and by agreeing to sell your unused SMS capacities. If you would like to reserve some of your SMS capacities for yourself – because you are still communicating with people who live in the technological stone age – you can limit the amount of SMS you would like to sell. In the context of SMSChain, you are known as a “miner” – similar to Bitcoin’s concept of mining. However, the mining mechanism in SMSChain is not wasteful proof-of-work, as in other cryptocurrencies, but proof-of-delivery. That means that you do the useful work of delivering SMS in order to earn your SMSTO.

For one SMS, you will receive a reward to the equivalent of 0.004 – 0.015 USD in SMSTO. The exact price depends on the geographical market, with Europe being the most expensive (i.e. profitable) at the moment and India the least. According to the SMSChain whitepaper, you can earn up to 6,000 USD/month just by selling your SMS. This is a very optimistic projection by the founders, based on a technological boundary case, but even if you earn just a small fraction of it, essentially by doing nothing, you have still struck a very good deal. For example, you can sell 100 SMS per day for 15 USD a month. There are no further costs attached to this, however, you may run the risk of having your SIM card blocked if spam messages are sent through it. Also, there may be a privacy risk because recipients will see your SIM’s phone number. SMSChain is working hard to resolve these problems.

SMSTO are ERC-20 compatible, meaning that you can store them in any Ethereum wallet, and sell them on Ethereum exchanges. If you decide to keep your SMSTO instead of selling them, you can one day operate an SMSChain network node – when you have 15,000 SMSTO, to be exact. Running a node will entitle you to an additional 20% of all transactions going through your node. Companies will buy SMSTO to exchange them for SMS capacities in the network.

SMSChain’s alpha app is projected to go live in May 2018. Visit their site at SMSChain to keep up to date and sign up.


Sure, by signing up for any of these apps, you won’t be able to quit your day job anytime soon. But they give you the opportunity to earn money practically in your sleep and they also provide you with valuable experience in the up-and-coming decentralized sharing economy. Definitely, something you shouldn’t miss!

To stay up to date on the latest news, visit this site that aggregates information about decentralized sharing apps and other Blockchain applications: Curated list of blockchain services and exchanges