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5 Best Learn and Earn Crypto Programs (and How They're Taxed)

Last updated: Monday, 20 December 2021

The crypto market is a minefield, full of unique terminology, jargon and concepts that don’t really exist outside the crypto realm. This means for newbies - it can be a bit daunting when you’re first starting out, especially when you’re figuring out your first investments. Fortunately, there are some awesome learn and earn crypto programs that will pay you in crypto for learning about crypto. We’re covering the 5 best learn and earn crypto programs, as well as what your tax office will want to know about it.

What are learn and earn crypto programs?

Being paid in crypto just for learning about it can sound too good to be true, but it’s not the case. 

Why do these learn to earn programs exist? 

To promote various exchanges and different cryptocurrencies. Most large centralized exchanges offer learn and earn programs including Binance, Coinbase and many more. They offer a small incentives to encourage you to use their platform when you eventually do start trading crypto.

As well as this, they can create partnerships with different cryptocurrencies with dedicated modules where you’ll learn about a specific new coin or token and earn a small amount of that token as a reward. This raises awareness about the coin, decentralizes ownership from the creators and increases initial trading volume - much like an airdrop.

learn to earn free crypto

Let’s take a look at 5 of the best learn and earn crypto programs available right now.

Coinbase learn and earn

One of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, Coinbase has an excellent learn and earn crypto program. All you need to do to take part is sign up for a Coinbase account, 

Then you can start learning by watching videos and answering quiz questions. You'll earn crypto in your Coinbase account for every quiz you complete. 

The courses are regularly updated and they only run for short periods of time. At the time of writing you can earn:

  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)
  • The Graph (GRT)
  • Enzyme (MLN)
  • Bounce Token (AUCTION)
  • Compound (Comp)
  • NKN (NKN)
  • Chiliz (CHZ)
  • Rally (RLY)
  • BarnBridge (BOND)
  • Balancer (BAL)
  • Ampleforth Governance Token (FORTH)
  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • Skale (SKL)
  • Nucypher (NU)
  • Celo (CGLD)
  • Universal Market Access (UMA)
  • Numeraire (NMR)
  • Band Protocol (BAND)
  • Maker (MKR)
  • Filecoin (FIL)
  • Algorand (ALGO)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • Orchid (OXT)
  • Kyber Network (KNC)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • DAI (DAI)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • 0x (ZRX)

You can earn between around $3 to $6 in crypto on average from each of these modules - so get studying.

Coinbase learn and earn crypto

Binance learn and earn

As the biggest crypto exchange in the world, Binance has a great learn and earn crypto program. Their learn and earn program is only available to new Binance users who sign up and verify their account within 3 days. They regularly update their offers with new and popular coins. At the time of writing, a few of the coins and tokens available are:

  • LUNA
  • AERGO
  • SANTOS
  • POND

Binance learn and earn crypto

CoinMarketCap learn and earn

CoinMarketCap isn’t a crypto exchange - but it is the leading crypto price-tracking website, so it’s visited by millions of users every day looking for a variety of popular and less common coins and tokens.

You can earn crypto through CoinMarketCap as they partner with a variety of new cryptocurrencies and protocols trying to get their name out there. At the time of writing, they only have two campaigns live - NEAR and LIKE - but previous learn and earn programs have included:

  • SAND
  • SUSHI
  • POLS
  • 1INCH
  • LUNA

You should check in regularly as their learn and earn campaigns often only last a couple of weeks.

CoinMarketCap learn and earn crypto

Phemex learn and earn

Phemex has an awesome crypto learn and earn program. Though theirs works a little differently to the above programs. You’ll still watch videos, complete quizzes and get your rewards. But instead of getting a specific cryptocurrency - you’ll get up to $16 USD credited to your Phemex account for you to invest in a cryptocurrency of your choice! 

At the minute, the programs you can complete are fiat currency vs cryptocurrencies, as well as a specific course on how to buy and transfer crypto on Phemex. This is a great learn and earn option for those who’d like a little more freedom with the crypto they invest in.

Phemex learn and earn crypto

Cake DeFi learn and earn

Last, but by no means least, is Cake DeFi learn and earn.

Like all of the above, you’ll complete modules to earn different cryptocurrencies. At the moment only one course is live - which is learning about DeFiChain to earn $5 in DFI tokens. However, they've got two more courses coming soon, where users have the opportunity to earn both BTC and ETH - so watch this space.

Cake DeFi learn and earn crypto

How is learn and earn crypto taxed?

Learn and earn crypto programs are a fairly new concept - so tax offices around the world haven’t yet released guidance on them.

However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be taxed - in fact the current guidance on earning new crypto is fairly clear that in most countries, you’ll pay Income Tax when you earn coins or tokens in exchange for a service. Though you’re not providing a service, many tax offices even consider things like sharing a social media post to earn an airdrop an exchange of services and tax it as income now. 

With this view, it is likely that you learn and earn crypto will be seen as additional income and taxed under Income Tax.

