First of all, we can join the consensus protocol of a blockchain directly with the goal of getting cryptocurrencies as a reward for our contribution. To do that, we have to give some kind of resource to the network, to help in the creation of blocks for that chain.

In the case of Bitcoin (and any other blockchains that work with the Proof of Work protocol) we have to, first of all, install the client software (like Bitcoin Core) that lets us run the network protocol.


Once we download the software, we will have a copy of the blockchain and therefore the ability to join the network protocol by creating new blocks, becoming a mining node.

For every valid block that we create, we will be rewarded with the native token of the network, that is, if we are in Bitcoin with the bitcoin token, if we are in Ethereum with the ether token.

However, we have to mention that this environment has become professionalized and nowadays you need big initial investments (in mining hardware) if you want to get enough processing power to compete with the rest of the nodes when creating the blocks.

In this scenario, there is also the possibility of joining computational efforts with other mining nodes through a mining pool, which will split the profits among all its participants based on the computational contribution of each one of them. A practice that is pretty common in the community.

In the case of other protocols like Proof of Stake (networks like Polygon already use it, and Ethereum 2.0 aims for it) we also have to install an initial software to become a validator node, but unlike the Proof of Work, the process of creating the blocks does not depend on the computational power, but on the financial contribution to the network. That is, the amount of tokens that you have locked in your wallet.

The more tokens you have locked, the more likely you are to be chosen to create a block. Just like the Proof of Work, the creator of a block is rewarded with the native tokens of the network.

Through DeFi If we already have cryptocurrencies in our power, we can join different DeFi protocols with the goal of increasing our stash through different financial instruments. The DeFi protocols (decentralized finance) are those that try to reproduce the traditional financial protocols but in a decentralized way by using blockchain, that is, P2P (from person to person).

There are different types of applications developed on DeFi protocols.

Some of the most known ones are Aave and Compound to make decentralized loans. In them, you can lend your cryptoassets in a 100% decentralized way in exchange for a fee, like you were a bank.

We can also join Uniswap or other similar decentralized exchanges (DEX) through yield farming (providing liquidity in a pool of a DEX in exchange for a fee).

Another very interesting way of making money with our cryptoassets is through Augur, a decentralized prediction market that lets us make predictions (“bets”) about different events, related to sports, politics, the crypto market and many more.

Finally, we can use the protocol of MakerDAO, which lets us ask for loans in a 100% decentralized way, putting our cryptoassets as collateral in exchange for a stablecoin with parity 1:1 with the Dollar. This way, we could leverage ourselves in a cryptocurrency and operate through some of the strategies or protocols mentioned before.