There are several things you need to do to get started.
Before you get any coins, you need a place to put them! Wallets are applications or sometimes hardware that can store one or more types of coins. Many people have an online microwallet for their “public” address and for small amounts of currency, and a more robust wallet on their home computer for their private address. If you’re getting started, an online wallet is fine, but you should think about eventually getting an “offline” wallet as your funds grow.
Faucethub.io – Stores Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Blackcoin, Dash, Peercoin and Primecoin. A majority of faucets payout use faucethub.io, and you need an account here if you want to use those faucets.
Coinpot.io – Stores Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Litecoin. Coinpot also is where several faucets payout to, and you need an account here if you want to use those faucets.
BTC.com – Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash – No frills wallet, but has mobile phone app versions.
There are many others out there. Some might require in depth identification for liability purposes, depending on the type of currency and features available.
Exodus – Very solid wallet with support for Bitcoin and many other coins. New coins are added on occasion. Has the ability to trade to other coin types without going to an exchange site.
Monero – Only handles Monero currency, but is the best wallet out there. It will take a long time for the entire blockchain to synch up, but runs smoothly after that.
With a lot of cryptocurrencies, the best way to get them is to buy them. The amount of time and money to generate a reasonable income can be great.
Coinbase – Only handles Bitcoin, Etherium and Litecoin, but is one of the few exchanges that you can easily deposit cash and link a credit card to. Coinbase is easy to use and by far the most popular way to purchase cryptocurrency.
Poloniex – Very complicated site, but handles a huge variety of currencies. Difficult to put cash into. If you want a type of currency not on Coinbase, you’ll have to transfer Bitcoin or Etherium to Poloniex, and then trade it for something else. This is for advanced investors.
What is a faucet?
A faucet is a website or app that gives out Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies in (usually) small amounts.
Cryptocurrency for Free?
Mostly. People aren’t setting up faucets to give away cryptocurrency out of the kindness of their hearts. As you’ll see, these sites are completely covered with ads, create pop-ups, and sometimes take forever before they’ll give you a payout. These sites give out coins and make money with their ads and their referrals in exchange. Many sites are so covered in ads that they’re almost impossible to use, but they do give out free coins!
Mining is the process where transactions are verified and added to the public ledger, also known as the block chain. This is also how new bitcoin are released. Mining uses recent transactions blocks and tries to solve a difficult puzzle. Solving the puzzle creates the next block of coin and the finder(s) get a reward, helping to distribute and decentralize the currency. Bitcoin and other currencies have gotten so difficult to mine that pools of miners join together to add up their computational power to solve the puzzles quicker.
There are also online mining communities where you rent space on a server. I have yet to check any of these out. I have my doubts about them. If I had a server that could mine fast, why would I need anyone else to help me mine!
A final way is to sell someone something. Just give them your public coin address and tell them to transfer a certain amount! No middle man and no extra charges.
There are plenty of other resources that go into much more depth than presented here. This information is to provide you with the basics to get started.