Of course, the amount you’ll earn from a learn and earn crypto program is going to be negligible. In most instances, you’ll be earning a couple of dollars worth of a given token per course.

Many countries have an allowance for additional income - so you’ll be able to earn a few hundred dollars in income on top of your regular job income before it’ll be taxed. For example in the UK, you can earn £1,000 in additional income tax free, so you wouldn’t need to report learn and earn crypto Income to HMRC if this was your only additional income.

All this to say, in lots of instances, you may not need to report your learn and earn crypto income. However, if you’ve got other crypto investments that you’re earning income from, it’s still really important you report this to your tax office and pay the relevant taxes.

When you later spend, sell, swap or gift (in most countries) your learn and earn crypto - any profits from will be subject to Capital Gains Tax. This is based on the difference in value between when you acquired the crypto and when you disposed of it.

Crypto income tax

Let’s take a quick look at how learn and earn crypto might be taxed around the world.

Learn and earn crypto tax in the US

The IRS has no specific guidance on learn and earn crypto tax as of yet. However, considering they view airdrops and even hard forks as a form of income and apply Income Tax - it’s very likely learn and earn crypto would be subject to the same tax treatment.

There is no additional income allowance in the US, so you will need to report it to the IRS - even if it's a very small amount of additional income.

When you spend, sell or swap crypto in the US - you’ll pay Capital Gains Tax. This includes when you sell, spend or swap coins from a learn and earn crypto program.

Learn more about US Crypto Tax.

Learn and earn crypto tax in the UK

HMRC has no specific guidance on learn and earn crypto tax. However, airdrops in exchange for a service - for example sharing a social media post - are considered income and subject to Income Tax. With this view in mind - it’s very likely rewards from learn and earn crypto programs would be subject to Income Tax.

There is, however, an additional income allowance in the UK. This means you can earn up to £1,000 in additional income and it won’t be subject to Income Tax. This is known as the trading and property allowance - but it also applies to miscellaneous income.

Of course, it’s very unlikely you’re going to be earning more than this amount in rewards from learn and earn crypto programs. However, if you have other crypto income - for example from airdrops, mining or staking - that put you over this allowance threshold, you’ll need to report this to HMRC and pay Income Tax.

When you sell, swap, spend or gift crypto in the UK - you’ll pay Capital Gains Tax. This includes when you sell, spend, swap or gift coins from a learn and earn crypto program.

Learn more about UK Crypto Tax.

Learn and earn crypto tax in Australia

The ATO has no specific guidance on learn and earn crypto tax. However, they’re a bit more lax on when crypto is viewed as income than other tax offices. For example, if you’re only mining on a hobby level - the ATO won’t charge you Income Tax on mining, whereas most other countries will. It’s only when you’re operating as a business that the ATO applies Income Tax to mining. 

This said, the ATO do consider airdrops as income and apply Income Tax. So with this mixed view, it’s not entirely clear what the stance on learn and earn crypto rewards may be. 

If they are viewed as income by the ATO, remember your first $18,200 of income is tax free, so if you're under this threshold you won't pay Income Tax.

When you sell, swap, spend or gift crypto in Australia - you’ll pay Capital Gains Tax. This includes when you sell, spend, swap or gift coins from a learn and earn crypto program.

Learn more about Crypto Tax in Australia.

Learn and earn crypto tax in Canada

The CRA has no specific guidance on learn and earn crypto tax. However, the CRA is only interested in taxing crypto as income if you’re considered to be conducting ‘business-like activities’. They don’t tax hobby mining as income and it is unlikely for them to tax airdrops as income either.

With this view, it’s unlikely the CRA would be interested in applying Income Tax to the small amounts of crypto you can earn from learn and earn crypto programs.

However, when you later sell, spend, swap or gift your crypto in Canada - you’ll pay Capital Gains Tax. This includes when you sell, spend, swap or gift coins from a learn and earn crypto program.

Learn more about Crypto Tax in Canada or check out our other country crypto tax guides.

How Koinly can help with crypto income taxes

Koinly crypto tax software helps make crypto taxes simple. All you need to do is sync the various wallets and exchanges you use with Koinly, and Koinly will calculate your capital gains, losses and crypto income. 

When it comes to learn to earn crypto, these transactions will usually be automatically tagged as rewards. But you can always tag these manually as rewards if not by finding the specific transaction in Koinly and selecting 'tag as reward'.

Reward tag Koinly

From here, you can choose to treat rewards as income or not based on your country’s crypto tax rules under Koinly settings.

income settings Koinly

Once you’ve set everything up, just head to the tax reports page in Koinly for a full summary of your crypto taxes including capital gains, capital losses, income, expenses and more.

Tax summary Koinly

You can then download a tax report based on your specific location. For example, the IRS Form 8949 and Schedule D for US investors, the ATO myTax report for Australian investors or the HMRC Capital Gains Summary for UK investors.

IRS Tax Report Koinly

Koinly makes crypto tax simple. Sign up free today.

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